May 16, 2005—At a MediaDays event in Chicago May 1–3, several firms updated the press on what is new and exciting within their organizations, and provided a sneak-peak at some Print ‘05 & Converting ‘05 must-sees.
Sponsored by Greenwich, Conn.-based public relations firm Broadford & Maloney, the event featured representatives from Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses, Xerox, Kodak Graphic Communications Group (GCG), Jetrion LLC, Printable Technologies, and Baldwin Technology Co. Inc., as well as an update from the The Print Council.
Comings and Goings
The biggest news from the Print Council was the announcement of a pro-bono alliance of public relations firms that will take turns writing press releases and background information for the association. They will rotate the duties, and Broadford & Maloney will handle all distribution to ensure a consistent look and feel.
Other participating firms include: CPR Marketing; HSPR; Hayzlett & Associates; Hebert Communications; Liberty or Death Communications; M Group; and NAK Marketing.
Martin Maloney, chairman of Broadford & Maloney and executive director of the Print Council, said “The Print Council members deeply appreciate the swift, enthusiastic response of these eight PR firms in support of the organization’s newly heightened commitment to raise awareness of print and the tremendous advantages it offers. This remarkable pro bono alliance of PR firms is unprecedented in the print world. It demonstrates the conviction that they all share in the tremendous value of print and in the importance of communicating that message to the marketplace.”
Ken Kodama, vice president of sheetfed sales for Mitsubishi, focused his presentation on what his firm plans to showcase at the upcoming event. The centerpiece of the company’s booth will be the 40", five-over-five Diamond 3000TP Tandem Perfector with inline aqueous tower coater, which will be running live jobs.
The Tandem runs at a top speed of 13,000 sheets per hour and handles thicknesses up to 32 points. To date, the company has shipped 46 of the presses, with another 17 on order.
The Mitsubishi booth also will feature information about the Diamond 3000R Double Diamond perfector and the MAX-Saver waste-reduction software package for commercial printers.
Xerox Makes Big Plans
This year, Xerox will claim the second largest booth at Print ‘05, approximately 30,000 sq. ft., and roughly three times more space than it had last year. For the first time, the company will feature a two-story booth, where visitors can walk up to a second level for a birds-eye view of the entire Xerox workflow and how it integrates.
In addition, the firm announced several new initiatives, one of which is the “Aspiring Authors” competition. The fiction contest is designed to stop the cycle of rejection letters that keep so many from seeing their work in print. The grand-prize-winning novelist will receive 100 published copies of his or her story, and $5,000 in cash. In addition, Xerox will print a free paperback copy of every novel entered.
Xerox is working with www.lulu.com, a Web site serving independent authors, whose on-demand publishing tools will support the contest submission process. Writers can enter the contest by visiting www.xerox.com/aspiringauthors. Step-by-step instructions will guide contestants through the process. To be eligible for the contest, writers must digitally submit a full manuscript no longer than 450 pages, a summary of their story, and a short biography. Entries must be received by July 1. To qualify, participants must be legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Only one entry per person may be submitted. Winners will be announced in September. The first 1,000 qualifying entries will be considered.
Jim Langley, president, GCG, took the opportunity to provide an update on what Kodak is doing and answer some of the questions that were left hanging at Drupa in Germany last year.
Mr. Langley stressed that Kodak’s strategy was to connect all the pieces—the firm wanted to assemble a front-to-back solution that customers could plug-and-play into. Whether printers want to run all Kodak software and equipment or just pieces here and there, the company wanted to ensure they had that ability.
The GCG division now consists of the former Encad, Kodak Versamark, NexPress, the Commercial Imaging Group, Kodak Polychrome Graphics, and, once the sale is complete, the newest and final part of the puzzle—Creo. The company plans to re-brand everything with the Kodak name, although no specifics were given.
Under Mr. Langley, there will be two individuals in charge of maintaining the group. Nachum “Homi” Shamir will serve as president of the transacation and industrial solutions portion of the group, and Jeff Jacobson, chief operating officer, GCG, also will serve as president of the graphic solutions and services segment.
According to Mr. Langley, the company is done for now with major acquisitions—they have all the pieces they were seeking to add. For now, they are moving into the implementation and execution stage, where the various technologies and companies will be blended together.
More than Ink
At Print ‘05, Jetrion LLC claims it will feature something for everyone—there will be new technology or news in every segment the company targets: mailing, wide format and billboard, packaging and specialty, and labels.
In the mailing segment, Jetrion will introduce a new environmentally friendly line of continuous inkjet inks. In addition, the company will highlight applications of the 3000-series printer line.
For wide format and billboard, the news will include unique process-color ink sets, with a wider color gamut, and Hexachrome and light color options.
The packaging and specialty sector is expected to highlight a partnership the company has with Crown Cork & Seal—together the companies have developed a way to digitally print on aerosol cans. The process uses a proprietary flexible ink formula, and Jetrion is planning to have samples on display at its booth.
Finally, the company is introducing a custom ink program for the label market. The program will allow printers to send Jetrion requests for unique ink formulations geared toward a specific substrate and/or application.