Finishing Stars at PRINT 13
Next Sunday, America's largest print, mail, and converting show kicks off in Chicago. GRAPH EXPO converts to a larger (and longer) PRINT exhibition only once every four years, so it's a big event. I will be there (in the MBO booth #531) for the duration. Over the years, both GRAPH EXPO and PRINT have steadily migrated from mostly offset, to mostly digital. The Heidelberg's, Komori's and manroland's have been gradually displaced by HP, Océ-Canon, Ricoh, and Xerox.
But while digital print is the star, finishing is more important than ever. And there will be lots of new stuff on display in Chicago. It would take more than a few pages to highlight all of it, so I'll just pick a few that I think are worth a visit.
1.) Lasermax Roll Systems
Press roll splicers have been available in the offset world for a long time. Who wants to stop an offset web press running at 2,000 feet-per-minute to change the roll? So a flying splice unit is mandatory. Oddly enough, they don't exit for digital continuous-web toner, or inkjet presses. It was a given that you spent the 10 minutes or so to change the roll every 40 minutes or so.
Until now. Lasermax Roll Systems will introduce the first auto "on the fly" roll splicer unit at PRINT 13. This will finally allow continuous digital web presses to run without stopping for a roll change.
Diecutting is fairly complex, involving precision dies and matrices. Digital print has created a demand for short-run machines that can set-up very quickly. What really is interesting is that lots of products need to be diecut. All sorts of consumer packaging and industrial products (washing machine plate labels, auto dashboard labels). Laser diecutters have huge advantages for some types of work because they do not require a die at all, just a computer file. But they're cheap. At PRINT, both Rollem and MBO will showcase new machines: Rollem with their new Delta short- and medium-run diecutter, and MBO America with the Bograma BSR 550 servo-driven magnetic cylinder machine.