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Media Days — Get Ready to PRINT

August 2009 By Mark Smith
Technology Editor
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NORMALLY, THE point of comparison for PRINT 09 would be the 2005 show and maybe Drupa 08, but attendees will find the show floor more akin to Graph Expo 08 in terms of the number of exhibitors and the makeup of their booths. The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) has taken an unprecedented step to maximize the amount of equipment on hand by offering exhibitors a stimulus program to offset most of their setup costs. It also hosted a Media Days briefing for nearly 50 members of the international industry press, at which the following group of companies shared some of their plans for the show.

Kodak is set to prosper, according to Chris Payne, director and vice president of business-to-business marketing, most notably by using the term as the brand name for products based on its Stream continuous ink-jet printing technology. The company has already commercialized the Prosper S10 monochrome imprinting system and has moved up the schedule for the initial installations of the new Prosper Press 241⁄2˝ platform to the first quarter of 2010. 

Its toner-based Nexpress digital color press line, meanwhile, is getting a productivity boost with an upgrade to the SE platform that features the Intelligent Calibration System and the top-of-the-line SE3600 that outputs 120 ppm. For black-and-white applications, the new Kodak Digimaster EX300 prints at a maximum 300 ppm.

Now Taking Orders

On the workflow front, InSite Campaign Manager, for integrated marketing campaigns, and the ColorFlow solution, for color management of the entire production process, will be commercially available at PRINT 09. 

Also highlighted will be Prinergy Digital, which can drive other digital devices as well as Kodak digital presses, and the Intelligent Prepress Manager controller.

manroland indicated it was still finalizing its booth layout. According to CEO Vince Lapinski, the company is focusing on cost-efficient, flexible production capabilities, and giving sheetfed printers the innovations they need to produce new products. Examples include the makeready advantages of the Roland 700 DirectDrive press and enhancements such as Inline Inspector, Inline ColorPilot, Inline Foiler Prindor and CutCon Plus automated web cutoff control.

In place of its usual PIXI Awards program and event, Xerox is instituting the Best-of-the-Best Contest for its Premier Partners, and will produce the winning, real-world customer applications in its booth. This is part of its focus on helping customers drive profits, which includes offering free, 30-minute consulting sessions that attendees can sign up for in advance of the show. On the equipment front, the company will have the high-volume Concept Color 220 color press, iGen Automated Packaging Solution and ColorQube 9200 series of solid-ink color printers on display.

Konica Minolta is still finalizing plans for previewing a next-generation bizhub PRO color engine that will either be on public display in its booth or behind a curtain for restricted viewing. The platform is reportedly targeted to the mid-range printer market, “offers a different economic model” (high speed and quality at a new price point) and is set for release in the first half of 2010. The company will also highlight its bizhub PRO C5hc color printer with high-chroma toner, the now commercially launched bizhub PRO 950 color system and the new bizhub PRO 1200/1051 monochrome series.

New from MGI Digital Graphic Technology will by a Super format printing option—13x40.15˝ or up to 47˝ long with manual feeding of materials—for its now FOGRA-certified Meteor DP60 Pro digital color press. The machine handles up to 350 gsm paper and 16-mil plastic substrates, and outputs a maximum 65 ppm at 2,400 dpi. 

The firm’s JETvarnish 20x29˝ ink-jet spot UV coating system will also have its first major showing and the Meteor DP20 photo press will be on display.

RISO introduced the third generation of its cut-sheet ink-jet printers for business documents, which features a much smaller footprint and enhancements to the Forcejet piezo ink-jet technology that are said to reduce clogging in lower-volume production environments. The new ComColor series is offered in five models with maximum rated speeds of 90 ppm to 150 ppm, and a top resolution of 300x600 dpi. An envelope feeder add-on (AR9000) is expected to be available by PRINT 09.

New configurations of its current digital offset presses will be featured by Presstek, including the 52DI-AC model with integrated aqueous coater previewed for delivery in 2010, and the UV-based versions of its 52DI and 34DI. Jeff Jacobson, chairman, president and CEO, wasn’t prepared to share details of a new plate the company hopes to introduce in Chicago, but did say printers are looking for a true chemistry-free product and the ability to see the image on the exposed plate.

Choice of Configurations

Ricoh Americas will be showcasing its Pro C900 and new Pro C900s (integrated scanner) color systems with enhanced finishing options and a choice of digital front ends (DFEs). The devices print 90 ppm at 1,200 dpi and feature Trained Customer Replacement Units. 

Also on display will be the new Ricoh Pro C550EX/C700EX (55 ppm and 70 ppm, respectively) color systems and the Pro 907/1137/1357 EX series of monochrome printers.

While not ready to reveal all of its product announcements slated for the show, EFI revealed plans to use PRINT 09 as a launching pad for Fiery upgrades, including a new-generation DFE based on Adobe PDF Print Engine 2 and incorporating image enhancement tools. Already slated for release are the Command Workstation 5 job manager, Fiery SeeQuence Suite imposition/workflow software and EFI Web Control Center color-managed file transfer software. The company’s range of wide-format printing systems, MIS solutions and the Jetrion 4000 UV ink-jet system will also be on display.

Henkel will formally launch MiraFoil coatings as an alternative to hot foil stamping and board laminating. The recyclable, UV-curable material can be applied in the coating unit of any press with suitable UV capabilities, and is said to reduce costs by eliminating production steps, cutting waste and enabling metallic effects to be printed in select areas.

Set for its North American debut, Lake Image Systems’ IntegraVision PQ is a camera-based print quality and data integrity system that can detect printing defects as small as 0.5mm, and is adaptable for verifying variable data jobs. It can scan across the complete web and also provides an audit trail. The company will also highlight solutions for implementing Intelligent Mail Barcode and ePedigree technology, the latter being a way to track pharmaceutical products throughout their life cycle.

DiMS! organizing print will launch the full release of its DiMS.NET! version, which is based on Microsoft’s .NET technology and has the look and feel of that company’s products. It is a Web-enabled platform designed to support multi-plant operations with 50 to thousands of employees. The system can be configured with a variety of modules that communicate with one another, including a new scheduling component that proposes the most efficient way to run a job and report live job updates from the production floor.

PRINT 09 will take place September 11-16 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. PI


 

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