Print 05 & Converting 05 -- See the Unforeseen
And who knows? Perhaps the show's biggest headlines will turn out to be about something you saw here first.
"I'm struck by how seldom any more things really come out of left field," says veteran industry consultant Dennis Mason. "I think this represents a societal change, not a technological change. Companies, politicians, everyone has trouble keeping a secret today."
Information spreads through the industry faster and more widely than ever before, with the result that real surprises have become scarce, Mason feels. Nevertheless, he ventures a few projections.
"What I would look for at PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 that might be hot five years from now would include workable demonstrations of real-world JDF applications, with JMF fed back to an MIS system to produce meaningful data and reports," Mason notes. "This will be very hot five years from now.
"I also plan to look for indications that ink-jet printing can be scaled up to the point where it might be competitive with lithography. And I will be looking for continued demonstration of the viability of flexographic printing, especially for color control that can be applied to the multiple color ink sets that the flexographers use in packaging."
Ink-jet developments are also on the mind of Bill Lamparter, president of PrintCom Consulting. He expects ink-jet devices to give toner-based printing some serious competition in the next few years, thanks mainly to significantly improved quality.
Lamparter has had a front row seat for many of the most striking developments of recent years because he chairs the Executive Outlook conference preceding each big show and has administered the selection of each show's "Must See 'em" displays.
This year, ink-jet printers good enough to challenge toner printing and eventually even offset are just one of the things Lamparter senses might be waiting in the wings.