Cover image also by Toni McQuilken, taken at Edison Litho, New Jersey
Oct. 13, 2008—With that annual gathering of the graphic arts market in Chicago known as Graph Expo fast approaching, Printing News thought we would give you a sneak peak at some of the technologies and machines that will be making news this year. The show, which will be held Oct. 26-29 at McCormick Center, will once more feature a wide range of product launches, updates, New Jersey and new and improved features across the board.
Before we get to specifics, however, we want to draw your attention to a few new features this year's show will offer.
One of the big new additions will be a show floor feature called Future Print, where RFID and Printed Electronics will be highlighted. It will feature live demonstrations, free training programs, educational presentations, and face-to-face opportunities to meet and talk with the experts. Attendees will also be able to register to win one of more than 1,000 prizes, including the grand prize of a Nintendo Wii Friends Bundle. Even if these technologies aren't in your immediate plans for the future, it will be worth taking a look, since the odds are good at some point, you'll want to have at least a passing understanding of how it all works, and how it can boost your revenues.
Another contest you might want to check out is a new Graph Expo Designer's Dream Office Giveaway. The package features top-of-the-line hardware and software, including the latest fully loaded Mac Pro, a 30-inch Apple flat screen monitor, all wireless system components, a flatbed scanner and printer, software, and a $500 gift certificate for a workstation. Attendees can enter to win at booth #5580.
Getting an Education
If educational sessions are what you're craving, there are three this year in particular that will be geared toward specific market segments you might want to check out. The first is for quick printers, called "Success Strategies for Quick Printers in Challenging Times." It will be held Sunday, Oct. 26 from 8:30 am to 10 am, and is sponsored by Quick Printing. The panel discussion will feature Quick Printing columnists, and will be led by Executive Editor Bob Hall. Discover the strategies and tactics you need to know to not only survive—but thrive—in a fluctuating economy.
The second themed session is for transactional printers, and is titled "Dazzling Revenue Results: High Impact Transactional Print." Sponsored by Xplor International, it will be held Monday, Oct. 27 from 8:30 am to 10 am, and will look at how well-designed statements can produce results that drive revenue, cut costs, and increase customer retention and loyalty. It will feature a panel of industry experts as they share examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly from some of their customers' efforts.
Finally, for in-plant printers, "The Future of Digital through the Eyes of an In-Plant Printer," Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 am to 10 am will focus on several digital areas of special interest to the in-plant printer. It is sponsored by IPMA and In-Plant Graphics, and will feature a panel of vendors and in-plant printers who will share case studies focusing on issues of the highest importance to the in-plant printer today.
There are, of course, many, many more seminars and educational opportunities at Graph Expo to take advantage of. It is worth your time to browse their Web site or catalog and pinpoint a few sessions that are relevant to your business to take full advantage of the knowledge and networking these events offer.
In the prepress arena, here are a few of the many products that will be shown in Chicago this year. As always, this is just a small sample—there are many more we couldn't mention here that are worth a look.
Essex Products Group, booth 3087, will exhibit advanced remote ink control systems that deliver consistent color, minimize makereadies, and reduce running waste. Among them will be the KeyColor C ink desk, featuring KeyColor AutoSet presetting software. KeyColor C is an ink control system that provides user-friendly, computerized control of fountain ink keys. Press operators adjust ink key settings from a central ink desk to speed makeready and reduce waste.
Van Son Holland Ink, booth 156, will display its VS series of commercial sheet-fed printing inks. The VS series provides trouble-free printing, faster make-readies, and consistent print color control. Van Son will also be introducing the Vs3 XS ink line, an enhancement to the Vs3 series of inks. The Vs3 XS inks are a more robust version of the Vs3 inks and allow printers to customize their process set. Benefits include X-Strength, offering an extra strong but balanced pigment range; X-Setting Speed, featuring extra speed for faster setting and drying; X-Stability, providing extra stability for balanced printing, and 4+4 perfecting control; and X-Specialize, giving printers the ability to customize their color capability when combining Vs3 XS with the standard Vs3 inks.
Enfocus, booth 5463, will feature updated versions of its PitStop Professional, PitStop Server, Switch and Instant PDF products for the first time at a U.S. show. The updated line includes compatibility with the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat, and QuarkXPress. For PitStop Professional 08 users, Acrobat 9 compatibility is being made available as free upgrades.
"Our 08 solution suite was very well-received at drupa," said Peter Camps, senior vice president, Enfocus. "Since that time, we have added Instant PDF 08 to the mix to make it even easier and even more worry-free for designers to create perfect, printable PDF files and for printers to benefit from reduced cycle time in the production process. We are excited to be showing these enhancements to the U.S. market at Graph Expo."
Dynagram, booth 5125, will introduce inpO2 version 3.0 to the U.S. market at Graph Expo. inpO2 V3 includes two new modules for automated ganging and imposition planning. It was introduced for the first time at drupa 2008. inpO2 delivers a scalable family of products based on a professional imposition engine. Designed for commercial printers both small and large, the inpO2 product line offers editions and modules to customize the right solution. inpO2 ATOM is the entry level edition for single document PDF imposition, and inpO2 Standard edition allows for more complex multiple-file jobs and downstream JDF workflows. Two new advanced modules are also available.
At EskoArtwork's booth 5246, and other locations on the show floor, the company will demonstrate a number of systems and solutions that help printers of all sizes and kinds operate more efficiently.
"EskoArtwork always attaches a high value to connectivity when developing its systems and products", explained Simon James, EskoArtwork president, North America. "Beyond supporting a number of open industry standards initiatives, we also have engaged in a multitude of industry partnerships to complement our and his concept has also been brought ‘home', as we have successfully integrated EskoArtwork systems to work seamlessly together. The result: a wide range of packaging and printing preproduction solutions at Graph Expo."
Within a year after the merger between Artwork Systems and Esko, file exchange has been made seamless between editor and workflow platforms, and users of the various components can have confidence that they will work in any EskoArtwork solution. Nexus and Odystar can now take advantage of EskoArtwork tools integrated with their current workflow and proofing systems to considerably increase their productivity. The result is a robust workflow with an exceptional number of options for any commercial printer.
Press & Postpress Preview
When it comes to press work and finishing, there are always many options for printers to choose from. Here is a sampling of some of the new and improved machines Graph Expo will bring to that ever-expanding table.
Automation in print finishing is the theme of Rollem's exhibit, at booth 3015. Visitors will see the Rollem Jetstream system operate in-line with an HP Indigo press as a postcard sheet is fed directly from the coating unit of the press.
The Rollem re-registers the sheet with new electronic scan system (Auto-Scan) for perfect registration accuracy, and takes the printed sheet into final cut size while the new Auto-Collation gathers finished cards into sets.
Business card sheets will be finished and delivered into an automatic boxing unit for high volume production. Multiple-up images are trimmed and slit in two directions, delivering finished product, eliminating the need for multiple machines, manpower, and stock movement.
In a dollars-and-cents world, prints continuously look for ways to optimize their operations. One way to reduce overhead and boost press efficiency is to look at MAN Roland's PRINTVALUE program. Its North American premier takes place at booth 1246. In addition, the company will be conducting early morning press demonstrations and will host Dr. Joe Webb's industry forecast seminar.
"The industry reacted very well to the introduction of PRINTVALUE at drupa, and now we are bringing it to North America at Graph Expo," said Vince Lapinski, CEO. "In today's economic climate, it requires more than just being a good printer with a good press. The PRINTVALUE program offers an across-the-board service strategy that puts you ahead of the competition. You can continue doing great work and now, at the same time, you can reduce costs and increase your efficiency by taking advantage of everything these programs have to offer."
Domino Amjet Inc., booths 2241 and 2693, will use Graph Expo to demonstrate how its fully integrated solutions for mailing and addressing applications offer opportunities for commercial printers to gain a competitive advantage through variable data printing. The show will also provide a platform for the U.S. launch of version 4.5 of the Bitjet+ binary printer.
Visitors to Muller Martini's booth 3822 can see changeovers performed live on the Primera E140 saddle stitcher, as well as view presentations/virtual tours of the company's latest equipment advances. During the show, Muller will highlight the new Primera E140 saddle stitcher, a machine that elevates print finishing efficiency and versatility to a higher level in the mid-performance range, providing print production operations with exciting ways to grow their profits. In addition, visitors are invited to view live and video presentations featuring highlights from the Muller Martini booth at drupa 2008. The company will showcase its new generation of ergonomically designed machines, and communicate how it can tailor its technologies specifically to each operation in order to assist customers in growing their businesses.