PRINT 13 Delivers the Goods
My feet were so happy when PRINT finished up last Thursday afternoon. After spending long days in the MBO America booth, it was time to take stock. First, the pundits who have proclaimed PRINT 13 a great success are not exaggerating. Most exhibitor booths were busy, busy, busy. There was an energy present that had been sorely missing from earlier GRAPH EXPO shows.
The show opener on Sunday—traditionally a slow day—was anything but. Vendors were pleasantly surprised at the activity. What I heard, and experienced first-hand, was that most visitors were "high-quality" management from printers, and (more important) came in with active projects and were ready-to-buy. The fourth quarter is typically the busiest of the year, when firms must "use, or lose" their capital allowance, and this was the case at the show.
So, what was new on the finishing side? I didn't get a chance to visit every booth, but I didn't see any ground-breaking technology. What I did notice was a continuing trend towards inline finishing in digital. This is driven by continuing price pressure on both offset and digital printers. When you're faced with bringing costs down, there's only so many tools you have, and a standout is the cost of labor. Inline finishing allows you to produce the final product with as few people as possible, keeping labor costs low.
I'll have more to add on some of the new systems I did see next week.