International Media Summit: The Buzz About IPEX
WITH MORE than 1,000 exhibitors from over 40 countries, IPEX 2010 is poised to deliver plenty of premedia, digital and offset press, postpress, finishing and converting solutions. Held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK, from May 18-25, the show will occupy more than 645,835 square feet of floor space, filling 11 halls.
Evolving from the Great Exhibition of 1851, IPEX now heralds itself as the largest English-speaking global technology event for print, publishing and media. Acquired by IIR Exhibitions in 2006 from industry association Picon, a new footprint was created to provide visitors with a floor layout that features the entire print production workflow. The organizer recommends using the IPEX Website (www.ipex.org) for registration information and a host of show specifics, such as sales brochures, the exhibition layout, an exhibitor list and hotel accommodations.
To promote the show, IIR Exhibitions and AD Communications recently hosted the IPEX International Media Summit at the ExCeL London international exhibition and conference center. Some 80 journalists, representing more than 100 graphic arts titles from around the globe, gathered for a preview of what nine exhibitors will be highlighting at IPEX.
Trevor Crawford, the event director for IIR Exhibitions, opened by stating that the goal for IPEX 2010 is to grow international attendance by 50 percent, and to achieve a net attendance of 55,000 visitors. As of early February, he revealed that the pre-registration count was already up 360 percent on the 2006 cycle, and that there are more than 11,000 pre-registrations, with the top countries (excluding the United Kingdom) being France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, India, Spain, Denmark, the United States, South Africa and Australia.
Among the products discussed at the press event were the enhanced versions of the toner-based Xerox 650/1300 continuous-feed monochrome printing systems. Some new features include: heavy-weight media compatibility, running duplex applications up to 200 gsm, the FreeFlow Print Server 7 and ImageSmooth Technology for producing sharp images. Xerox also announced its first production ink-jet system, but further details are being held for the show.
With its largest stand to date at an IPEX show, Canon Europe will offer the first international showing of the imageRUNNER Advance Pro series of light production engines. Canon imagePROGRAF printers—ideal for large-format applications such as graphics and signage—will also be featured.
Under the banner "Power to Succeed," Fujifilm Europe will introduce the Jet Press 720 B2 sheetfed digital ink-jet press suited for short-run printing. With production speeds of approximately 180 sheets (A4 size equivalent) per minute or 2,700 B2 sheets an hour, it employs SAMBA print-head technology for single-pass, ink-jet printing at 1,200x1,200 dpi resolution. The worldwide rollout schedule of the Jet Press 720 will be announced at the show.
The Acuity Advance HS wide-format UV ink-jet printer will also be highlighted by Fujifilm. It features a modified print head, offering production speeds of 430 square feet per hour. With the addition of a new express mode, images can be viewed from greater distances, printing at 700 square feet per hour.
Ricoh will showcase two new color printers for the light production printing market: the Ricoh Pro C720 and Pro C720s. According to Graham Kennedy, product manager for Ricoh Europe, the printers are ideal for the quick turnaround of items printed on thick stocks, such as direct mail or point-of-purchase materials. Both printers can handle coated and uncoated paper up to 300 gsm at 72 ppm. They offer a maximum image resolution of 1,200x1,200 dpi, a paper capacity of 11,000 sheets and a stacking capacity of 13,000 sheets.
Innovation on Display
With the theme "Get back to growth," Océ is using IPEX to debut the Océ Arizona 550 GT display graphics printer. Designed as a true flatbed system, the device can print on a wide variety of rigid substrates up to 49.2x98.4˝ in area and up to 2˝ thick. A roll media option for printing onto flexible media up to 86.6˝ wide is offered. Capable of 431 square feet per hour printing, it uses UV curable inks and Océ Varia-Dot imaging technology.
Pitney Bowes will demonstrate its ability to "1ntegrate" print and mail with the IntelliJet Printing System. It can operate at 400 fpm in a 30˝-wide format and at 1,200x600 dpi color quality. The company also announced that a major company in the healthcare payment industry—and the first in the U.S. market—has already ordered three of the new production color printing systems.
Also unveiled by Pitney Bowes will be three new inserters, and the latest developments to two inserters—the Mailstream Productivity Series 26 (MPS 26) and FPST Split Drive Inserting System. Full details will be announced at the show.
New from Domino Printing Sciences will be the N600 digital label printing press, which offers a native resolution of 600 dpi operating at up to 246 fpm using durable UV inks. Capable of printing onto a range of paper and plastic label stocks, the N600 will be demonstrated in a reel-to-reel web configuration with a print width of 13.1˝.
The company will also unveil its K600 single-color piezo ink-jet system, which will be integrated on an AB Graphics rewinder. Able to run at speeds to 984 fpm, it is suitable both for narrow web, as well as wider-format sheet and web applications. The K600 is ideal for tickets, game cards, direct mail and forms, ID and security products.
C.P. Bourg will launch the new BCMe sheet preparation module that is designed for using in-line with high-volume color printers such as Xerox's iGen4 and with Bourg's new BSF near-line sheet feeder.
Likewise, UK-based company RedTie will highlight its two signature Web-to-print software systems—RedTie Template (RTT) and RedTie Quotation (RTQ)—for companies looking to expand their portfolios of services to include an online offering.
Crawford is optimistic that all of the new product offerings on display at IPEX will play a significant part in reinvigorating the industry. "We are extremely pleased with the event's progress and development, especially when you consider how the industry has consolidated in the last few years and the difficult economic climate affecting many regions of the world," he concludes.
"Many industry figures consider this IPEX to be the most important in its history. And, I am confident that, with everything on offer at IPEX, we will build on this success and play a significant part in reigniting the industry." PI