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Inkjet Summit 2013: Production Inkjet, the True Game Changer

June 2013
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Considering the key role he played at the onset of the print-on-demand revolution in the early 1990s, it was no surprise that Charlie Pesko—founder of InfoTrends and the On Demand Digital Printing Show—had a few words to say at the inaugural Inkjet Summit held April 9-11. Citing the way the Xeroinaux DocuTech set the printing world on fire back in 1991 and launched the digital transformation of the industry, he noted that inkjet technology was similarly poised to transfigure the printing world.

“Production inkjet printing will be what we call the second stage of digital printing—lower cost and extremely higher speeds than EP (electrophotographic) technology,” proclaimed Pesko in his opening address. “The annual retail value of production inkjet printing will top $10 billion in five years in the U.S. alone. It is a very disruptive technology and will displace both EP/toner-based digital and offset volume. Inkjet is the next big game changer in the printing industry.”

From that point on, the rest of the three-day summit set about proving that statement, and impressing upon the assembled printers the need to act now before their competition beats them to it.

Held at the elegant Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, near Jacksonville, FL, the first-of-its-kind Inkjet Summit drew more than 65 print professionals, comprising CEOs, general managers, and senior vice presidents in charge of plant operations, technology and digital print operations at leading companies, including Allegra Network, Cenveo, Classic Graphics, Consolidated Graphics, Courier Corp., RR Donnelley, DST Output, EarthColor, Hallmark Cards, IWCO Direct, GLS Cos., Japs-Olson, Mercury Print Productions, Total Printing Systems, Tribune Direct, Publishers Printing, Standard Register and Walsworth Publishing, to name a few.

All attendees were hand-picked and vetted by the summit’s organizers, nGage Events and North American Publishing Co. (publisher of Printing Impressions and In-plant Graphics magazines). They spent three days networking and learning from one another, while enjoying a non-stop program of keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and user conversations.

The near-constant flow of information provided printers with an in-depth look at everything involved in making cut-sheet and continuous-feed production inkjet printing work for them—from the effect of paper and ink choices on productivity, to the critical role of automation and in-line finishing on their profitability.

Attendees, some of them admittedly blasé about inkjet at the onset, were bowled over by the deluge of practical knowledge they received. Many commented that they had never considered factors like their digital front ends and other workflow needs, feeding and finishing requirements, as well as paper selection and how profoundly their paper choice could impact print costs and productivity.
 

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