In this tight economic market, graphic arts service providers need to stand out from the competition. Many printers have provided that differentiation through their level of service, or through their ancillary non-print offerings… but differentiation on press is increasingly becoming a factor for consideration.

Offset press vendors are well aware of this need, if what they’ll be demonstrating at GRAPH EXPO is any indication. Several presses that will be running live at the show boast UV printing capabilities, environmentally friendly features and more.

“The RYOBI 7510 helps printers differentiate their business, enabling them to remain a high-volume printer and a specialty printer,” says Lisa Jones, xpedx business communications. Xpedx is the U.S. distributor for Ryobi presses, and at GRAPH EXPO, will feature the RYOBI 7510, a 10-color, 23 x 31-inch press equipped with UV coating and UV interdeck dryers. This configuration means printers can do traditional four-over-four or five-over-five color work, but also do chemical embossed printing, metal FX printing and specialty stock printing, all on the same machine.

KBA will also be demonstrating a UV press live at GRAPH EXPO: its Genius 52 UV, reportedly the world’s first waterless UV sheetfed offset press. According to the company, Genius 52 UV customers have been able to broaden their client base by adding a variety of substrates to their product mix. The press can print on a variety of paper, board and plastics—including lenticular surfaces, PVC, styrene, polyethylene, static-cling vinyl and low-tack vinyl.

Also touting UV will be Presstek, whose Presstek 52DI digital offset press will be running live at GRAPH EXPO with a new UV option. But the company encourages printer differentiation with yet another issue: the environment. With increasing consumer interest in environmentally friendly solutions, Presstek is emphasizing the chemistry-free nature of its production line. “Our digital solutions are designed to help our customers become more capable, profitable, competitive and environmentally responsible,” observes Betty LaBaugh, public relations manager.

Komori, which will not only be running its new Lithrone LSX40 sheetfed offset press but also Spica 29P and LSX29 presses at GRAPH EXPO, underscores the features of its presses with a nod to the environment as well. “Inherent to all Komori presses are environmentally friendly features that reduce waste and allow the use of non-VOC press chemistry,” notes Susan Baines, director of marketing for Komori America.

The bottom line: “Today’s printer can no longer be just a printer,” says Don Bence, vice president of Sakurai USA. “They need to be able to offer different techniques or enhancement that will add value to their offering, and elevate them above the sea of ‘me-too’ competition.” Sakurai will be demonstrating its six-up Model 575SDC offset press at GRAPH EXPO, along with its MS102AII cylinder screen press.