PRINT 13 Preview: Casting a Wider 'PRINT' Net
"Being able to print on new substrates is critical, particularly for something like wide-format graphics. It allows for new applications," Boer says. "If I can print something on a stretchable piece of film or vinyl and wrap it around a car, the printing is going to cost $500, but to wrap it will cost the customer $2,000. So, you have all these auxiliary services being enabled by the development of new ink chemistries. That's a significant enhancement."
Getting in on the ground floor of a printing technology can enable companies to reap greater margins while navigating the learning curve, Boer stresses. That's one of the primary value propositions of the PRINT/Graph Expo experience.
"Because you're able to get a better profit margin, you're able to make more mistakes while you're coming up that learning curve," Boer says. "That's something we all underestimate. Sure, you can wait to buy the next generation of product but, the longer you wait—and, yes, the machine might not be as expensive in 12 months—the more you're going to miss out on moving up that learning curve."
Trish Witkowski, the chief folding fanatic at Foldfactory.com, whose 60-second Super-cool Fold of the Week video appears in this magazine's "Today on PIWorld" electronic newsletter, is eagerly awaiting the PRINT show. She notes that print finishing machinery is becoming increasingly modular, flexible and functional.
"Flexibility has really been an overall theme in print finishing over the past few years, as manufacturers are looking for ways to offer more than, say, just a folding machine, or just a saddlestitcher," Witkowski notes. "As printers entertain the idea of replacing often decades-old bindery equipment that may still be working just fine, thank you, manufacturers are loading up their machines with features that enhance the versatility and value of the investment. It gets better and better.