Last week fourteen companies gave a preview of what they will bring to drupa 2012 during a series of media briefings at a conference center on the trade fair grounds of Messe Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany. Attended by over 100 journalists from around the world, the three-day event included an update from drupa organizer, Messe Düsseldorf, and featured pre-show announcements from major vendors.
The event was kicked off by Messe chief executive Werner Dornscheidt and Heidelberg chairman and chief executive Bernhard Schreier. Schreier is also chairman of the Drupa 2012 advisory board. Acknowledging the economic downturn and changing media preferences the two positioned the world’s largest trade show for printing and media as "a growth engine for the sector".
The roughly 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space is sold out with vendors from 56 countries. drupa organizers expect at least 350,000 visitors between May 3rd–16th.
With the drupa motto “Discover HEI”, Heildelberg, with two halls, will have the largest vendor presence at drupa. According to chief executive Bernhard Schreier, Hall 1 will feature five different print shops with fully integrated Heildelberg products, with Hall 2 featuring partner solutions. Heidelberg will use drupa to launch of a new lineup of sheetfed offset presses under the name Speedmaster SX. The SX platform uses XL technology that Heildelberg says will offer productivity improvements over the SM portfolio, but at a lower price point than the XL lineup.
Heildelberg will present its digital printing portfolio under a new Heidelberg Linoprint brand. The Ricoh systems sold by Heidelberg will be branded the Linoprint C 901 and Linoprint C 751. Heidelberg is also rebranding the drop-on-demand iTS600 label press, which came with the acquisition of CSAT last August, as the Linoprint L.
During the Q&A period, Schreier stated Heidelberg has no interest in buying back the NexPress business from Kodak if it became available.
Heidelberg also declined to comment on the future of its Australian sales agreement with Konica Minolta.
Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe says the company has come a long way in the last four years and claims market leadership in digital printing.
Ricoh’s presence at drupa 2012 will be its biggest yet. It will introduce the Ricoh Aficio CW 2200SP, a wide format printer aimed at the CAD and engineering market. For the European market it will feature a new Carbon Balanced Printing Programme. This new service was designed to help printers operate sustainable print shops. Ricoh plans to roll out the program globally in the future.
Ricoh will use drupa to highlight its mobile response code technology called Ricoh Visual Search.
With its largest drupa booth to date, Kolbus will feature a range of bookbinding machinery, packaging, and postpress solutions for digital printing applications. Kai Büntemeyer, CEO at Kolbus, says their vision is to use inkjet printing for mass production of books. The company will use drupa to launch a new digital printing platform designed to handle “a thousand titles a day and millions of books a year.”
Chief executive Guy Gecht highlighted EFI’s continued growth and compared it to other success stories in Silicon Valley. Gecht says innovation is key to EFI’s success; they spend 20% of revenue (that’s revenue, not profit) on R&D. In 2011 EFI spent $115M on R&D. The results of these substantial R&D investments will be on display at drupa, including major updates to its software, digital front end and inkjet printing systems. Gecht asked that these announcements be kept under wraps until April. Watch WhatTheyThink for more details.
Canon and Océ
Canon will have its largest booth yet, and will show a combined portfolio of Canon and Océ production systems. New at the show will be the recently announced Océ ColorStream 3700 (Read Commentary from Andy Tribute). Beyond technology, Canon will focus on its business development services offered through the Essential Business Builder Program. They will have information on more than 50 digital print applications, and will release findings from a survey of 420 print buyers that highlights many opportunities for digital print.
With their theme, “The Art of Success”, Pitney Bowes will demonstrate its range of technology supporting an end-to-end customer communications strategy. Coming from its collaboration with Sitma Machinery, they will show a new paper wrapping system that eliminates the need for envelopes. The booth will have a dedicated area to feature the Volly digital delivery service. Pitney Bowes recently announced a partnership with Adobe to provide key components for the Volly system.
Domino will feature a range of inkjet solutions, including updates to its four color N600 label press. Domino claims these updates in uptime, image stitching, and nozzle cleaning provide more consistent results and increased productivity. drupa will be the first showing of the L100i thermal ink jet printer. The L1000i, based on Lexmark technology, has a 12.7mm image area and a 24 picoliter drop size. It is aimed at on-press numbering, barcodes, and mobile response code for direct mail applications.
Epson will use drupa to launch a new micro piezo based label press its currently calling the SurePress “X”. This new concept press uses UV ink and is aimed at short and mid-run labels on a mix of paper and film substrates.
Fujifilm will show a number of new and updated products under the banner “Power To Succeed”. They will be rebranding their workflow products under a XMF Workflow moniker and launching XMF ColorPath, a cloud-based color management service. XMF ColorPath will support web-based color profiling and process control with the aim to make “color management a process and not a skill”.
On the hardware side, the Jet Press 720 (“J Press 720” in North America) will be in the booth and running continuously throughout the show. Initially launched at drupa 2008, the Jet Press 720 had a long road to commercialization. It lived behind a curtain and ran on scheduled demos at subsequent trade shows between 2008 and now. A Jet Press 720 was recently installed at Digital Edge in Canada, the ninth since its commercial availability was announced in 2011.
New at drupa, Fujifilm will feature a B2 folding cartons press that uses the company’s SAMBA and VIVIDIA water-based UV inks. The unnamed press is considered a technology demonstration and will be running live during scheduled demo presentations.
Learning from the Jet Press 720 launch, Fujifilm says the B2 folding carton press is closer to commercialization then its Jet Press cousin was at drupa 2008. The company stated it will be ready for commercial shipment in 2013.
Goss stated it’s reshaping the debate about packaging printing methods with a line of Sunday presses retooled for packaging and label applications, including folding cartons. The introduction of this line of web offset press, branded the Sunday Vpak, will be featured at drupa. Specifically, they will show units from the Goss Sunday Vpak 500 and Vpak 3000. On the commercial side they will show a 96-page Sunday 5000 and 16-page M-600 unit. For the newspaper market they will display a Colorliner CPS.
With the invitation to “Take a Closer Look” as its drupa theme, Screen will introduce EQUIOS, a workflow system for conventional and digital environments. EQUIOS provides JDF-based automation, imposition, color management, and integration with web-based ordering systems. As part of EQUIOS, Screen will provide a technology demonstration of a web-based variable data application.
The Truepress JetSX B2 sheet-fed inkjet press previewed at IPEX 2010 will be running live in the Screen booth. Screen says the Truepress JetSX is making its way toward commercial availability with European beta sites planned post-drupa.
Screen will show an updated web inspection system, the JetInspection JI-500, for the Truepress Jet520. Screen claims the system captures every pixel of every page to compare to the RIP data. It can route defects back to the Truepress Jet520 or to a separate printing system.
Screen used the media conference to announce that it has shipped over 400 of the Truepress Jet520, including units shipped by Ricoh.
Mike Rottenborn, chief executive at Hybrid Software says his company has, “developed a unique solution to efficiently manage orders through the entire production lifecycle.” Calling it “Integration 2.0”, Hybrid Software provides the glue between disparate systems including web store fronts, MIS, workflow, accounting, and other IT systems.
Hybrid Software aims to reduce the need for costly custom software integration by providing plug-and-play integration between systems. Main functionally provided by the software is a data integration component called Pipeline and a data automation component called Facelift.
“After 30 years of MIS focus as a Production tool – its time MIS became a Sales tool!” is the pitch Optimus is making with new product announcements centered on sales automation, analytics, campaign management, and mobile applications.
Centered around the theme “KOMORI OnDemand”, Komori will demonstrate new offset presses and the introduction of digital printing systems to its product portfolio.
The efforts of its recent agreement with Konica Minolta will be on display with a special version of the Konica Minolta Bizhub Pro C800. Komori stated they improved upon the Bizhub Pro C800 by adding color management technology that allows them to match sheets printed on offset and digital presses
Labeled a “Technology Exhibit”, they will demonstrate two prototype inkjet printing systems: a four color 20 inch webfed and a four color 29 inch sheetfed. Both systems use Konica Minolta print heads.