Demand is Building Again
PHILADELPHIA—"Traffic seems to be up" was a common refrain heard at the recent On Demand Conference & Expo, where more than 24,000 attendees visited the combined event (the printing expo was again co-located with the info360: AIIM Expo + Conference).
During the opening day of the expo, market research firm InfoTrends announced the results of the fifth annual On Demand Best of Show Awards program. Winners were named in eight categories:
• 1:1 Communications—Pageflex Campaign Manager 7.5, Bitstream Inc.;
• Bindery/Finishing—Sterling Doublebinder, Spiel Associates;
• Color Digital Printing Equipment—bizhub Press C8000, Konica Minolta Business Solutions;
• Innovative Use of Technology—GMC PortalBuilder, GMC Software Technology;
• Monochrome Digital Printing Equipment—bizhub Pro 950, Konica Minolta Business Solutions;
• Print MIS/ERP—CRM Microsoft Outlook integration, Avanti Computer Systems;
• Web-to-Print Solutions—Printgroove v1.5, Konica Minolta Business Solutions; and
• Workflow Solutions—WebCRD, Rochester Software Associates.
With the Ipex 2010 international printing exhibition looming, major product introductions weren't expected, but some vendors opted not to wait.
Beat Ipex to the Punch
Designed to offer a price and volume point below the iGen 4, the new Xerox Color 800/1000 digital press models output 80 and 100 pages per minute (ppm), respectively. Their key feature highlights include use of EA toner and an optional fifth station for flood and spot application of a clear dry ink. They can be driven by the Xerox EX print server, which is powered by the faster, next-generation Fiery System 9 R2 platform, based on the Adobe PDF Print Engine version 2, EFI introduced at the show.
Konica Minolta publicly launched the bizhub Press platform—which was shown by invitation only at PRINT 09—with the initial C8000 model (slated to ship this summer) rated at 80 ppm and handling a 13x19.2˝ maximum sheet size. The company says its Simitri HD+ toner and image processing technology produces quality rivaling offset printing.
Presstek opted to save the formal introduction of its new 75DI digital offset press model for Ipex, but did note the new format (maximum 31.02x23.62˝ paper sheet size) on its On Demand booth signage. The first showing of the 75DI press in North America is scheduled for Graph Expo in October.
Having completed its tender offer and acquired a majority of Océ shares, Canon Inc. stated at On Demand that the Dutch company was now officially one of its subsidiaries, but continued to be a publicly traded entity. Canon featured an expansion of its imageRUNNER Advance platform—the 8000 and 6000 Series monochrome lines, offering models with top speeds of 105 and 75 ppm, respectively.
Océ announced "general availability" of the 121 ppm Océ VarioStream 7120 continuous-feed, monochrome printing system, and introduced the new Océ DFS30 tape binder for Océ VarioPrint systems.
Down the aisle, InfoPrint Solutions was on the verge of being fully owned by Ricoh as the final phase of the three-year deal with IBM was set to be completed this month. InfoPrint showed new Automated Document Factory (ADF) components, including the ADF ROI Calculator and the InfoPrint Mail Insight extension for InfoPrint ProcessDirector, which helps users implement the Intelligent Mail technology.
HP's booth was on the AIIM side of the hall, where it was highlighting upgrades to the HP Exstream custom communications software. Application Manager enables content to be centrally managed and shared across users, while Command Center automates production scheduling and centralizes production management.
Xanté announced the availability of its free iQueue intelligent color workflow, a content and production management tool designed to support Xanté Ilumina digital color press users.
On to the Bindery
Makers of binding and finishing equipment again occupied a considerable amount of the show floor space. Among the announcements made in this sector were:
• Standard Finishing introduced the Standard Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital saddlestitcher that produces up to 6,000 booklets per hour; a new variable model—Horizon BQ-470V—perfect binder for efficient handling of different book block thickness; and the new Standard Horizon PSX-56 stacker.
• Making their U.S. debut, from Duplo USA, were the Alpha Saddle saddlestitch bookletmaking system, which also produces up to 6,000 books per hour; the DC-745 slitter/cutter/creaser, designed for producing full-bleed pieces at up to 50 sheets/minute; and the semi-automatic Ultra 200 UV coater.
• GBC announced an extension of its partnership with MBM Corp. that enables it to now offer the latter's entire line of document finishing equipment.
The photo publishing segment received surprisingly little attention at On Demand. Mohawk Fine Papers was an exception, with its launch of Mohawk Maestro software designed to enable photo labs and digital print providers to build online catalogs of photo products.
Questex Media Group, producers of the co-located events, also announced the move to Washington, DC, next year. On Demand and info360 will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on March 22-24, 2011, coinciding with the ITEX trade show for office technology and business solutions and its Managed Print Services forums. PI