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DIGITAL digest

May 2009
On Demand Expo Easily Clears Lowered Bar

PHILADELPHIA—Expectations for the 2009 On Demand Expo were widely scaled back, obviously none moreso than those of a couple of major printing system vendors that opted not to participate. Walking the show floor on opening day, it became apparent that other vendors had significantly cut back the size of their booths and/or the number of machines they displayed.

Even so, exhibitors generally reported being pleased with the attendee traffic relative to their lowered expectations. According to the show’s organizers, a combined total of more than 20,000 people participated in the On Demand and AIIM International co-located events.

Software categories dominate the annual On Demand Best of Show Awards program produced in partnership with the InfoTrends industry research and consulting firm. Included among this year’s winners were XMPie’s Personnal Effect 4.6 (1:1 Communications), Bitstream’s Pageflex Storefront 7.0 (Document Creation and Web-to-Print Software), FreeFlow Express to Print from Xerox (Workflow Solutions) and version 11 of Avanti’s Graphic Arts Management System with CRM module (Print MIS/ERP).

Products selected on the equipment side included the Canon imagePRESS 1135/1125/1110 series (Monochrome Digital), Océ CS130T/195T/260T cut-sheet family (Color Digital) and C.P. Bourg’s BME bookletmaker (Bindery, Finishing and Mailing). Two other Best of Show winners were Millmar Paper’s Xtreme coated cover stock (Innovations in Paper Usage) and the Unibind/UniQover finishing combination from Peleman Industries (Innovative Use of Technology).

Canon and Konica Minolta both bucked the trend by packing a lot of printing engines into their booths. Along with its “Best of Show,” 1,200 dpi black-and-white printer, Canon highlighted the companion imageWARE Prepress Manager v1.3 workflow upgrade that offers improved chapter manipulation and job subsetting capabilities. Konica Minolta previewed its bizhub PRO 1200, a 120 ppm monochrome printing system due out this summer, and showed the recently introduced bizhub PRO C65hc “high chroma” color printer that outputs 65 ppm using a new toner with a wider color gamut.

Black-and-white was also in fashion at Xerox, with the addition of the 200 ppm Nuvera 200 EA (Emulsion Aggregation toner) model to its 4,800x600 dpi monochrome production printer line. It was shown running with the new GBC eBinder 200, which creates lay-flat and wrap-around books up to 8.27x11.69?.

On the color side, vendors focused on innovations shown at Drupa 2008. Océ did offer attendees a first look at its new CS Tandem cut-sheet platform, which links multiple CS665 Pro color print engines with a centralized server and color management software to provide consistent output at higher production rates. It showed a video of the recent extensions to its color ink-jet press family for high-volume page production, but Screen (USA) really carried the ball for the ink-jet product segment with its 420 fpm Truepress Jet520 press running on the show floor.

InfoPrint Solutions opted to focus on applications instead, including its ongoing efforts with the CMO Council and select enterprises to demonstrate the effectiveness of transpromo marketing by undertaking pilot programs and making the results public. There was also one announcement made on the ink-jet front just prior to the show, covering Pitney Bowes now selling the RISO HC5500 color ink-jet printer.

Among the other press-related news at the show was Xanté’s introduction of the Ilumina 502, a high-capacity version of its 12x18? device for printing on heavy stocks. Presstek added to the “increasing productivity and profitability” theme of the show by announcing the availability of a new white paper—“How to Bridge the Strategic Production Gap Between Offset and Digital Toner: Adjusting the Print Manufacturing Platform to Meet Today’s Market Requirements”—available through its Website.

There were only a few wide-format printing devices scattered around the show floor, one of which was the Acuity Advance UV flatbed printer from Fujifilm Graphic Systems USA that is said to be 40 percent faster than previous models.

The finishing product segment, in contrast, had a high profile and accounted for several of the larger booths at the show. In one of them, C.P. Bourg debuted the aforementioned BME bookletmaker that handles stock sizes up to 141⁄2x231⁄2? and produces up to 5,000 booklets per hour. Also unveiled was Duplo USA’s DBM-350 mid-range bookletmaker and trimmer, featuring automated setup and speeds up to 3,000 books per hour. MBM’s new 201⁄2? Triumph 5222 Digicut hydraulic cutter offers a programmable backgauge module and an adjustable clamp.

Several vendors showcased recently introduced products that were being displayed at an On Demand show for the first time. Standard Finishing highlighted the Standard Horizon BQ-270C single-clamp perfect binder designed for producing up to 500 books per hour with a single operator. Spiel Associates’ Sterling Digipunch features a touchscreen control, variable pile lift and speeds up to 60,000 sph. Part of its line extension into smaller formats, the Prism PC 32i cutter, from Colter + Peterson, features a 32? width and a cast-iron frame.

Naturally, announcements from paper companies focused on environmental responsibility. Finch Paper introduced Casa Opaque Digital, an uncoated recycled digital paper with 30 percent post-consumer fiber and FSC certification. Following its acquisition of SMART Papers’ uncoated brands, Mohawk Fine Papers said it was increasing its purchasing of wind power credits to cover production of those grades. NewPage has added FSC chain-of-custody certification to its Sterling Ultra Digital paper line and established two new inventory locations for its entire digital portfolio to provide quicker access.

There’s always something new in software these days because it’s in everything and is constantly being updated. Here are just some of the announcements made at On Demand:

• EFI rolled out Fiery Command WorkStation 5.0, which is said to reduce operator errors by up to 30 percent through centralization of job management on Fiery servers.

• Support for Adobe Creative Suite 4 and the new Response URL wizard and templates for cross-media campaigns are among the enhancements in XMPie’s PersonalEffect 4.6 upgrade.

• ROEye is a monthly e-newsletter and landing page program from MindFireInc that its clients can private label to market themselves.

—Mark Smith
digital bytes

ROCHESTER, NY—Presented in a new format that focuses on marketing innovation and strategy, the 38 new case studies added to the 2009 Digital Print Case Studies collection from PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, brings the total to more than 350. The collection covers 10 vertical markets and dozens of different business applications, with each writeup highlighting the marketing ideas, objectives, planning and production that went into creating the digitally printed pieces. Non-members can purchase individual case studies for $25 each. 

PITTSBURGH—Frank Kanonik, a recognized expert in digital printing, has joined Printing Industries of America’s staff as a non-resident consultant and trainer. He most recently held positions at Xerox Corp. and ProSource Printing, along with having worked for more than 20 years at the GATF. PI












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