Editor’s Notebook: Inkjet Bursts Along Trail to drupa 2016
As the countdown to the drupa 2016 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, continues, so does the flurry of special pre-drupa press events and major industry conferences like the Inkjet Summit and Dscoop. Much of the hoopla, as expected, centers around production inkjet printing advancements. I recently attended a Komori America open house in suburban Chicago, where the 23x29˝ Impremia IS29 inkjet UV cut-sheet perfecting press debuted; an international press event in Heidelberg, Germany, for the unveiling of the seven-color, 28x40˝ Primefire 106 industrial inkjet package printing press, which was jointly developed by Heidelberg and Fujifilm; and a trip to Boca Raton, Fla., where a drupa sneak peek was provided as part of Canon Solutions America’s third annual anniversary event.
Later this month, I’m headed to a Xerox press event in Rochester, N.Y., followed by HP Indigo and Landa pre-drupa meetings in Israel. At another multi-vendor media event in Germany — this one covered by my co-worker Bob Neubauer — Kodak announced its UltraStream continuous-feed inkjet technology. Erik Cagle, senior content editor, will be covering a different multi-vendor briefing in Bruges, Belgium.
April will see the Dscoop conference in San Antonio, immediately preceded by the second Jetcomm HP PageWide inkjet web press user group meeting, then followed by the fourth-annual Inkjet Summit in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (which is previewed in this issue).
All of this travel has been good for my frequent flyer airline program status, but not so good for my home life, waistline or sleep patterns. But, then again, I wouldn’t trade this leadup to the “all-things-inkjet” drupa 2016 for anything. Continuous-feed, and now cut-sheet, production inkjet technologies have breathed new life into our industry. It’s not just about the presses, either; paper mills, pre/postpress equipment manufacturers and software providers are all scrambling to keep pace with related new offerings. Similarly, printing company executives are increasingly jumping on the inkjet bandwagon, realizing that its impact can be revolutionary, not just evolutionary, for their businesses.
Unfortunately, a relatively small percentage of U.S. printers actually make the trek to visit drupa, which fills 17 large halls within the expansive Düsseldorf fairgrounds. For arguably the greatest graphic arts industry trade show on earth (now on a three-, not four, year cycle), seeing is truly believing when it comes to the immense power of print.