DIGITAL digest 9-01
To help ensure that the press meets customer expectations, a developmental version of the NexPress 2100 was put into operation at Spire (an evolution of Graphics Express) in Boston for almost a year. For most of that time, the company reports it sold work produced on the press, even though it was restricted from revealing what device it was using. In late summer, Spire was scheduled to have its original press swapped out for a "commercial unit."
The single-source marketing communications firm offers a mix of traditional offset and digital printing, with a heavy emphasis on variable-data work in the latter case. It also offers design/creative services, which President Rick Dyer sees really driving the $22 million business going forward.
Rochester, NY-based Cohber, a printing and communications company, holds the distinction of receiving the first commercial unit to come off the NexPress 2100 assembly line. According to President Erik Webber, the company dropped the word "Press" from its name to reflect the broader range of services it has expanded into, including database-driven, one-to-one marketing. Nevertheless, the $28 million printer's two plants still house a mix of six-, eight- and even 10-color sheetfed offset presses.
"With the NexPress 2100, we will enhance our ability to help companies communicate their messages more effectively using printing that is more dynamic and cost-effective," says Howard "Buzz" Webber Jr., chairman and CEO. Webber adds that reliability was his real hot button in evaluating this new digital press, but he also liked the fact that there were no click charges.
Color on the Horizon
At the time of the press tour, Xerox characterized FutureColor's product design and development as ongoing, with beta testing and the formal product launch expected later this year. The company has been very guarded in talking about specific performance capabilities of the press. Instead, the development team talks about "third-generation" digital color systems that at 100 pages/minute mark a "breakthrough" in productivity.