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Thinking and acting sustainably becomes more and more important for everyone – also for businesses and companies. Still, natural resources such as wood and oil are used for manufacturing processes. But did you know that there has been a revolution in the production of paper? With the aim to save forests and to reduce water usage, Times Bridge Management (TBM), in cooperation with Japan’s largest printing company Toppan Printing Co., has invented paper made out of Limestone, a material overlooked for a long time.

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Innovative technologies and materials are creating new possibilities for the print packaging industry and resulting in the continuous development of this sector. To find out how our industry is going to evolve within the next years and to identify the upcoming key-trends on the global print packaging market, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany has conducted a joint comprehensive study.

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Lately, digital drawing and sketching is booming. Where paper and pen are no longer in use, tablets such as Surface, Wacom or iPad and their styluses are taking over. In creating experiences as close to the real as possible, producers face not only a common goal but also a common difficulty. Now reMarkable, the self-named paper tablet, enters the market.

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Looking back at a great year, we definitely do not forget to look forward as well. After all, drupa 2016’s motto was “touch the future”! At K 2016, another trade show within the field of competence “Machinery, Plant and Equipment” at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, we took the opportunity to meet some exhibitors from drupa 2016. While displaying innovations for the plastics and rubber industry, they reviewed drupa 2016 and answered a few questions. We asked them, which future trends they see regarding the next drupa, how they prepare for drupa 2020 and what they are looking forward to the most when thinking of it.

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Confidential documents or security papers normally need a special, and mostly expensive, technique in order to ensure authenticity and safety. Still might change in the future with the invention of Ajay Nahata, professor of electrical and computer engineering from the University of Utah and his team. The engineers developed a method, which uses standard inkjet printers and readily available ink to print hidden images that are visible only when using a specific illumination.

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New developments in printing technologies and materials enter almost every part of our lives. In the past, these have also affected a very important one: our money. With the rise of money, laundering techniques, new ideas and concepts for keeping our money safe and resistant are needed. Security printing constantly evolves and comes up with innovative ways to keep paper bank notes from being copied.

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As drupa 2016 impressively demonstrated: Printing makes the world more beautiful and enriches many parts of our daily life. Besides art, posters and sculptures, new printing technologies even allow creating couture. At this year’s show various exhibitors such as Highcon Systems, and students from the Media Design School Düsseldorf presented extraordinary dresses made out of paper, and the trend to print clothes made from different materials keeps increasing, as shown by Fujifilm’s latest collaboration.

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Digitalization has an impact on many areas of our society. Even the newspaper market is affected, but not only in a negative, but also in a positive way. New digital printing presses and processes offer publishers a more efficient and flexible workflow. This development has been getting the publishers of the Pacific Daily News to rethink their production processes. In the past, this newspaper was produced with an old offset printing press built in 1968, but this has changed recently.

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Today it is important to think, act and print in a sustainable way. Therefore every manufacturer, company and consumer should find ways to save resources and protect the environment even during a print process. In fact, there are various approaches to increase the efficiency of print jobs. As usual it’s the little things that also count, e.g. the ink. Very few know that, when it comes to text documents, it also depends on the font you choose for your text.

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The development of new technologies and inks in printing is key to getting better results in efficiency and sustainability. Just recently Canon has announced the launch of a new kind of ink and its new print head technology for roll-to-roll printers. The use of both is said to reduce printing costs by up to 40 per percent.

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Future Links CW 8 – Multichannel Edition

Omnichannel, multichannel, virtual and augmented reality – these terms become more and more important within a brand’s marketing strategy. This is why our weekly future links focus on developments in these areas – be it short-form shows for Snapchat and the Discover platform, Walmart’s omnichannel presence, Chick-fil-A’s new advertising campaign, an augmented reality effect for Facebook Stories or Lightvert’s ECHO technology.