BY MARK SMITH Trade shows probably are not the most accurate indicator of an industry's vitality. When the show is IPEX 2002—the international printing exhibition held in Birmingham, UK—it's even harder to draw any direct conclusions about the North American market because of the show's strong English and broader European flavor. Still, there is an understandable temptation to try to gauge the current state of the market based on the tone of major industry events. The organizers of IPEX report overall attendance at the 2002 show hit 65,451 people, which represents about a 30 percent decline from the final count for IPEX 98. Overseas visitors reportedly
BY MARK SMITH A consensus of opinion seems to have been reached about why to adopt a computer-to-plate workflow. At least in some quarters, though, the same cannot be said for the question of how to implement one. Or more precisely, which combination of plate and platesetter is the best solution. New product introductions continue to fuel the thermal versus violet imaging debate. The recent IPEX international printing expo also brought a new player (Esko-Graphics, the newly named combination of Purup-Eskofot and Barco Graphics) to the arena of digitally imaging conventional ultraviolet plates. Processless technology continues be developed along ablative, phase-change and other tracks.
There are two major schools of thought that have formed opinions about what happened at DRUPA 2000, held in Dusseldorf, Germany, last May. One theory has it that there were hundreds of new product announcements, some of them very important. The other school says that there were hundreds of new product announcements, none of them of any key significance to the future of printing and publishing. Which one is right? Part of what makes it so difficult to interpret the impact of DRUPA is the sheer scale of the event. Held only once every four or five years, the show is enormous by North