PRINT 13 Preview: Casting a Wider 'PRINT' Net
So what can we expect to see at PRINT 13 in Chicago? Jim Hamilton, production group director for InfoTrends, will provide a presentation at Executive Outlook on a topic that has been of particular interest, not just in the printing industry, but the technology sector as well: 3D printing. Hamilton notes, "It's an interesting topic, but except for Afinia—which has 3D offerings and will be showing a label printer—there will be few, if any, 3D printers on the show floor.
"I'm also looking forward to seeing the B2-format digital printing products. The HP Indigo 10000 has been on the market for some time now, and we should see some other examples, including Konica Minolta's KM-1, which was shown as a technology demonstration at drupa 2012. It's a bit too early for Landa, but they did announce at China Print that they will be going into beta testing with a B1-format unit early next year," he adds.
"The high-speed continuous feed inkjet market continues to grow, and though I'm not expecting any big new product announcements, there will be plenty to see including an Océ ColorStream 3900 in the Canon Solutions America booth. Another interesting area is the use of UV inkjet for coating, dimensional and other applications. MGI has expanded its offerings with the JETvarnish 3D and Scodix showed some great print samples at China Print and PrintPack India, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring."
Marco Boer, vice president of I.T. Strategies, believes that the smaller footprint and lack of monster-sized machinery will make for a more intimate experience, and thinks show-goers will benefit from vendors putting on more application demonstrations.
As for technology, Boer feels digital inkjet will continue its dominating presence at the show. Breakthroughs in ink chemistry technology will also help to open some doors for printers, he notes.