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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shaun And The PEiR Group Visit Chicago - City Of "Broad Shoulders"

A couple of weeks ago I went to Chicago to attend the Print '09 Trade Show. Talking with a couple of attendees, I learned that there was a significant downturn in attendance this year. Nonetheless there were over 10,000 attendees and probably just as many vendors, and everyone was ready to do business.

All major manufacturers of printing devices were there to show off their latest technologies. Heidelberg, Agfa, Xerox, Océ, Canon, EFI, HP and a host of others displayed a variety of new digital devices and workflows (see Shaun's video, left).

One manufacturer, Agfa, demonstrated a new inkjet press called the Dotrix Modular. This revolutionary printer is capable of printing at 75 lineal feet per minute at widths of up to 24 inches. Watch the video for a demonstration of this exciting new Piezo Inkjet Technology that might someday be available for our reprographics industry!

This year, Print ’09 included a Large Format Pavilion where HP, Océ, Canon and Epson showed their latest products. HP was well positioned at the show, demonstrating their Designjet Latex Technology which is targeted for environmentally responsible outdoor print applications (signs, car wraps and textiles). According to HP, the performance of these printers is comparable to low-solvent printers. HP Latex inks are made with water and are really safe and green when compared to other traditional ink technologies. Keep your eyes open for the announcement of HP’s new 42 and 60 inch models; you might want one of these in your shops!

One message that came through loud and clear at the show was that commercial printers are busy diversifying their businesses. Just as many of you are beginning to expand your services into non-AEC markets, off-set print shops are beginning to offer POP and other large format graphic applications, as well. Info Trend research indicates that 33 percent of offset print providers are planning to add or upgrade their large format printers .

Where is printing going? I see a convergence of the various printing sectors: off-set, reprographics, sign-shops, quick printers and Print on Demand. To be successful in digital printing in the future one will require capital, the right mix of digital technologies (hardware and software) and services coupled with market and application expertise.

Okay? What do you think of my amateur video? I promise to get better!



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