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Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM
Held every four years in Birmingham, England, Ipex (www.ipex.org) is the world's largest English language print trade show. This year's event will take place May 18 to 25.
The 2006 event attracted more than 100,000 attendees from 159 countries. The show is spread out among 11 halls, with 580 exhibitors representing global manufacturers from 38 countries.
AMERICAN PRINTER joined more than 75 international media outlets at the Ipex Media Summit last month. Vendors previewing their show offerings included Canon, CP Bourg, Domino, Fujifilm, Océ, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, Xerox, and web-to-print vendor RedTie. For more show news, see www.americanprinter.com.
Xerox remained coy about its inkjet intentions — we'll have to wait until the show. On the toner front, Xerox will highlight its 650/1300 continuous feed monochrome printing systems. Key features include heavyweight media compatibility, running duplex applications up to 200 gsm, and the FreeFlow Print Server 7 and Image Smooth Technology.
A panel discussion included Marianne Gaige, president and CEO of Cathedral Corp. The service bureau is the first U.S. installation of a Xerox 980 color continuous feed system. The 980 is used for color and personalized trans-promotional pieces. “We evaluated a number of technology options, including the high-speed inkjet devices that are available today,” said Gaige. “The image quality of the Xerox 980 system was far superior.”
Ricoh (West Caldwell, NJ) will demonstrate integrated solutions including Unity Book Publishing's Print Production Handbook, transpromo and transactional printing, personalized calendars, paperback book printing, illustrated manuals and direct mail.
Ricoh Pro C720 and C720S are designed for lower volume commercial and corporate printing environments moving into digital printing. They are available in both printer and copier versions. Printing at 72 full-color pages per minute, the Pro C720 includes a standard EFI server.
Ricoh Pro C900 and C900S offer print speeds up to 90 ppm in full color, even when printing on heavy stock. It includes the latest Ricoh image processing technology combined with the EFI Fiery RIP or Creo C-80 controller for high image quality and productive workflow integration. An extended range of inline finishing devices includes: ring binder, perfect binder, Plockmatic booklet maker and GBC punch unit.
Ricoh Pro 1357 targets data centers with IPDS printing. It is rated at 1.9 million impressions per month and can be equipped with a range of versatile finishing options.
Ricoh Pro 1357EX produces 135 monochrome ppm.
The monochrome Pro range, which also includes the Ricoh Pro 1107 (110 ppm) and Ricoh Pro 907 (90 ppm) production systems offer high quality professional imaging and extensive inline finishing options.
Ricoh also will feature Kodak's Digimaster EX-300 and NexPress SE2500.
Next Page: Comprehensive digital press portfolio
Canon (Lake Success, NY) will have its largest Ipex booth. Equipment includes several imagePRESS color and monochrome presses, many of which will be running live customer jobs managed by Helix Production Workflow. The new imageRunner Advance Pro series of light production engines makes their European debut. Commercial printers and CRDs looking to harness the business potential of large format applications such as graphics and signage will see a selection of Canon imagePROGRAF printers, offering photo quality and optimal productivity.
Canon also will release the results of its third “Insights” survey. RIT's Frank Romano led a team of print media grads who interviewed a total of 840 printers, 65.5% of whom were based in Western Europe. The researchers found that while revenues from offset lithographic output declined by 18.1% in Western Europe during 2009 (vs. 2008), revenues from digital (toner and inkjet combined) output increased by a total of 27.2%.
Fujifilm's (Valhalla, NY) sheetfed, digital inkjet press known as the Fujifilm Inkjet Digital Press in North America, makes its Ipex debut. (See “Fujifilm scales up with inkjet press.")
Fujifilm also will launch of version 3.0 of its XMF cross-media workflow solution. The software gives printers the flexibility to automate many production activities previously requiring manual intervention, as well as the ability to reduce costs by improving color management and therefore extend the potential for ink savings. Advanced imposition and color management options support the complex production demands associated with web presses. On the wide format front, look for the Acuity Advance HS UV inkjet printers.
Océ (Boca Raton, FL) demonstration highlights include transitioning monochrome transaction documents to color transpromo vehicles; moving from offset preprinted shells to targeted, full-color direct mail and shifting from long offset runs to short-run books on demand.
Océ Arizona 550 GT can produce point-of-purchase quality prints at 433 sq. ft. per hour or 13 4 × 8-ft. boards an hour. The Arizona 550 GT uses UV curable inks and Océ VariaDot imaging technology for near-photographic image quality. The true flatbed system can print on a wide variety of rigid substrates up to 49.2 by 98.4 inches in area and up to two inches thick. It also offers a Roll Media Option for printing onto flexible media up to 86.6 inches wide.
Océ JetStream 1000 is a full-color web press in the 1000 ppm class for transaction, direct mail, books and transpromo applications. It is the first continuous feed inkjet printer offering full width single engine perfecting press capabilities, printing both sides of the paper in one engine.
Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra is based on Océ Gemini Instant Duplex technology. The 306-ppm mono cutsheet printer is the flagship in the Océ VarioPrint 6000 Ultra Line.
Océ ColorWave 600 combines toner and inkjet production. The Océ CrystalPoint process converts color Océ TonerPearls toner into a gel. This toner gel is then jetted and crystallized onto any type of paper, producing crisp, waterfast images.
Next Page: Total inkjet solution for transactional mailers
This past fall, Pitney Bowes (Stamford, CT) teamed with HP to launch the IntelliJet Printing System, a production color printing system for high-volume transactional mailers. Pitney Bowes is the exclusive sales, service and distribution channel for the press which combines HP's T300 color inkjet web press system with a spooler/controller from Emtek.
Rated at 400 fpm, the IntelliJet Printing System has a 30-inch format and 1200 × 600 dpi color quality. Users produce 4-up 7-inch forms at up to 3,490 impressions per minute, and 3-up 8.5-inch forms at up to 2,600 impressions per minute.
The vendor terms the high-speed web press “a logical next phase” in its print-and-mail system offerings. Long known for its high-speed inserters, Pitney Bowes acquired Group 1 Software in 2004 and Emtex in 2006. MapInfo, a 2007 acquisition, helps customers build relevant customer messaging via comprehensive demographic and location-based intelligence.
The company also will unveil three inserters: one for the transaction mail market, another that works alongside production insertion technology to finish reprints and small jobs and a third to go with its DPS range.
RedTie Ltd. (New York) offers RedTie Template (RTT) and RedTie Quotation (RTQ) using a SaaS model. RTT is a customizable ordering system that lets print providers access, edit and order marketing and print collateral. Beyond set up support, RedTie's managed services include customer-branded web interface and fulfillment services. RTQ allows printers' customers to request instant quotes, submit jobs online and upload artwork.
Engage Marketing (www.engagemarket.com), a Chatsworth, CA-based direct mail specialist replaced a templated W2P product with RTT after seeing a demo at Dscoop two years ago. The printer credits RedTie's solution with allowing it to capture previously unattainable margins as well as enabling nontechnical employees to drive the digital workflow.
Domino enters the digital printing market with its N-Series piezo inkjet range. The N-Series lineup will incorporate both standalone label printing presses and modules featuring scalable print-width for OEM integration. The N600 digital label printing press to be shown at IPEX offers 1200 dpi nominal print resolution with a native resolution of 600 dpi and four grayscales operating at a leading edge 50-75m/m using durable UV inks. Capable of printing onto a range of paper and plastic label stocks, the N600 will be demonstrated in a reel-to-reel configuration with a print width of 333mm (13.1 inches).
The N600 label press can also be configured to operate in-line with a digital finishing solution via dancer roller web infeed. Standard features include automatic head cleaning. An optional corona treatment module supports a wide a range of substrates. Most industry label stocks can be used without pre-treatment.
Domino will unveil the 600 dpi K600 high resolution single color piezo ink jet system. Print widths range from 108mm (4.25 inches) to 780mm (30.8 inches), with scalability being achieved by mounting print modules across a bar.
Next Page: Digital booklet making & perfect binding
C.P. Bourg's (New Bedford, MA) near-line BSF booklet maker accepts stacks of output directly from most high-volume digital color printers as well as Xerox Docutech and Nuvera models, Océ Varioprint 5000 and Kodak Digimaster monochrome engines. The feeder can accept the largest sheet size currently printable on high-volume printers.
Operators wheel the output from the printer to the feeder, which will then align the stack and feed at up to 12,000 sheets per hour. Optional devices include the BCM sheet preparation module, which performs a bleed-trim and rotary creasing. The BSF can crease every sheet or just the covers at full rated speed. The Bourg BME booklet maker is a stitch, fold and trim system that produces booklets of up to 120 pages in one pass.
Bourg will show its BB 3002 perfect binding system with in-line CMT 330 three-knife trimmer on the HP stand. Offered in both EVA and PUR versions, the BB 3002 is reportedly the first entirely self-setting binder that senses the book's length and thickness.
Xerox's Ipex presentations will cover profit generating print jobs, increasing automation and 1:1 marketing. Attendees can personally interact with an XMPie-driven cross-media campaign — complete with a customized postcard, e-mail message, Response URL (RURL) Web site, Google Map, PayPal transaction, mobile message and fulfillment offering.
George Clark is president of Ipex 2010. He is managing director of Heidelberg UK, a logical choice for the Ipex 2010 advisory and ambassadorial role.
Ipex has selected John Crosfield as the seventh “Champion in Print” for his role in pioneering the Autotron automatic register control and color scanning technologies.
The Pira/Ipex Great Print Debates: RIT's Frank Romano oderates four pressing questions over the eight days of Ipex.
What does Ipex mean to you? Submit your video at www.ipex.org.
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Katherine O'Brien is editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at KOB@americanprinter.com.