Print 05 & Converting 05 -- See the Unforeseen
But there's no reason to wait, says consultant Clint Bolte, who sees RFID development as just one aspect of a very promising arena.
"Keep in mind that the low hanging fruit in 2005 as far as RFID revenue streams to printers are concerned is postpress," Bolte contends. "Applying these labels, programming them and QC'ing their application. Printing of RFID may not go mainstream for another year or two. But those who wait for the ink to flow could miss out on some interesting beta testing and credibility building. This year's home run will be in postpress," he concludes, "and I have no idea yet who will hit it! I'm nearly giddy with anticipation at more in-line finishing 'specialty' apps for digital printing that, again, may not necessarily come from the big-name finishing suppliers."
This year might see the beginning of the end of proofing, Lamparter suspects. Creating quality proofs for client review and final job contracting has long been an industry preoccupation, but the concept of "reverse proofing" may turn all those hard copy and soft proofs into relics.
With reverse proofing, the client does all image prep work except imposition and possibly trapping, Lamparter explains, noting these functions aren't usually addressed in a proof in any case. The client then provides the printer with the job file accompanied by a set of spectral data. As long as the printer matches that data within agreed-upon tolerances, the client says, "I don't have to see anything," according to Lamparter.
Other major trends likely to create excitement at the show include the ever-expanding integration of production processes and the continuing exploration of JDF implementation. "JDF is still not well understood in its long- and short-term benefits," says Prince. "Can you envision automatic scheduling of 500 jobs?"