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Graph Expo 2012 Retrospective and Highlights

The theme of Graph Expo 2012 was “Print Integrated,” and exhibitors supported this theme with demonstrations of digital workflows and partner-enabled solutions that integrated hardware, services, and solutions. Held October 7-10 in Chicago’s McCormick Place, the event welcomed 13,694 actual verified attendee/buyers—a 2 percent increase from 2011, and the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) said that this year’s attendees came “on a mission” with budgets to spend. (Note that GASC defines “actual verified attendees” as registered onsite show goers—counted only once—regardless of their number of days at the show or times they enter the exhibit hall.) Show organizers reported a 3 percent year-over-year increase in the number of high-level decision makers that represented 8,252 unique buyer companies. The South Hall was home to 468 exhibiting companies, with 71 first-time exhibitors, and this year’s show included a record 48 co-located conferences, meetings, user groups, and activities.

With drupa 2012 a not-too-distant memory, many of the vendor demonstrations were U.S. debuts of technologies and services announced earlier this year at that quadrennial show in Düsseldorf, Germany. Nonetheless, a handful of vendors made global introductions of new workflow tools, equipment, and supplies. Exhibitors also used creative approaches to attract attendees to their booths to view the new and not-so-new products and solutions on display.

The centerpiece of the Agfa booth was a “Six Strings Classic Blues Lounge” that paid homage to a New Orleans, LA jazz nightclub and showed real-world print applications produced on the firm’s wide-format ink jet machines such as exterior wall graphics, street signs, park benches, and cafe tables. Inside the lounge, attendees could see backlit signage, replicas of vintage signs, floor graphics, textured wallpaper, and mirrored signage. Canon hosted a series of discussions with industry experts, end users, and professionals in the WhatTheyThink Theater, while EFI featured its Digital Workflow Experience that demonstrated live, near-lights-out production from Digital Storefront and EFI Pace MIS through Fiery digital front ends to a VUTEk superwide format printer or production engine.

Kodak sponsored THE PRINTERVERSE, a new Graph Expo show floor feature created by Print Media Centre that served as an educational and networking spot for printers, integrated marketers, print and digital producers, print and media buyers, designers, creative professionals, and agencies. The Xerox Workflow Walkway showcased the firm’s different workflow offerings, either Xerox or partner, to demonstrate how these solutions lead to automation, which leads to more pages and more time to print, which Kevin Horey, vice president of product marketing solutions for Xerox, describes as “a winning combination.”

A walk down Ricoh’s “Main Street” brought real-world implementations of the firm’s products and solutions to life in a variety of storefronts, including a bank, coffee shop, wallpaper boutique, photo shop, bookstore, university, movie theatre, and country club. In a pre-show briefing with analysts, Ricoh told us that the firm’s idea to replicate Main Street USA was to capture all of the elements of what a marketing services provider can provide to any type of small business. Each business storefront showcases an opportunity for Ricoh’s clients to become a marketing services provider, to be their customers’ complete business partner.

Our View

Given the breadth of this show and our diligent efforts to bring you the highlights, this article is relatively long. So for those of you who want the essence of the show without or before reading the details, this section provides that flavor. We will have separate coverage of media, ink, and toner announcements at the show.

The exhibitors that we spoke with agreed that the conversation in the commercial print space continues to focus on helping customers grow their business. “A key component is workflow productivity, how to drive efficiencies and make money, rather than a ‘speeds and feeds’ conversation,” said Grant Miller, vice president of global strategic product management for Pitney Bowes. “We are investing heavily in making sure we have something to drive workflow productivity…make sure that we are providing things that help customers drive their business forward.”

Ricoh executives told us that the core message of the firm’s production print strategy is “print and beyond.” Ricoh understands that print providers are looking for solutions that go beyond print solutions and the firm believes that it has the ability to drive customers in directions that will enable them to gain new revenues, be more efficient, and lower costs. Ricoh stated that while our industry continues to change, the firm’s constant focus on helping customers identify problems and deliver real solutions for measureable outcomes has not changed. These solutions can help customers transform from traditional print provider to marketing services provider delivering personalized marketing services.

Xerox’s aim to help customers “focus on what matters most” was evident in the Xerox signage outside the building and the workflow/solutions hubs in the firm’s booth. All told, Xerox demonstrated more than 100 different apps, and teams of experts were on hand to highlight new apps on a variety of media.

Even Kodak got caught up in the excitement and worked to build on its presence at drupa 2012. Kodak says that it had sales or beta placements of eight of the 10 products announced at drupa and many other customer installations of solutions across its entire portfolio. Spotlight technologies included Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology, Kodak PROSPER S-Series Imprinting Systems, new print capabilities of the Kodak NEXPRESS SX Digital Production Press, Kodak FLEXCEL NX and FLEXCEL Direct Digital Flexographic Systems, Kodak SONORA XP Process Free Plates, the Kodak TRENDSETTER 1600 Platesetter, and Kodak PRINERGY Workflow solutions.

The commercial print industry is one of the few bright spots in the printing and imaging industry, and Graph Expo 2012 demonstrated that vendors are making the most of this growth segment. We expect this slow, steady pace to continue, and next up for the industry is the global PRINT 13 exhibition, themed “Innovate, Integrate, Communicate,” set to take place September 8-12, 2013, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. PRINT 13 will welcome co-show CPP Expo 2013 and also debut its newest show floor feature-the Photo Imaging pavilion-for photo imagers and retailers. In addition, 50 new and returning co-located events will provide show goers even greater incentive to attend next year’s show.

What’s (Really) New

EFI showed its next-generation Fiery FS100 Pro system for the first time at Graph Expo. New features include HyperRIP, a unique, performance-enhancing technology that the firm demonstrated at drupa 2012, and Fiery JobMaster, an advanced make-ready solution integrated into the existing Fiery workflow that allows operators to produce complex jobs efficiently and in-line. HyperRIP delivers performance gains by splitting individual files so that they can be processed simultaneously with multiple interpreters and reach the print engine up to 40 percent faster than current systems. Fiery JobMaster includes visual tab insertion and design, easy-to-use page editing and numbering, page-level ticketing, chapterization, the ability to import and modify scanned pages into jobs, and late-stage editing features.

Fiery Command WorkStation 5.4 is the latest update to EFI’s Fiery user interface and includes integration with Fiery Color Profiler Suite and convenient inline editing of the copies, job names, and workflow data. The JobFlow browser-based workflow solution allows print operations to automate file processing routines in an intuitive and simple manner, and Fiery Ticker provides an “at a glance” update on Fiery job status, like processing and printing speeds of the current job, pages remaining to print for the current job, error messages, and tray information.

The FS100 Pro includes the latest JDF standards is among the first, along with Fiery System 9R2 and 10, to achieve the JDF1.3 Integrated Digital Printing Interoperability Conformance Specifications (ICS) certification by CIP4. The Fiery FS100 Pro is also the first and only digital front end to carry the VIGC PDF RIP Audit: Perfect label, signifying 100 percent compliance certification for rendering all PDF/X-4 features as expected.

EFI said that the new Fiery system will enable EFI MIS customers to achieve an “unparalleled integration” between EFI MIS systems and Fiery Driven digital print engines for greater automation and efficiency. EFI says that the first digital print engines to feature Fiery FS100 Pro will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2013, and Fiery Command WorkStation 5.4 is now available for download from EFI’s Web site.

EFI also announced new tools within existing portfolios. MPrint and CallTarget are part of the firm’s Online Print Solutions (OPS) toolset and provide a transactional application for smartphones and the ability to turn printed items of all types into trackable marketing pieces using a unique phone number, respectively. DSFdesign Studio is a design tool within Digital StoreFront to help businesses generate more revenue by providing customers with “on the fly” design capabilities, and PrintFlow Dynamic Scheduling: Employee & Tool Constraints helps companies relieve bottlenecks, reduce waste, increase productivity, adjust to rapidly changing conditions, and optimize overall business operations.

Ricoh launched a pilot program for its Clickable Paper, which the firm unveiled at drupa 2012. Ricoh says that the new pilot program is designed to engage early adopters in the further development of the solution, and participants include News & Tech, a leading resource for insight, analysis, and technology integration in newspaper, digital, and hybrid production that reaches 20,000 readers per month, and the University of Mississippi, which currently has more than 20,000 students and publishes more than five million pages annually. According to Ricoh, Clickable Paper will enable the pilot participants to enable access to rich media content by simply pointing and clicking a smartphone at any Clickable Paper-enabled printed surface.

Xanté claims that the new IMPRESSIA multi-media digital print system completes the firm’s product line and makes Xanté a one-stop shop for high-volume and specialty printing. Starting at only $8,995 including a site license for Xanté’s high-end iQueue 7 Ultimate workflow (more later), and up through $15,995 for a fully decked-out system with all options including a conveyor, the IMPRESSIA is designed for fast-turnaround of (personalized) full-color letterhead, cards, envelopes, forms, brochures, mailers, labels, and banners.

The IMPRESSIA uses a multi-bit Ricoh engine to print at up to 2,400 dpi at speeds up to 50 ppm and can run full color jobs including variable data in one pass. The new machine includes automatic duplexing and an 80 GB hard disk drive and supports PANTONE, ColorSync, ICM and custom ICC profiles. Users can edit CMYK and Match Critical Spot Colors using iQueue Ultimate Workflow.

The machine’s new HD toner offers a wider color gamut, and the smaller particles enable the IMPRESSIA Digital Color Series to capture subtle changes in color and tone. The black toner cartridge yields 20,000 pages and each color toner cartridge yields 15,000 pages, and prices are as low as $39 and $89, respectively. The firm is targeting a cost per page that is up to one-third that of the Xanté Ilumina.

According to Xerox, the new Nuvera 157EA Production System and Nuvera 314EA Perfecting Production Systems are the most productive cut-sheet production black-and-white devices on the market, with speeds of 157 images per minute (ipm) and 314 ipm, respectively. Users can opt for the single-engine system or the dual-engine system to run duplexed pages twice as fast. The systems can accommodate a range of paper weights at rated speed, and support for a maximum sheet size of 12.6 x 19.3 inches allows more images to be printed per page.

A new production stacker unloads finished applications while the system is still operating, and an optional stack cart makes moving volumes of paper around the print shop easier. Xerox’s new monochrome production presses also support the firm’s new IntegratedPLUS Finishing Solution for Booklets and Production Information Management System. The Xerox Nuvera 157EA Production System and Nuvera 314EA Perfecting Production System are available immediately for order taking and installation worldwide. The list price for base configurations of the Nuvera 157EA and Nuvera 314A are $257,000 and $420,000, respectively.

Workflow and Business Tools

While hardware and supplies continue to play a critical role in the commercial print space, digital workflow was clearly the star of this year’s show. Building on the “Print Integrated” theme, vendors introduced new tools for all aspects of the commercial print process, including web-to-print, prepress workflow, short-run production automation, multi-channel marketing, and job tracking and reporting.

Agfa highlighted three solutions making their North America debut in its booth. :Apogee Suite 8.0 is Agfa Graphics’ next-generation prepress workflow, :Apogee StoreFront is a new cloud-based, web-to-print solution, and :Arkitex Eversify is a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for automating the efficient and timely delivery of publications to mobile devices while maintaining a publication’s brand image. Agfa says that :Apogee StoreFront simplifies the process for setting up online stores for printed and non-printed products, giving printers the means to reach new markets and enrich their customers’ experience, which in turn increases revenue potential, and :Apogee Suite 8.0 is designed to help optimize the production processes in offset, digital printing, or hybrid printing environments.

Kodak’s Graph Expo booth demonstrated the firm’s ability to blend traditional and digital technologies and services. The Kodak Intelligent Prepress Manager 2.0 (iPM 2.0) is now available for the Kodak TRENDSETTER 800 Platesetter and the new KODAK TRENDSETTER 1600 Platesetter, and the new Kodak INSITE Prepress Portal System version 6.5 provides secure Web access into the print workflow, enabling users to start and submit production jobs, track progress, collaborate on changes, and proof and approve work from any Internet-connected computer, including through an application approved for Apple iPads.

Konica Minolta launched its EnvisionIT Production solution suite at this year’s show, and the firm says that this offering combines bizhub PRESS technology, production solutions, and professional services into a total solution with single-source reliability and accountability. EngageIT Automation integrates a Web storefront and workflow automation in a single process by combining all aspects of the production cycle into one integrated solution, and EngageIT XMedia offers an easy-to-use interface that simplifies the data management, segmentation, creative design, and deployment of multi-channel marketing.

The newest version of Konica Minolta’s Color Care Software features an improved and streamlined graphical user interface, a statistics mode to plot and track color differences, and optional CurveCore module for G7 tonal characteristics. The Konica Minolta FD-5 Spectrodensitometer was shown in conjunction with the Color Care Suite v2.2. The firm also demonstrated Dispatcher Pro, a software app created by Konica Minolta’s Solutions Engineering Center that automates document handling, printing, and routing.

Pitney Bowes’s new DFWorks Client Job Tracking module provides comprehensive tracking and reporting solutions for production print and mail operations with highly efficient but complex customer communications workflows. The firm says that service bureaus and large enterprises can use the new software module to accurately and efficiently report on the status and results of individual jobs when they are combined with other jobs in a White Paper Factory environment and delivered through multiple physical and digital communications channels. Organizations can also take advantage of opportunities to streamline their operations and lower overall costs through a highly efficient, integrated print-and-mail environment.

A plug-in for Adobe Acrobat X Pro, Ricoh TotalFlow DocEnhancer enables printers to offer new services, such as document re-engineering and cross-media marketing, to satisfy customers who need to make last minute changes to PDF files as part of their Adobe PDF workflow process. TotalFlow Cadence for Publishing enables book manufacturers to improve profitability and expand their capabilities with short runs. This solution uses Ricoh’s ProcessDirector to maximize tracking capabilities, so that book production is optimized, consistent, and error-free. Businesses can integrate TotalFlow Cadence with a wide variety of digital output technologies, including the InfoPrint 5000.

Ricoh says that its new cloud-based solution, 1to1Create Marketing Services, helps customers deliver customized and relevant output to support clients’ marketing initiatives. A pilot program provides small- and mid-sized commercial printers the opportunity to test this subscription-based Web services that offers print service providers (PSPs) simple multi-channel campaign tools that can be customized and versioned for local retail and professional vertical markets.

Continuous Improvement Program, powered by Ricoh Business Booster, is a new 360-degree program assessment to help improve the performance of customers’ print operations. According to Ricoh, the program is ideal for in-plant and commercial printing operations and involves online surveys of internal personnel and external parties. Performance metrics are benchmarked against industry best practices, and the resulting scorecard is the foundation of Ricoh’s advice for improving performance. The Ricoh Continuous Improvement Program is a value-added free service exclusively for Ricoh production print customers.

Xanté’s iQueue Ultimate is a new multi-user workflow designed for professional digital printing systems. The firm says that iQueue possesses the most advanced color intelligence available for all Xanté products, making it easy to manage multiple projects; make independent CMYK / density adjustments; match critical spot colors; and select the desired feed, media type, resolution, linescreen, and dot shape. Users can also track press consumables, multiple run counts, and job costs from any user workstation. A PDF out option enables support for iQueue features on other vendors’ models.

Xerox unveiled new enhancements to its FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection at Graph Expo. Upgrades to Xerox FreeFlow Web Services 9.0 make it easier to interact with international companies with tools to handle multiple languages and currencies, and printers and their customers can access FreeFlow Web Services via their smartphones and tablets. Web Services’ open system allows printers to tailor and integrate their site with third-party or organic software. Xerox expanded the feature set of FreeFlow Variable Information (VI) Suite to support a PDF workflow. VI Design Express and VI Design Pro can now create PDF files right at a workstation, and this update supports PDF objects as variable resources and is compliant with industry standards.

Two new Xerox workflow solutions debuted for the first time in North America. IntegratedPLUS Finishing Solution for Booklets eliminates bottlenecks often associated with in-line and off-line booklet production, allowing more jobs to be completed faster, and FreeFlow Fleet Navigator establishes a common workflow to send jobs to various multi-vendor devices within a print shop.

Choose Your Partner

Partnerships have been a staple (pun intended) in the commercial print space, as equipment manufacturers and finishing companies have worked together to provide myriad stapling, folding, trimming, inserting, and stacking capabilities for any number of applications. At Graph Expo, Océ collaborated with a handful of vendors for demonstrations in the Canon booth, including Lasermax Roll Systems and MBP America to produce a new edition of “War and Peace” using lightweight paper on a VarioPrint 6320 and Standard Finishing Systems to produce a saddle-stitched children’s book and comic book on a ColorStream 3900 using a Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital and Hunkeler CX6-II.

At their respective booths, Lasermax used its Stack 2220 system to cut and stack “Take Me Fishing” postcards that were pre-printed in the Canon booth on the Océ ColorStream 3900, while MBO used cards pre-printed on the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP to finish direct-mail pieces featuring a VIP card and personalized imaging. Standard produced two versions of the National Parks wall calendar by creating finished, 3-knife trimmed saddle-stitched documents using a Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital and pre-printed rolls from the Océ ColorStream 3000 series and Océ JetStream series.

Elsewhere at the show, Bell and Howell LLC demonstrated the web-to-finishing capabilities of its Inveloper, part of the firm’s Plain Paper Factory solutions suite, using full-color roll material on the Océ JetStream ink jet series, while Muller Martini demonstrated its new SigmaTrimming Center to finish two books—“The Bible and “The Anthology of Matthew Jankiewicz”—that were printed on the Océ ColorStream 10000 and the Océ JetStream series. Spiral James Burn displayed a portrait portfolio book printed on the Océ VarioPrint DP series and finished with wire-roll binding to produce an oversized flip book.

EFI was another firm with a strong presence in partner booths at Graph Expo 2012. EFI partnered with Canon, Color Management Group, Epson, Fuji Xerox, Heidelberg, KIP, Kodak, Konica Minolta, MGI, Oki, Ricoh, Xerox and xpedx to demonstrate how the firm’s offerings are integrated into real-world multivendor production platforms. At the Kodak booth specifically, live demos highlighted the integration between Kodak PRINERGY Workflow and EFI PACE MIS Software, while EFI’s OPS web-to-print solutions was shown on all Kodak Unified Workflow Solutions stations at the Kodak booth as an integrated part of the Kodak Production Workflow.

At Kodak’s booth, attendees could learn more about Kodak’s partnerships with Adphos, Axode, Baum, GSS Online, Print Solutions, and Tech Lighting. Kodak solutions were also shown in other partner booths, including Konica Minolta, MCS, Ricoh, and xpedx.

Color Production

Canon displayed two special configurations of the imagePRESS C7010VP digital color press. The Tec Lighting Long Sheet Feeder and Stacker offers an expanded sheet size of up to 26 inches, and the OLEC Swift UV Roller Coater helps protect and highlight printed pieces while offering professional-looking full-bleed saddle finished booklets. Canon also demonstrated an imagePRESS C1+ with a new Fiery System 10 print controller from EFI that is targeted at graphic artists, design firms, and packaging proofers.

The Océ ColorStream 3900 digital full-color ink jet printing system made its U.S. debut at Graph Expo and is the fastest model in the Océ ColorStream 3000 series family, with a maximum print width of 21.25 inches and a process speed of 417 feet per minute (fpm), 909 letter-size ipm for a single unit, or 1,818 letter-sized ipm in a twin configuration running in performance mode. For higher quality requirements, a premium mode enables printing at 328 fpm or 1,428 letter-sized ipm with 1,200 dpi perceived image quality. The maximum monthly volume is 59 million letter-sized images.

Kodak showed support for a cut-sheet length of 36-inches (914 mm) for the Kodak NEXPRESS SX Digital Production Color Press, and the Kodak PROSPER S-Series Imprinting Systems, which include the S5, S10, and S20 and are available in black or CMYK configurations at speeds up to 2,000 fpm (600 meters per minute) were also on display. The S30 Imprinting System is available for black configurations at speeds up to 3,000 fpm (900 mpm). Kodak says that in 2011, PROSPER systems printed more than five billion pages.

The Konica Minolta booth was home to the bizhub PRESS C8000 C7000 color digital presses along with the bizhub PRESS C70hc that was designed to create corporate, marketing, and advertising materials with more vivid colors.

Pitney Bowes introduced a new Print+ Direct Mail Color Inkjet System and support for Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS) compatible jobs on the IntelliJet 20 Printing System. The firm specifically designed the Print+ Direct Mail Color Inkjet System to meet the needs of direct mailers and commercial printers, with high quality, full color, 100 percent variable data messaging and graphics to drive increased response. This solution can be configured for in-line and offline printing and supports a wide range of material substrates and inks. IPDS support on the IntelliJet 20 is the result of a collaboration with MPI Tech and leverages a customized IS/3 complaint version of MPI Tech’s MIPS (MPI IPDS Portable Software) to manage IPDS data streams. So organizations that have invested in IPDS can produce high-value, personalized color communications on the IntelliJet 20.

Ricoh highlighted a selection of its color production systems—the Ricoh Pro C901 and Ricoh Pro C651/C751—to demonstrate the machines’ high image quality, versatility, and in-line finishing options. The firm’s flagship InfoPrint 5000 family was also on display with enhanced features, including faster speeds for more paper versatility, enhanced halftones for improved monochrome printing quality, a more productive “U” configuration option, and support for AFP IS/3 architecture.

Monochrome Production

Océ paired two VarioPrint 135 devices with new in-line finishing options from Canon for small- and mid-sized commercial printers and in-plant printers. A high-capacity stacker provides an interface for third-party finishing solutions, such as the MAX ring binder that was demonstrated, and the SDD Square Fold Booklet Maker provides a cost-effective solution for producing professionally finished booklets at full production speed with text printed on the spine. As noted earlier, the Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra was running with a Lasermax DocuSheeter and an MBO folding and delivery solution and printing on Ariva/Océ Digital Opaque Smooth 30# stock.

Konica Minolta displayed several of its monochrome digital presses. The bizhub PRESS 1250/1052 provides high-resolution image quality and simple operation with versatile paper handling and finishing capabilities, and the bizhub PRO 951 is a professional production print system that, according to the firm, has superior image quality, fail-safe paper handling, and long-run reliability in a manageable footprint.

Wide Format

The Agfa :Anapurna M2540 FB is a flatbed UV ink jet printing system that uses six colors plus white ink and is specifically designed for printing on rigid substrates such as Plexiglass, mirrors, exhibition panels, and wood.  The Agfa :Jeti 3020 Titan is a field-upgradeable, UV-curable, industrial-strength wide-format ink jet printing system that can be configured with 16 to 48 ink jet printing heads and has a flat-to-roll option supporting rolls up to 750 pounds and 126 inches wide so media can be purchased more economically.

The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6450/iPF6400 are two 12-color, 24-inch large format printers designed for photographers, artisans, and proofers. Canon demonstrated the imagePROGRAF iPF6450 printer with an optional SU-21 spectrophotometer that provides advanced color management, including the ability to obtain color consistency across multiple iPFX400 series printers. The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9400S is a 60-inch large format printer that utilizes Canon’s 8-color LUCIA EX pigment ink set and features borderless printing up to 60 inches, while the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400 is a 44-inch large format printer that utilizes Canon’s 12-color LUCIA EX ink set and includes a new Multi-sensor that provides improved color density detection and allows for a full calibration to be completed within 15 minutes.

The Océ Arizona 550GT is a standard-size table, high-volume production, UV flatbed printer that is able to print on almost any rigid media or object, and the Océ ColorWave 650 Poster Printer can accommodate up to six online media rolls and offers media flexibility from inexpensive 20 lb. bond through high-quality polypropylene.

At the EFI booth, attendees could see the VUTEk GS3250LX superwide LED-curing printer that the firm says is the first in its category. This high-production printer is driven by the Orion OS and has advanced grayscale capabilities for higher print quality and optimized ink usage. EFI displayed the entry-level production EFI R3225 UV roll-to-roll printer that provides a wide material range at an affordable price point, making the machine a clear alternative to latex.

The Ricoh Pro L4000 uses next-generation large-format ink jet technology featuring Ricoh’s piezo-electric print heads and an aqueous ink that is environmentally friendly.  The L4000 can print on various substrates – a requirement for signage, point of purchase, and indoor and outdoor display applications.

Xanté’s Excelagraphix 4200 high-speed wide-format ink jet printing system features Memjet Waterfall Printhead Technology that delivers print speeds up to 12 inches per second. The firm is targeting this printer for short-run and variable data color printing and packaging, including folding carton and corrugated cardboard. According to Xanté, the machine’s exclusive substrate support gives customers the ability to print indoor signage and design graphics through a simple print path height adjustment on the Excelagraphix 4200.


EFI announced its Jetrion 4900ML at LabelExpo in September. This new digital label press combines UV ink jet printing and laser finishing in a modular, upgradable system that EFI says will increase efficiency and offer the lowest cost per label by allowing production from a print file directly to the finished roll without interruption.

Pitney Bowes claims that its new in-line envelope converting module for the Mailstream Wrapper Productivity Series inserting system can help high-volume transactional mailers and service bureaus produce high-quality, window envelopes.

The module uses continuous rolls of paper to produce high-quality wrap material in-line during the mail finishing process and is integrated seamlessly with the Mailstream Wrapper. According to the firm, this solution features precision inline flap profiling, window cut-out, and patching for processing white paper or pre-printed rolls. Pitney Bowes explains that by incorporating the module with the Mailstream Wrapper, organizations can reduce the costs of pre-manufactured envelopes and the time associated with material handling and logistics.

Scodix exhibited the S52 and S74 for the first time in North America. These two new models support B3+ (52 cm/20-inch) and B2+ (74 cm/29-inch) applications. The firm says that the Scodix S Digital Press series enhances the tangible Scodix SENSE experience by using an advanced jetting block and multiple independently controlled ink jet nozzles. This unique technology delivers Scodix’s proprietary PolySENSE clear polymer in small drops and multiple layers. The Scodix patent-pending Optical Print Alignment (OPA) CCD camera system executes enhancements with image-to-image registration and pinpoint accuracy, scanning each and every sheet to ensure delivery of the Scodix PolySENSE clear polymer to its exact location.

The Scodix S Series can print variable levels of thickness and texture, with a thick clear polymer that can reach as high as 250 microns, enabling the production of Braille letters and graphic elements. As a stand-alone solution compatible with offset, laminated sheets, and digital print feeds, the press automatically processes a wide range of substrates and formats (weights from 135 to 675 gsm / 6-30 points and thickness of up to 0.7mm / 700 microns).

Konica Minolta displayed the KM-1 as a technology preview. This future B2 cut-sheet, UV ink jet press is aimed at commercial printing environments for integration into existing pre- and post-press workflows.



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