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GRAPH EXPO & CONVERTING EXPO 02 -- Large-format Opportuniti

August 2002
It's not often an industry gets a close look at an $18 billion market worldwide that fits perfectly into its capabilities and skills, but is slipping by, largely uncultivated.

This fall's Graph Expo & Converting Expo will give the printing, publishing and converting business just such an opportunity—a comprehensive overview of the untapped large-format digital ink-jet printing market.

The show takes place October 6-9 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. It's the foremost U.S. exhibition in 2002, with an expected attendance of more than 40,000 buyers and about 500 exhibitors slated to occupy nearly 365,000 net square feet of booth space.

Large-format ink-jet output systems will be a prominent part of the exhibits roster. These systems produce everything from one-off presentations to museum exhibition panels, creating a U.S. market that could be worth as much as $11.3 billion in the United States alone by 2005, according to a recent study by NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies.

Small Slice of the Pie

However, commercial printers are getting hardly any of this business. In fact, the NPES report warns that even though large-format ink-jet printing represents "a large and growing incremental print market," commercial printers currently command only about 15 percent of it.

"There's a big market opportunity out there that printers are missing," contends Patti Williams of IT Strategies, one of the authors of the NPES study. She adds that "today, the retail value of large-format ink-jet output is about $18 billion worldwide. As we move forward, if printers don't put a stake in the ground in this area, their customers will never think of them as a source for this sort of work. They run the risk of a technological lock-out."

Everything the printer needs to know to seize this opportunity and expand into large-format ink-jet printing will be on display at Graph Expo & Converting Expo.

According to the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), the exhibition's manager, producers of large-format ink-jet systems scheduled at this writing to exhibit include Digital Output, ENCAD, Epson America, MacDermid Printing Solutions, Océ Printing Systems, One Vision, Scitex Digital Printing and Xeikon America.  

In addition, three sessions of the Graph Expo & Converting Expo seminar program will focus on the specialty. Two sessions, Wide-format Printing I and Wide-format Printing II, will explore the types of products being produced by large-format ink-jets, the hottest market segments, prospective size of the market, how to break in and diverse technological challenges associated with the process.
 

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