June 12, 2006—Keynotes and company information aside (for coverage of these, see Printing News’ June 5 issue), a primary lure to any trade show is the chance to see firsthand the new products and technology that will drive business in the coming year. The AIIM & On Demand Conference and Exposition, held in Philadelphia May 15–18, was no exception, with hundreds of exhibitors displaying wares. Here is a sample of what attendees found on the show floor.
XMPie (www.xmpie.com) unveiled uEdit, a Web-based document editing solution. uEdit is a Flash applet that enables remote online editing of documents using a Web browser. It provides the ability to easily add online editing of documents and templates to Web Services-based solutions, including custom-made Web-to-Print applications.
In addition, the company launched the uCreate plug-in for Dreamweaver. This simplifies the integration of Web and print media in a one-to-one cross media campaign. It also eliminates any need for Web designers to use Dreamweaver scripting tools to program campaign rules, or handle the complexities of connecting the Web site to the raw databases that feed the campaign.
Printable Technologies Inc. (www.printable.com) featured PrintOne Store 6.0, the new version of its e-commerce and production workflow software. Scalable to thousands of items and tens of thousands of end users, PrintOne Store offers secure online access to branded catalogs of static, versioned, and variable documents, ad specialties, and inventoried items.
New features and functionality include: a new user interface; a new workflow, including shopping carts and shipping method selection; Quick Order, which allows products to be added to an order by selecting it from a list, entering a quantity, and choosing “add to cart;” kitting, allowing service providers to offer product kits with static print on demand, inventoried items, and/or customized items; and PrintOne Dashboard, the online control panel into which a full range of components are integrated to allow service providers to control access, orders, RFQs, job specs, file transfer, reports, and administrative tasks.
Creo Print On-Demand Solutions Group (PODS) (www.creopod.com), an independent unit of Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group, released the latest version of the Darwin VI authoring tool for Adobe InDesign CS2 users who utilize the Windows operating system. Version 1.5 includes advanced features for enhanced variable-data printing (VDP) production, such as multiple automatic barcode generation, and personalized images for creating one-to-one campaigns.
Rochester Software Associates Inc. (www.rocsoft.com) introduced WebCRD 6.0, an online ordering and print job fulfillment/production management application. The new version sports an updated ordering interface that simplifies the process, as well as enhanced variable-data workflows. Variable-data forms are designed with applications of the user’s choosing, and form fields are added to specify the variable areas.
Templates are made available to customers, who then can upload .csv files, enter data, or access their WebCRD address book. Print-ready PDF files are sent to the print center, pre-ticketed, and ready for output.
The company also introduced AutoStock at On Demand. This new module for WebCRD enables automated inventory tracking and reordering based on inventory level triggers.
Putting It on Paper
When it comes to paper, especially for digital applications, the choices can sometimes be limiting. Mohawk Fine Papers (www.mohawkpaper.com) is looking to change that with the release of Strathmore Digital Papers. Made with the company's i-Tone process, originally developed as a Sapphire-free alternative for the HP Indigo presses, the line has been expanded to include papers for the Kodak NexPress and Xerox iGen presses. It includes Writing Digital and Script Digital, both in a variety of weights, and both retaining the feel of traditional writing papers.
Press and Postpress Power
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. (www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us) debuted new additions to the bizhub Pro line of production printing products: the bizhub Pro C6500, accompanied by the polymerized toner Simitri-HD; and the bizhub Pro 1050 with a Perfect Binder finishing option.
The bizhub Pro C6500 comes in 10 configurations, and can process up to 200,000 impressions per month. It has an output capacity of up to 3,900 sheets per hour in both full color and black-and-white, and is able to cope with media weights of up to 300 g/m2. The small particle size of Simitri-HD achieves smoother halftone reproduction, and a vast improvement in text reproduction and sharpness. In addition to the output benefits, the small particle size leads to less toner being used.
“With the bizhub Pro C6500 and Simitri-HD we are confident that we have a truly compelling proposition, which will continue to increase our share in the production printing market,” said Kevin Kern, vice president, product planning and development, Konica Minolta.
The Perfect Binder (PB-501) is the latest addition to the finishing range the company offers. This add-on is designed to accompany the bizhub Pro 1050 and take its number of system configurations up to 18.
Advanced automation and processless plate technology are two features Screen USA (www.screenusa.com) emphasized when it demonstrated the four-color TruePress 344 digital offset press, a direct imaging (DI) press incorporating technologies in chemistry-free plates and high-speed laser imaging. It has a maximum sheet size of 13.4x18.5", and a maximum imaging area of 13x181/10". It utilizes high-speed 830 nm multi-array laser diode (MALD) imaging to expose processless plates, and has a top printing speed of 7,000 sheets per hour.
The firm also debuted the Truepress Jet 520 inkjet printing press. A continuous-feed, single-pass inkjet printer using piezo drop-on-demand technology, it runs at up to 420 full-color pages, or 209.9' per minute.
Océ (www.oceusa.com) displayed a variety of technologies at their booth, with two new presses at the center. The conference marked the U.S. debut of the VarioPrint 6250, a digital duplex cut-sheet printing system. Featuring Gemini Instant Duplex technology, the VarioPrint 6250 can print at up to 250 letter-size duplex prints per minute.
Also debuting in the United States was the VarioStream 9230 three-over-three black-and-color-capable production system. It uses the company’s CustomTone highlight color, allowing users to print black and two colors on each side of a page. CustomTone, available in September for VarioStream 9000 systems, will enable users to take advantage of what the company calls “job appropriate color,” printing outside the standard CMYK range.
Custom colors for branding or other requirements can be integrated into the printing process along with black-and-white output with one pass.
“This is an extremely exciting conference for Océ and our customers, as we showcase some of the most innovative products available on the marketplace. From breakthrough duplex output, to job sppropriate color, to interoperability, Océ continues to demonstrate leadership in areas that help customers achieve greater productivity and performance,” said Joyce Virnich, vice president of marketing, Océ digital document systems.
Xerox Corp. (www.xerox.com) launched the 50 page-per-minute DocuColor 5000 Digital Press at On Demand. Designed for print providers that average between 30,000 and 150,000 impressions per month, it features 2400x2400 dpi print resolution. It has a high-capacity paper feeder that holds 4,000 sheets, with an optional feeder that can expand capacity to 8,000 sheets from four trays. There are two optional finishing devices: a high-capacity stacker, and a stacker/stapler.
“The DocuColor 5000 gives customers what they need to enter the digital color market or grow their current digital color business right here, right now,” said Quincy Allen, president, Xerox production systems group. “Xerox’s 10 years of experience developing industry-leading digital color printing systems has resulted in an unparalleled product line; more than 16,000 Xerox DocuColor production systems are installed worldwide.”
Canon USA Inc. (www.usa.canon.com) showcased a number of new imageRunner models, as well as large-format imagePrograf devices, and imagePress technology.
“Canon is uniquely positioned to offer a broad range of solutions, both hardware and software, to fit any organization and help to solve real document handling, management and workflow challenges,” said Tod Pike, senior vice president, imaging systems group, Canon.
The color imageRunner C5180 uses Canon’s next-generation color imagePlatform system architecture. Based on four-drum technology, it is the first of several new models scheduled for launch this year. It operates up to 51 pages per minute, for both black-and-white and color, and is available as a base model that can be expanded to fit different printing or scanning needs, as well as a model configured with enhanced features for general office environments.
The imagePrograf iPF9000, at 60"; the iPF700, at 36"/600 at 24"/500 at 17" rounds out the company’s portfolio of large-format printers. The iPF700/iPF600/iPF500 will target users in the corporate and CAD markets.
The iPF9000 will be equipped with a 12-color printing system, featuring Lucia pigment inks, and the company’s Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) print head technology.
The imagePress C7000VP/imagePress C1 are targeted at the commercial print and graphic arts markets. The imagePress C7000VP will print at 70 pages-per-minute for letter-sized output in color and black-and-white, and the imagePress C1 will deliver up to 14 pages-per-minute color and 60 pages-per-minute black-and-white.
General Binding Corp. (GBC) (www.gbc.com) announced a new digital adhesive on their Lay-Flat film. Digital Lat-Flat provides superior adhesion and flat output when laminating electro-photographic prints. Developed as a replacement for the Hi-Tac adhesive, it is designed to create an aggressive bond with prints containing high levels of fuser oil. It is available in clear and matte finishes, and widths that correspond to electro-photographic print sizes.
Business Development Plans
With all of this technology, firms may need help sorting out what they actually need, and how they can best use it to boost their bottom line.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) (www.hp.com) introduced the Total Customer Experience program, with services ranging from business development, to service and support. It is divided into three initiatives: the Indigo Business Development Program, Digital Press Service Implementation and Customer Ramp-Up Management Program, and Instant Support for Digital Printing (ISDP).
“Our Total Customer Experience programs are designed so that we are with our customers every step of the way—starting with the evaluation and installation of our presses, to growing and developing new business,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Division, HP.
“The DocuColor 5000 gives customers what they need to enter the digital color market or grow their current digital color business right here, right now.”
The HP Indigo Business Develop-ment Program will feature offerings designed to increase the knowledge of digital press users to help them win new business, including pre-sales consultancy, ROI tools, and guides for design and color applications.
The Digital Press Service Implementation and Customer Ramp-Up Management Program is an operator training program to help speed the transition to full-scale production on the HP Indigo. And the ISDP will provide remote monitoring to reduce unscheduled downtime.
Eastman Kodak Co.’s (www.kodak.com) MarketMover Business Development Services program will fill a similar role. MarketMover features an expanded range of tools, resources, and support to enable customers to maximize their ROI in new technologies.
Service professionals will work directly with customers to develop marketing plans, train senior management and sales representatives, and support marketing and sales programs. It also includes educational materials, marketing and sales tools, application samples, and customizable templates.
“Graphic communications providers are facing growing competition and are looking for ways to transition their businesses. They want more aggressive marketing efforts and new sales strategies,” said Jeffrey Hayzlett, chief marketing officer, Kodak Graphic Communications Group. “Kodak MarketMover services help printers develop actionable marketing plans and train sales teams to uncover new revenue opportunities. Bottom line: We can help customers get their business where they want it to go,” he added.