Graph Expo: Binding and Finishing — Outperforming Expectations

IT WOULD be easy to look at all the optimism that emerged from Graph Expo with a skeptical eye. After all, the economy is in shambles, credit markets have tightened, and many printers and mailers out there who haven’t abandoned their plans to invest in new technology have at least put them in a holding pattern. Right? Well, most of this is true, to an extent. The economy tanked in October, but those who had planned on making an investment had their financial ducks in a row before the Dow Jones hit the fan. As for credit, several lending institutions had high-visibility booths; they aggressively pursued show-goers and made it known they had capital to offer.

As for the printers who hedged their bets, well, that group has existed since Johannes Gutenberg churned out his first yard sale fliers. And they were easily out-pointed by company executives looking to not only bolster their binding and finishing capabilities, but take advantage of the bonus depreciation offered in this year’s economic stimulus package.

But don’t take our word for it. Countless binding and finishing technology providers were candid in their positive assessments of how the scene went down in McCormick Place South. It wasn’t all cartwheels and champagne popping, but this year’s Graph Expo did exceed the expectations of many.

Dave Ellen, sales vice president for Domino Amjet’s North American commercial printing division, expected to book $1 million in sales, and points out the company has already booked a bigger booth for PRINT 09. The high expectations are a result of a wildly successful 2008 for Domino.

“We’ve grown our machine line by 70 percent this year,” he said. “When times get tough, people look at automation and integration. They want to improve throughput. They want to compete without spending vast amounts of money.”

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