Graph Expo: Binding and Finishing — Outperforming Expectations

One of the focal points at the Domino booth was its drop-on-demand K150 ink-jet printing system for the mailing and addressing sector. It uses both UV and low-VOC solvent inks.

Sunday has always been a mixed bag in terms of floor traffic, but some onlookers found the first day to be brisk. “Compared to last year, we’ve been more busier for a Sunday,” noted Tim Palmer, graphic sales engineer for Videojet. “And the expectation is that it would pick up on Monday. We’ve already had five prospects come out.”

Among the newer products showcased by Videojet was the Crescendo v2 system controller, which allows a single Videojet BX6600 binary array printer to print on two separate lines simultaneously. This enables complex commercial and mailing jobs to be completed quicker.

Not that the economy hasn’t impacted printers’ ability to close out deals. Dan Maurer, vice president of postpress product management for Heidelberg USA, reported that it is taking longer for printers to get approvals for acquisitions. Still, Heidelberg is in an enviable position, with a 70 percent share of the 115-size (and up) cutter market.

Those companies that do business with Heidelberg, as Yogi Berra might say, really do business with Heidelberg. About 80 percent of Heidelberg’s profit comes from 20 percent of its customers, Maurer noted. The most initiated—those willing to invest during less-than-optimal periods—generally benefit most when the sun peaks out.

“When we come out of the recession, some printers won’t be able to deliver the same quality as their counterparts,” he added. “It’s not all about high performance and high technology. You can create value for customers by improving margins for the products they’re manufacturing. You can either add the ‘Wow!’ factor or improve your efficiency.”

Heidelberg used a live, integrated print shop within its booth to tout several cradle/grave solutions. On the finishing side, this included the 2008 InterTech Technology Award-winning PACE (Polar Automation for Cutting Efficiency) system and a Polar 137 XT cutter. Rounding out the postpress solutions were a Stitchmaster ST 450 and a Stahlfolder TH 66 folder.

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