Another machine introduced at drupa, the Uvistar Pro8, is a high-speed, superwide inkjet printer for point-of-purchase products, banners and billboards. It has a backlit camera option that automates registration for two-sided printing.
On the finishing side, Fujifilm highlighted Esko's Kongsberg XP digital cutting table, which can enable print providers to generate high-margin products including 3D items, boxes and table tents, among other things.
Another highlight of the Summit was a wide-format user panel, consisting of representatives from Miller Zell of Atlanta; McCoy Limited of Torrington, CT; Wallace Printing of Newton, NC; and Brown Industries of Dalton, GA. They discussed the digital evolution, among other topics, and the degree to which it has not only made their businesses more competitive, but kept them relevant as well.
"We had been struggling in screen printing," noted Bill Gillespie, vice president of printing operations for Brown Industries. "We hired a consultant who advised us that 80 percent of what we were printing belonged on equipment that we didn't have."
Naturally, several guests peppered the printer panel with ROI questions. One company wrote its machine down in four years. For justification, another recommended running business equivalent to four to five times the cost of the machine. Still, one printer pointed out the danger of number crunching, stressing that pricey substrates can account for the lion's share of the cost of a wide-format job.
In the end, going down the wide-format digital printing road requires a leap of faith, as Andy Riberdy, president of McCoy, observed: "At some point you have to take the plunge, like we all did." PI