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Frank Romano gives us his "two hottest things at drupa"

Published on May 23, 2012

Frank answers the "two hottest things at drupa" question with a couple vendors that aren't generating as much buzz as others but are doing amazing things - Scodix and Highcon. Both are adding value to print in different ways, which Frank says is "a good thing".

Hi.  This is Frank Romano for WhatTheyThink.com.  Well the Drupa show is over and everyone asks me what was the hottest thing there?  Well I want to give you two things that probably most people aren't even mentioning, and they're sort of on the peripheral side of the printing industry, if you will.  This is a company called Scodix.  And here's an image of a basketball.  Now it's very hard to convey this through video because you really have to touch it.  It is the texture of the basketball.  You can feel it.  And by the way, that's part of their motto – they like to use the word "sense" because you can have the sense.  Here's Batman.  You can feel the raised image here.  It pops off the page.  It's embossing using polymers jetted from inkjet heads, if you will.  I mean this is just unbelievable.

They just introduced here at the show the ability to do glitter.  Now you know I don't see a big market for that but you see a lot of greeting cards and kid's stuff that use glitter in various ways and if you turn this towards the light you can see different images appear.  And of course, the very famous one that they did was Spider-Man.  And he literally comes off the page, if you will.  This to me is hot stuff.  If you can add value to printing you can charge more for it.  You can make more money with it.  And you can produce print that is absolutely mind-boggling.  People will jump at it.

The second thing that I saw is a small company.  By the way, that company was from Israel, this company is from Israel as well.  It's a company called Highcon.  You're probably never heard of them.  They do digital finishing.  Well that sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it?  But think about this for a second.  We've had laser die cutting for a long time so they have laser die cutting in their system – that's great.  But they can do creasing for folding.  I mean you know how it works.  Here's package and you have a crease here and that crease is there so that when you make the package it then folds where it's supposed to fold.  And the way we do die cutting and creasing in most cases are to makes dies.  We make them out of metal; we mount them on wood; and we put them in the machines.  It takes a while to get the dies made, then you have to save them and keep track of them.  This company does it all electronically.  So in this machine on a belt what it does is it puts down a bead of polymer that hardens to the point where it becomes a die and therefore can do the creasing.  And then they use the laser in order to do the die cutting.  Now by the way this package has glued.  They don't do the gluing, I should tell you that.  But they did everything else about this particular package.  

They gave out this sheet and this sheet has all this die-cut stuff on it and you can push the stuff out.  And that's all electronically – all done with a laser.  Now this is a – I didn't put it together – but this is a dragon.  If you take it apart you can put it together and it becomes a three dimensional dragon.  This is a little princess and if you take the princess and cut it out and fold it at the little tabs there and it becomes something that you can stand up.  There's even a little castle, by the way, to put the princess in and the dragon comes after the princess and then of course the knight comes after the dragon and there is this sword – you know what a sword is right?  So here on this one thing is an entire act.  You can do a little -- a kid can do a little play and it's all die-cut electronically.

So, two products.  Sort of on a periphery of the industry that let you do things in this new digital world that you could never do before, and they add value to print —and that's a good thing.

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By Buck Crowley on May 23, 2012

There several inexpensive techniques that have been around for quite some time that allow you to produce digital raised printing AND gluing with common inkjet or toner printers. If you want to know more ...
Buck @ BuckAutomation.com


By Werner Rebsamen on May 23, 2012

Thanks Frank - adding value to print was always my major theme while teaching Print-Finishing at RIT. Great reportage. Thanks for the support.
Best was, to see our former student Barry Walsh at Scodix. Barry spoiled our daughter Evie, Barry's former classmate at RIT with examples to share them while teaching printing at the Stuttgart U..
Small world.
As for finishing and adding value to printed products, I picked-up, during DRUPA, enough info to be able to write technical articles for the rest of the year. What a great event! So nice to see you during DRUPA.


By Grace Gladney on May 23, 2012

Frank, that was hot stuff! I think you new format is hot too.


By David Broudy on May 23, 2012

I was stationed across from Scodix and Highcon at HP's stand. The Scodix process is pretty awesome. After seven days I think the Highcon theme song was creased into my brain...

We can do raised print now on the Indigo 7600 press along with emboss/deboss. For a price of course...

Hi Werner!


By Richard Gwyn on May 24, 2012

Thanks to Frank and his astute observations. Does Scodix have any literature to send?


By ziki kuly on May 27, 2012

Sure we do Richard - we have print samples and literature. Just let us know where to sent them.


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