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Cary Sherburne's drupa Outlook

Published on February 9, 2012

Frank Romano switches it up and interviews Cary Sherburne for a change. He asks her what makes her most excited about drupa season and what she hopes to see this year.

Frank Romano:  We’re here with Cary Sherburne, Executive Editor of WhatTheyThink.com.  Executive Editor?

Cary Sherburne:  Senior Editor.

Frank Romano:  I think Executive sounds better than Senior.

Cary Sherburne:  Well, I’m old.

Frank Romano:  Senior sounds old.

Cary Sherburne:  I am old.

Frank Romano:  No, no, you’re just—you’re very young.  By the way, I don’t think there’s anyone in this industry who works as hard as Cary.  

Cary Sherburne:  Oh, thank you.

Frank Romano:  If you watch what she does and read the articles, she travels to where she interviews people; she’s taping all over the United States.  So with every issue I’m trying to put little pins on a map of where she’s been or where she’s going, so I don’t think any other editor does as much as you do and really tracking down what’s happening in the industry.

Cary Sherburne:  Sort of like where’s Waldo?

Frank Romano:  This is correct.  Cary and I are both going to Drupa 2012.  It starts the beginning of May, May 3rd to be specific.  The reason I remember that, by the way, is that I have to give a speech in Paris just before that, and I couldn’t do anything on May 1st because that’s May Day and that’s a big thing there.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh yeah.

Frank Romano:  So then I’ll be traveling on that day to Düsseldorf.  I always try to go to the show early.  You know and I know that there’s always some events that occur on the day before.

Cary Sherburne:  Right, right. 

Frank Romano:  So you will be there.  I assume you’ll have a studio and will be videotaping again. 

Cary Sherburne:  Yes, yes, we will.  And the studio will be located not too far from the north entrance, the new transportation center that they opened last year.  So it’s a little difficult to find, but we have some good signage and whatever.

Frank Romano:  Oh, like this was easy to find.

Cary Sherburne:  Yes.

Frank Romano:  So you’re going to be there for the whole show?

Cary Sherburne:  No.  We only stay a week, the first week 

Frank Romano:  I will be there for the entire event.  I find that toward the end you can get more time with people because it’s not as busy at that point. 

Cary Sherburne:  Exactly.  But most of the press releases and press conferences are at the beginning.

Frank Romano:  That’s what they normally do, although there are a few people, because they didn’t plan ahead, that tend to come at the end.  Anything you know that’s going to be earth shattering there?

Cary Sherburne:  Well, you know, I think that there’s going to be some game changing announcements in the inkjet arena.  I mean, you know, we’re going to continue to mature the inkjet that we’ve seen.  But if you look at people like Delfax and Memjet and maybe some other Memjet people, I think there’s going to be—and also, when I think of inkjet I think of the production inkjet; but I also think of the grand format, and I think we’re going to see some interesting things there.

Frank Romano:  No doubt about it.  Inkjet is going to be the key to everything.  I always say that if companies don’t have new technology to show, they show Workflow, and if they don’t have Workflow they have a party.

Cary Sherburne:  There you go.

Frank Romano:  We’ve been through that before.  So yes, lots of—a lot of the toner stuff too I think we’ll see.  When you’re there, what would be the one company you want to go see first?  I know this will put you on the spot.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh my gosh, that’s a hard one.  You know, I really want to see what’s going on with this Delfax and Memjet thing, so I might go there first just because it’s a big mystery and they’re not saying anything about it yet.  I mean they may be announcing the partnership, you know, having talked to Bill McGlynn—of course, he’s more on the office side—but about the whole dynamics of their technology and the lower cost point and all of that.  To see it brought up to a production level, I’m very interested to see what that means.  Because if they’re going to be half the cost of somebody else’s production in the same speed and equal quality or similar quality, that’s kind of a big deal.  I mean I don’t know if they’re going to be there or not but we’ll see.

Frank Romano:  We’ll see.  And again, if you remember the last Drupa, the big surprise was the roll-fed inkjet machine in the HP booth.  HP now is one of the biggest exhibitors there so I’m assuming that there’ll be some surprises.

Cary Sherburne:  Probably from HP, yes.

Frank Romano:  I would head to that one as well.  I think Xerox will have some surprises.  I think that they just introduced their waterless inkjet.  But I think they’ve got some stuff up their sleeve at this point.  So I think the major companies will all have something very interesting to show.

Cary Sherburne:  And so the other piece, because you know, Frank, equipment is interesting and so I look at it, but I’m really more interested in the Workflow and how it all, you know, automation and how it works together.  So Andy and I kind of agreed—Andy Tribute and I kind of agreed that it would be the Cloud Drupa.  And so to take a look at kind of what people are doing in terms of the Cloud and making it easier for companies to acquire the solutions and, you know, manage them through the Cloud and that kind of thing.  I’m just really interested in that and mobile to see, you know, what some of the new developments are there.

Frank Romano:  That’s very interesting.  Well, somebody described the Cloud yesterday as disk drives in the sky.  But you’re right, that’s a hot topic right now.  We just went to a press conference where that was one of the main points that they were discussing.  So you like Workflow.  What else?  Do you think there’ll be some surprises in paper, for instance?

Cary Sherburne:  You know, what’s interesting—and I think Mohawk is a good example of this—is where they are really expanding into more products, so the whole Photobook thing that they do and the Belt and Wire site with four letterpress.  I mean, so watching some of the diversification that the paper companies are doing, I think Mohawk’s probably kind of a leader in that, you know, developing software applications or buying them and so on.  But some of the others are going to be following, so I think that’s going to be interesting.  And then the other question would be, you know, are there going to be new paper developments where treatment for inkjet isn’t going to be required any more?  You know, we went through that whole thing with Indigo back in the 90s.

Frank Romano:  There’s a big need for coated stock in the inkjet marketplace and so we’ll see some—I’m sure we’ll see some surprises in that regard.  Printing presses, offset presses.

Cary Sherburne:  You know, again, the two things I think we’re going to see is increased automation, so much faster, make-readies; and much more automation, much less operator involvement.  But the other thing that I think will be really exciting goes back to inkjet and blending the two, putting the inkjet heads within the web presses, or at the end of the offset press, or however they structure.  But I think we’ll see some creative stuff there that allows you to do high volume, inline personalization or customization.

Frank Romano:  I mean hybrid printing, you’re right, it’s going to be part of this.  I think it’s amazing that all the press manufacturers have partnered with digital people and that KBA has partnered with RR Donnelley, which I think is really interesting.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, yeah, with their inkjet proprietary…

Frank Romano:  Donnelley has built a lot of machines for various market segments.  It’ll be very interesting to see, and I’m positive we’ll see that there and other hybrid approaches from the other suppliers.  So it’ll be a great show and I think we’ll have enough to keep us busy analyzing all this stuff for our readers.

Cary Sherburne:  And then we can analyze it for the next four years till 2016.

Frank Romano:  That’ll keep us busy.

Cary Sherburne:  Thanks, Frank.

Frank Romano:  Thank you, Cary.

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By Andrew Gordon on Feb 09, 2012

Great interview! I love the chemistry between Frank and Cary.


By Don Lowe on Feb 09, 2012

These two professionals are always informative and fun!


By Mark Hunt on Feb 10, 2012

Frank and Cary, great discussion as always. Would love to hear your thoughts about how all that wider, faster, shinier inkjet output will be converted into salable products and documents. It will be exciting to see new directions in post press and paper handling at drupa.


By Jack Tozer on Feb 15, 2012

What are your thoughts about Benny Landa's webpage announcement: Develops next-generation digital printing technology which enables game changing performance. Targeted for mainstream commercial, packaging and publishing markets, Landa's lineup of digital nanographic printing presses will be unveiled at drupa 2012.


By Erik Nikkanen on Feb 15, 2012

Jack, thanks for the heads up on the potential of Benny Landa's efforts. Did some reading on what might happen both in the printing area and in the energy area.

It will be very interesting to see what comes out. I wish there could be people like Landa within the traditional printing industry with his kind of interest and drive to understand the physics and make things better.

Real innovation will always be a surprise. It looks like he might have some for us.


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