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GRAPH EXPO & CONVERTING EXPO 2003--Binding and Finishing

November 2003
A Strong Finish

Optimism was sky-high throughout the exhibit halls during GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO, held in Chicago this past September.


A sizeable segment of the vendors noted that there appeared to be more printers and trade finishers touting checkbooks—and fewer tire kickers at McCormick Place. Whether it is the first signs of economic recovery and prosperity in this country remains to be seen, but big crowds on the show floor was certainly a good sign. And it wasn't just the prepress and press vendors that reported brisk activity—those pitching finishing products found the latest GRAPH EXPO to their liking.

"We did very well. The show was extremely busy with a lot more people in attendance compared to the last three years," notes Jeff Marr, vice president of sales at Colter & Peterson. "I think the difference this year is that many people were looking to make some changes and upgrades in their plants. I came away from the show with very positive feelings."

Colter & Peterson's main thrust was its introduction as a new distributor for the Wohlenberg line of cutters, one of three brands the company highlighted.

While Marr didn't see a rush toward any one item in particular, he sees a buzz being generated around material handling equipment. "That's something that has really caught on in the past few years," he says.

While order writing was brisk, Marr had the opportunity to set up a number of post-show appointments. He is also a believer in the brighter economic forecast.

"In the past few years, it was basically a lot of people just looking around," he says. "But, when the doors opened on Sunday (the first day of the show), attendees flooded in. We were real busy both Sunday and Monday, from morning until night."

Action was also brisk over in the finishing area of the Heidelberg booth. Making its world debut was the high-speed Speedbander 603 banding system. The Speedbander includes automated features such as counting, pressing, jogging and banding.

Heidelberg also pulled up the curtain on the Dymatrix diecutting system, formerly known as the Jagenberg WPM 304, for the first time under the Heidelberg name. The cutter is billed as the only platen press in the industry with an upper moving platen equipped with roller bearings and motorized adjustment of cutting pressure.

Mechanical Debuts

The Probinder wire comb binding system was also showcased for the first time. It can handle between two and 200 sheets of 55-lb. offset or 30-lb. cover stock, with a maximum document thickness of 3⁄4˝.


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