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Staff Reports

On the Road

By Staff Reports

About Staff Reports

As they travel to industry conferences, trade shows and media briefings, Printing Impressions editors will post onsite accounts of these events.

 

On Demand In Transition

 
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Last Thursday afternoon, the On Demand Conference and Exposition completed its 2011 run at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The venue itself ended up being part of the story because it contributed to the event feeling more like a conference with an exhibit hall, rather than a trade show with an education track.

Attendees had to wend their way down two levels and past the Itex 2011 Expo for office solutions and co-located Assn. for Information and Image Management’s (AIIM) info360 Expo to reach the On Demand show floor. The main and upper levels housed the education sessions, including the debut of the Publishing Xchange Conference as another co-located event.

Canon USA had the commanding booth in terms of size and location, followed by Konica Minolta Business Solutions and Ricoh/InfoPrint Solutions. GBC, MGI USA, Barr Systems, GMC Software Technology and Graphic Whizard where among the other exhibitors that anchored the show floor.

HP also could be included in the latter group, but it again elected to be located in the info360 portion of the hall, albeit just across the aisle from the designated On Demand portion. Among the noticeably absent companies were Xerox and Kodak (for a second year), as well as Océ as a separate booth rather than just part of Canon’s. The exhibitor list did top 90 companies, down just slightly from 2010.

Much of the exhibit hall had the feel of the tabletop displays at Seybold Conferences in the early years or the Solution Showcases at today's Dscoop meetings. There were some larger pieces of equipment on display, however, even several high-volume inkjet presses.

Canon used the event for the U.S. introduction of the DreamLabo 5000 seven-color, roll-fed printer with a 12˝ width and 2,400x1,200 dpi print resolution. The device is positioned as an alternative to silver-halide technology for retail photo printing applications—including prints and photo books—due to its dense, nearly continuous imaging, but also as a solution for “high-end print-on-demand” products because of its high-definition text printing capabilities.

Scheduled to be available in the United States early next year, the printer has a 12˝-wide print head that uses Canon's proprietary FINE inkjet technology to apply CMYK plus photo cyan, photo magenta and gray dye-based inks. It currently can run four media types and do double-sided printing on two of the grades. DreamLabo 5000 can output a maximum 40 single-sided sheets of 4x6˝ photos per minute (with internal automatic cutting) or produce a 20-page (doubled sided) photo album in 72 seconds.

Océ did have a presence on the show floor, including as part of the new imagePRESS C7010VPS production press introduced at the event. This first joint development effort for the two organization integrates the Océ PRISMAsync controller with Canon’s 70 ppm color print engine.

To mark its new partnership agreement with Screen (USA) that was announced at the show, Konica Minolta displayed a Truepress Jet520 inkjet web press in its booth. Konica Minolta is now offering the complete line—monochrome and color—of digital presses. The company also announced the availability of the new bizhub PRESS C70hc color printer, a 70 ppm version of its color print engine running High Chroma toner for an extended color gamut.
 
On its half of the combined Ricoh/InfoPrint Solutions booth, the latter again displayed the InfoPrint 5000 inkjet production printer at the expo. New from InfoPrint Solutions, a Ricoh company, was its Managed Automated Document Factory Services offering, which is a turnkey, cloud-based or onsite-hosted workflow solution for transactional document production with compliance requirements, such as HIPAA or Regulation Z for healthcare, financial and insurance documents. It is positioned as a solution for mid-market companies that reduces their IT requirements and converts the capability from a capital expenditure to an operational one.

MGI USA also had an inkjet device of a different sort on display with its JETvarnish spot UV coating system, in addition to showcasing the Meteor DP60 Pro multi-substrate digital color press. And RISO demonstrated new MICR, envelope and multi-stock printing capabilities on its ComColor sheetfed inkjet printers.

Among the announcements in the toner arena, ECRM showed the DPP 1200 color printer, which can be driven by a customer’s existing RIPmate workflow or purchased in a configuration with the Harlequin-based RIP. It prints up to 31 ppm (letter-sized) in color with conventional offset screening to 175 lpi and a maximum 12x18˝ sheet size. Xanté introduced a top-loading, continuous-feed option for its Ilumina digital envelope press, along with showcasing its iQueue Pro software.

Those are just some of the highlights of what attendees saw around the 2011 show floor, which continued the trend of offering a heavy dose of binding and finishing solutions. Next year, On Demand moves back to New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and will run from June 12-14, 2012.
 

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