DIGITAL digestJune 2008
Attendees clearly came to the GUA conference to learn, even given the temptations of Vegas. A session on Prinergy 5.0 was standing room only and the hot ticket (for an additional fee) was to the “Rules-based Automation” class sessions. More than 50 presentations and roundtable discussions were offered over the course of four days, covering topics such as workflow, color management, digital printing, sustainability, MIS and transitioning from a printer to marketing services provider. There was also a lab area where hands-on product demonstrations were offered.
During a special breakfast briefing, Clifford and other members discussed the board’s goal of increasing user participation in the association. In her column this month (page 72), Cary Sherburne highlights a marketing campaign GUA did this year to that end.
While the conference can stand on the merits of its content, several board members pointed out that the incentive offered by Kodak ensures a return on attending the conference. In 2008, North American attendees received a $3,000 credit toward the purchase of select software solutions within six months. Users from the same company site or sister sites may combine up to three credit offers for a total value of $9,000.
Shop Adds A Big Ink-jet Footprint
MISSISSAUGA, CANADA—Even by large-format printer standards, the Onset four-color, UV ink-jet machine from Inca Digital Printers is really big. Its 101⁄2x5-foot print area and flatbed design mean the unit takes up a lot of floor space, especially when it is configured with automatic material handling systems. Displaying the printer at the average trade show simply isn’t practical.
As an alternate way to at least give the media a first-hand look, Inca and its distribution partner, Fujifilm Sericol, recently piggybacked a briefing with the customer open house held by its first North American installation site, Holland & Crosby. The majority of the 30-employee shop’s work is point-of-sale materials for the retail sector. It continues to operate a four-color, in-line screen press and an EFI VUTEk 3360 roll-to-roll ink-jet printer, but sold an Inca Turbo ink-jet printer and a two-color screen press when it installed the Onset.
“The term ‘breakthrough’ is used a lot, but it (the Onset) truly is a breakthrough,” said Scott Crosby, an equity partner in the firm. He and his partner were crunching numbers within hours of first seeing the machine and signed an order about a month later. The printer’s output and square-foot cost were what sold them on it, according to Crosby.
Onset is a play on words with the term offset, said Terry Mitchell, director of marketing for Fujifilm Sericol USA. Designed for point-of-sale and other display work, the printer is being positioned to fill the production gap below the competitive range of large-format offset presses, Mitchell explained. It primarily is a lower-cost alternative for most, but not all, screen printing and offers greater productivity than previous digital solutions, he added.
With a top output speed of 500 square meters per hour, the printer is two to six times faster than other digital flatbed devices, asserted Bill Baxter, Inca’s managing director. Its productivity is ensured by incorporating 576 print heads into the imaging unit, thereby providing the nozzle redundancy required for fault-tolerant operation, he said.
CHICAGO—IPA, the Association of Graphic Solutions Providers, has published an independent, technical examination of digital printing systems, including devices from HP, Kodak, Konica-Minolta, Xeikon and Xerox. Copies can be purchased online at www.ipa.org/digitalprint.
SAN DIEGO—Printable Technologies and Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group announced the integration of Printable’s Web-to-print solution, FusionPro Web, with the Kodak EMS business software. The products are being interconnected through a combination of Web services and data streams. PI