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Switching gears

Sep 1, 2010 12:00 AM


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Visit Graph Expo now

AMERICAN PRINTER is sponsoring “Graph Expo 2010: A Virtual Preview.” It's a free interactive tour of new equipment and products as well as a convenient way to network with industry experts and to plan your show agenda.

The Virtual Preview also features presentations from industry experts including Frank Romano, Jim Hamilton, Mary Redmond and Jeff Hayzlett. Vistors can view their presentations on demand.

See www.graphexpo.com/virtualpreview.

Graph Expo 2010 is the year's largest graphic communications exhibition and conference in the Americas. But come October 3, some familiar landmarks will be lacking in Chicago's McCormick Place South. HP will occupy the largest booth; prime real estate that typically housed Heideberg. The Atlanta-based offset press vendor is sitting out this show, as are two other press manufacturers.

Heidelberg vows to return next year. Press iron purists will see Akiyama, Goss, KBA, Presstek, manroland, Goss, Screen and xpedx/Ryobi. Fujifilm's Digital Inkjet J Press 720 covers both bases: The exterior of the 4-up press resembles an offset device, but there's no mistaking its inkjet interior. Graph Expo also marks a shifting distribution picture, following Agfa's acquisition of the Pitman Co. and Kodak's subsequent reseller pact with xpedx.

Nonetheless, reports of offset's demise are premature. “Offset is not going away,” says RIT's Frank Romano. “It's only some vendors that are making it look that way.”

Bill Bonallo, vice president of IST America Corp.'s sheetfed group, concurs: “The industry is definitely experiencing significant changes, and digital's advance into certain market segments cannot be denied or, in fact, discouraged. But I think time will show that there is a place for both. Digital and offset will thrive together in the markets they are best suited to address.”

Few U.S. printers ventured to Ipex, so the Chicago show will feature many North American product debuts. Some industry observers predict Heidelberg might announce a digital partner, although no clear favorite has emerged.

As they did in 2009, show organizers provided incentives to encourage vendors to bring their equipment. “Visitors will see leading edge technology, the best of the best products and services,” says Michael Makin, CEO, Printing Industries of America. “There will be no shortage of equipment, information and knowledge.”

Digital & inkjet developments in review

InfoTrends' Jim Hamilton presented “New Directions in Digital Print” as part of Graph Expo's Virtual Preview. Hamilton began with three key cut-sheet announcements from OnDemand 2010: Canon's imageRunner Advance 8105, Konica Minolta's C8000 and Xerox Color 800/1000. Canon's 8105 monochrome device follows the vendor's color introductions last fall. Konica, according to Hamilton, is making steady inroads into midlevel production. Xerox's Color 1000 with its fifth station (shown with clear toner) is part of a larger trend toward offering value-added trends beyond CMYK. Other examples include Oce's ColorStream, Kodak's NexPress, HP's light cyan and magenta capabilities. Offline options include standalone coaters such as MGI's JetVarnish.

Inkjet devices will challenge toner-based devices, predicts Hamilton. “The ability to print on economical coated papers is the single largest barrier to success.”

Partnerships will be prominent at Graph Expo. Note that:

  • InfoPrint Solutions Co., the joint venture between IBM and Ricoh, is now a wholly owned Ricoh subsidiary.
  • Pitney Bowes has teamed with HP to offer the IntelliJet 20 and the IntelliJet 30 high-speed digital color printers to transaction and mailing specialists.

Replay Hamilton's presentation at www.graphexpo.com/virtualpreview.

The inside scoop

We asked Ralph Nappi, president NPES, GASC, for some inside insights on Graph Expo 2010:

Several key press manufacturers aren't exhibiting. How are the show organizers responding?

Certainly we are disappointed, but we understand this market is the toughest our industry has ever experienced. Each company decides the best way to respond to these times. Although we think being in Graph Expo provides a competitive advantage for exhibiting companies, we respect their decision. And because these companies are also members of NPES, we do everything we can to help them deal with our industry's challenges.

If someone is hesitating to attend, what might entice them?

Graph Expo has transitioned over the last few years to actually be 11 shows in one, so an attendee in any one of these segments (commercial printers, in-plant printers, package & specialty printers, book printers & publishers, quick printers, wide-format printers, mailing & fulfillment pros, transactional printers, creative services pros, newspaper production pros and print buyers) will find, along with all the latest technologies of specific interest to them, trend information directly relevant to their business.

They also will be able to customize their educational experience with segment-specific seminars and free presentations offered throughout the show, network within and across market segments, discover unique new applications to sell now, and learn best practices to engage immediately. In this way, we provide a unique and specific proposition for each attendee who is seeking solutions to stay competitive and grow their business. In fact, new this year and meeting with strong positive response are the activities created especially for newspaper production execs. Our News Print pavilion has been expanded once already, and with the support of the Inland Press Assn. and News & Tech, this new show floor section devoted to the needs of newspaper publishers and printers offers them, in addition to their own business networking hub, the tools and information they need to be able to cut their costs, boost their profits and make informed buying decisions.

Cutting edge sheetfed and web technology

KBA North America is affirming its commitment to customers, the industry and cutting-edge technology for the sheetfed and web markets. The Dallas-based firm will be promoting its wide array of presses — from the 20-inch Genius 52 UV 20-inch to the large Rapida 205 81-inch — and the variety of substrates (including plastic, lenticular and board), specialty techniques, and modern automation to help printers grow their business.

The “E” stands for ecofriendly and economical on the Rapida 75 E, KBA's latest addition. The 23 × 29-inch sheetfed press targets printers seeking energy and space savings. The new press reportedly reduces makeready times by more than 30% while using half the energy of comparable presses. It is now available with an optional output of 16,000 sph and can handle up to 30-pt.-thick stock.

The C16 web offset pres (“C” is short for commercial) provides a high net output; quick job changes; low levels of startup waste; enhanced production flexibility; and reduced operator, energy and maintenance input.

See www.kba.com.

User groups meeting at Graph Expo

  • Dscoop comes to Chicago | The Digital Solutions Cooperative (Dscoop), an HP users group, will hold a networking and education program for members in conjunction with GRAPH EXPO 2010. The day and a half event starts on Monday, Oct. 4, with an evening reception at the River East Arts Center. Members will reconvene the following day for a leadership breakfast, in the Grand Ballroom of McCormick Place. An panel discussion, open to all show attendees will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Joe Truncale, president and CEO of NAPL, will moderate.

    See www.dscoop.org.

  • MIS mavens to meet | The EFI Connect Advisory Panel and EFI's Pace Users Group will hold their meetings in conjunction with Graph Expo 2010. The EFI events are slated for Tuesday, Oct. 5. The EFI Connect Advisory Panel will meet from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. to plan for the annual EFI Connect Conference. The EFI Pace Users Group meeting will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The event is open to all EFI MIS owners and their sales, marketing and production teams in North America.

    See www.efi.com.

Workflow, inkjet web, flatbed and CTP

Screen USA, a prepress pioneer, will showcase digital printing along with workflow and solutions. Launched in 2006, there are more than 200 Truepress Jet520 color inkjet web installations worldwide. Applications include variable printing of books, newspapers, direct mail and transpromotional materials.

A grand-format UV inkjet printing system, Truepress Jet2500UV produces photographic quality and precise text said to rival offset printing.

The Truepress Jet1600UV-F is an easy-to-use flatbed device for printing full-color signs and displays. It can produce backlit graphics, posters, point-of-purchase materials and construction signage.

Trueflow SE Ver. 7.0, Screen's flagship PDF- and JDF-based workflow management system, optimizes print production for digital/conventional offset operations.

Screen's commitment to CTP can be seen in the PlateRite FX1524 and FX870II. Applications include labels, flexible packages, cartons and corrugated cardboard packages.

See www.screensusa.com.

Inkjet innovation takes center stage

Kodak's booth will feature the Prosper Press, the Magnus 800 platesetter, and a newly introduced photo scanner, as well as workflow solutions.

“We will be catering to the needs of our customers with compelling applications targeted at their business growth goals today and in the future,” says Chris Payne, director and vice president, business to business marketing. “There will also be live presentations in the K-Zone where Kodak customers, executives, industry experts and members of the media will discuss trends, success stories and share best practice examples. Graph Expo is an important event for Kodak's graphics business, giving us a great platform to demonstrate that we don't just sell the power of print, we believe in it.”

See www.kodak.com.

InterTech Technology Awards

Pittsburgh, PA-based Printing Industries of America (www.printing.org) will present the 2010 InterTech Technology Awards at the 2010 Printing Industries of America Premier Print Awards and InterTech Technology Awards Gala, October 3 during Graph Expo 2010. The technologies receiving this award have been judged as “truly innovative and expected to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry.” The independent panel of judges deliberated over technology nominations ranging from software solutions to press consumables and printing systems. The winners:

See www.printing.org/InterTech.

VDP controller for bindery lines

Videojet's VIP ControlPro inkjet and bindery line system lets users control bindery line components with a single solution. VIP ControlPro can manage equipment such as saddlestitchers, folders and mail lines, including: inside/outside personalization; geographic and demographic binding; and carrier route stacker control. The system also facilitates inline printing of variable data, such as text, addresses, barcodes and graphics on items such as magazines, catalogs and direct mail pieces.

See www.videojet.com.

Photobooks that are built to last

On Demand Machinery (ODM) recently installed a complete case binding system at GOphotobooks.com, an on-demand photo printing facility in Fremont, CA. The setup includes the ODM Super Sewer (inline sewing), Casemaking System, Sticker (casing-in), Smasher (building-in) and Separator (diecutting) machines.

“When we founded GOphotobooks, we wanted the best of the best. And after reviewing many systems, none could compare with ODM and the service provided by John Jacobson, Jr. and his team,” says Rich Weaver, CEO and cofounder. “We know that by sewing every book and using his solution, we are delivering the best in the industry.”

See www.odmachinery.com.

Digital, workflow and large-format to dominate

HP will feature the new HP Indigo 7500 digital press. HP says the new machine will “replace small and midsize offset presses for high-quality color applications such as photo books, marketing collateral and personalized direct mail.” HP SmartStream display will demonstrate workflow solutions that enable print service providers to manage jobs efficiently from online submission through print to fulfillment.

Also on display: HP's expanded large-format printing portfolio, including the recently announced 126-inch HP Scitex LX800 Printer, the largest device using HP Latex Printing Technologies, and the 98-inch HP Scitex FB700 flatbed printing solution with optional white ink upgrade kit for specialty applications. The HP booth also will feature the new HP Designjet Z5200 printer for copy shops, quick-printing firms and other small commercial print businesses interested in entering the large-format market.

See www.hp.com/go/graphic-arts.

Digital engines, VDP solutions and mobile options

Xerox will feature the Xerox iGen4 Press, Color 1000 press, 700 digital color press, Nuvera 288 perfecting press, 1300 continuous feed printer, the Espresso Book Machine and other Xerox print engines. Visitors can experience Xerox's completely automated end-to-end solutions with its FreeFlow Process Manager and Web Services, and see a number of business development tools. Application hubs will feature opportunities within automated collateral fulfillment; books and manuals; digital and offset; direct marketing; packaging; photo publishing; and transpromo.

XMPie will highlight software for variable-data print, cross-media, Web-to-print and marketing analytics with the “XMPie Advantage Playground.” These self-service kiosks are loaded with XMPie and customer applications, including personalized video and music, retail coupons, Web-driven greeting cards, and the newest XMPie-driven mobile solutions.

XMPie also will present XMPie Hosted e-Media Express EditionT, an entry-level version of Personal Effect e-Media, delivered as a subscription-based SaaS solution.

See www.xerox.com.

MIS specialist expands integration

Avanti continues to expand its third party integration portfolio with partners such as HP SmartStream, Xerox FreeFlow, Heidelberg Prinect, Kodak Prinergy and Printable Technologies. Avanti will also showcase the new features of Version 12 of its award-winning Print MIS system including Avanti CRM/Microsoft Outlook integration. See www.avantisystems.com.

One-pass mailing system

Pitney Bowes Connect+ Series mailing system prints logos, graphics, return addresses and meter indicias or mail permits in one run, on one machine, in one pass. It offers digital high-resolution 1200-dpi inkjet printing in process color or black. Connect+ can run mixed-size mail with no additional setup. Users can generate revenue with transpromo messages as well as print barcodes, coupons and maps. See www.pb.com/connectplus.

twitter
Keep current

Here are a some recent exhibitor tweets:

Count Machinery: Pile feeder into the few Count Coat UV Coater. See www.youtube.com/user/countmachinery.

Easypurlcom: Study forecasts $3 billion in subscription revenue from “interactive periodicals” by 2014. See www.nextissuemedia.com.

RISO blog: Are high-quality glossy marketing pieces worth the cost? See www.risoprinter.com.

AMPRINTMAG: New blog post: Best pizza in Chicago. See http://blog.americanprinter.com.

You'll find a compilation of vendors on Twitter at www.twitter.com/graph_expo/exhibitors

Ask the experts

Learning opportunities abound at Graph Expo. “More than 45 seminars will be offered, giving attendees an in-depth look into the world of social media, digital technologies, prepress and production strategies, as well as many other topics ,” says Michael Makin, CEO, Printing Industries of America. “ Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about digital technology and to speak about its business potential with Julie Shaffer, vice president, digital technologies. Additionally, our research team will be available throughout the show, and they will be highlighting solutions with events and interactive presentations.”

See www.printing.org.

LED & UV: A sure cure

UV and LED curing technologies will coexist, predicts Bill Bonallo, vice president of IST America Corp.'s (Bolingbrook, IL) sheetfed group. “One technology will likely not replace the other, but supplement it,” he says.

LED's narrow wavelength window imposes tight parameters for inks and other coatings. It is the limited and relatively unrefined/developed LED compatible materials (inks, coatings and their subcomponents) that are really the limiting factors in this emerging technology. There's also the potential price hurdle of replacing an entire LED array vs. a single conventional UV lamp. “We, as an industry, don't have a lot of documentation on these potential costs yet,” says Bonallo.

LED's wavelength restrictions, coupled with the spectral output required for the system to achieve a cure comparable with what is achievable with current “standard” UV technology, requires higher power output. Higher LED power levels require water cooling to the device, contradicting industry buzz that says water cooling is not necessary (albeit a fraction of the water cooling capacity compared to conventional UV systems). “When you enter into the higher power LEDs, the costs of ownership becomes closer and closer to what we are doing with conventional UV,” says Bonallo.

IST's new water-cooled LED UV system (“LUV”), offers multiple wavelengths (365-395 nm) within the same array for maximum flexibility.

The LED buzz is fueling energy saving innovations for both technologies. “At IST, we are dedicated to increasing the operating and energy efficiency of our traditional UV systems in addition to developing LED technology, and have been for years,” says Bonallo. “We're pursuing a higher level of efficiency ink cure with a lower level of energy and having great success along the way.” IST is the only UV system that has earned the certified designation of “energy minimized UV” from the German trade association for printing and paper processing [BGDP].

IST's exclusive UV reflector geometry and multiple position shutters (closed, intermediate or wide) yield significant energy savings on its newly developed UV end-of- press sheetfed press curing system. Only two (200 W/cm each) individual plug-in modules are required (on certain system configurations).

Also new: the MBS-5 Inkjet UV system for high-speed inkjet applications. The totally air-cooled MBS-5L UV system targets narrow-web label applications.

E-mail info@usa-ist-uv.com.


For an overview LED UV technology as well as potential graphic arts applications, see Bill Bonallo's articles at http://blog.americanprinter.com/in-focus.