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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.

 

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