Observations from IPEX 2006

IPEX Preview Day: Multiple Vendors Get a Jump on the IPEX 2006 News

The day before a major printing industry exhibition is traditionally reserved for a massive press conference by Heidelberg. At IPEX 2006, Heidelberg shared the spotlight with MAN Roland, Drent Goebel and Canon. In chronological order, the follow are some highlights from the day’s press conferences:

Drent Goebel has become a major player in printing machinery, especially with its recent acquisition of RDP Marathon. The company’s biggest markets are Russia and Eastern Europe. Its product emphasis is now on hybrid printing.

The most significant introduction by Drent Goebel at IPEX is its staggered plate capability, which is said to increase productivity by essentially eliminating the ‘straight across’ gap on the printing plate. This enables offset printers to use a staggered layout for, say, labels, as is commonly done by flexographic printers. The Drent Goebel system uses a diecutter to match plate and blanket, and to make the gap follow any line desired. The plate and blanket are then attached to the cylinder using adhesive tape. The company claims the maximum speed supported by this approach is 400 meters per minute.

Its ‘Plus Size’ press concept was the big product announcement from MAN Roland. Expanding the plate size by just a few millimeters in one direction is said to enable printers to increase productivity up to 50 percent by altering their page layouts on a 40-inch press.

A great deal of the press conference was devoted to the spin-off of MAN Roland from MAN. Gerd Finkbinder arrived from NEXPO in the U.S. to say that present management would stay in place, and that very little change would be apparent to customers.

The company also announced the sale of a DICOweb press to Artoos in Belgium, and the first UV installation at a newspaper–the Herold in Vienna, Austria.

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