The Side Stories from Hunkeler Innovationdays
By now you have read about the highly capable printing equipment that supported the Hunkeler Innovationdays demonstrations of Hunkeler, Horizon, Meccanotecnica, Kern, Bowe, Muller Martini, GUK, Sitma and others. You have probably read about the Agilox Intelligent Guided Vehicle that traveled the floor among the attendees moving paper and finished work among the stands. But what you may not have read about are some of the other solutions worthy of your attention. They range from real-time shop floor monitoring to service, to accessibility and all have a place in print production environments.
The first one I want to call to your attention is Kobayashi, who came from Japan with their translator (on the left) to offer a service they call Uni-Voice. This is an accessibility tool that uses a printed code on a document to access an app that provides the information via audio recordings. Their pitch is that their service helps elderly and visually impaired people to understand information, and can even be used to provide multi-lingual options. Their solution has been used on pension communication from the government and insurance companies in Japan. Accessibility solutions have been in the industry for some time, and all have setup requirements. This solution seemed elegant and easy to implement.
Inkjet ink solutions were on display from Kao Collins and Diversified Nano Solutions Corp. The Diversified Nano team caught my attention with an interesting security solution that uses biomarkers combined with online tracking. I have been fascinated by their inks for many years, so I asked about compatibility with the inkjet presses that were running in the halls. They say that their inkjets are generally compatible with all of the most common devices and head manufacturers – of course you would want to test for your environment. This technology opens the doors to a wide range of brand authentication solutions, from pharma to retail. With the addition of industry veteran George Promis to their team, this will be a solution to watch.
One of the interesting functional demonstrations tucked away in a corner stand in Hall 1 came from the Spencer Metrics team, in association with the Xeikon team in Hall 2. If you took the time to stop and talk with David Spencer, what you learned was that they had teamed with Xeikon and were showing real-time data from the machines in the Xeikon booth. The value to the story was showing why the information was valuable. It was almost more interesting because it wasn’t sitting next to the machines that the Spencer Metric solution was monitoring. The image below shows the monitoring while I was standing there.
An event like Hunkeler Innovationdays provides a unique chance to see a wide range of applications that many printers might miss in online searches or in the giant shows like drupa. Innovationdays for 2021 is already on the schedule and should be on your planner.
Pat McGrew, M-EDP, CMP is the Director and Evangelist for the Production Workflow Service at InfoTrends. As an analyst and industry educator, McGrew works with InfoTrends customers and its clients to promote workflow effectiveness. She also has a background in data-driven customer communication, and production printing with offset, inkjet, and toner. Co-author of eight industry books, editor of "A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge," and regular writer in the industry trade press, McGrew won the 2014 #GirlsWhoPrint Girlie Award for her dedication to education and communication in the industry, and the 2016 Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award from Xplor International. Find Pat on Twitter as @PatMcGrew and LinkedIn.