These indicators were confirmed by exhibitors, many of whom reported impressive deals signed by printers from around the world. Add to this the wealth of innovation that was uncovered, then drupa was a resounding success across the entire print spectrum.
As Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg chairman and drupa president, summed up: ‘The trade fair sent out key impulses. Numerous business ideas and innovations were showcased that led to high investment. What 1 850 exhibitors presented at drupa will strengthen the development potential of the print and media industry in the long term.’
Some 314 500 visitors from 130 countries visited drupa. That the figure was 75 500 fewer than in
2008 wasn’t entirely unexpected. ‘This drop doesn’t come as a surprise. In Germany alone the printing industry lost some 3 900 operations and over 61 000 employees between 2000 and 2011,’ explained
Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. ‘It’s not surprising that fewer visitors came to drupa 2012. However – and this is the key point – customers no longer come to drupa as large delegations or on group corporate trips; it’s now top managers who travel to Düsseldorf. drupa is clearly the decision-makers’ trade fair and the trade fair for business,’ he added.
A visitor survey confirms this. The proportion of top managers among visitors has gone from 44% in 2008 to 51% this year; and nearly 50% of them were there to place specific orders.
Dominant themes at this year’s show were automation, packaging printing, digital printing (40% of visitors said they were specifically interested in digital), hybrid technologies, web-to-print applications, and environmentally-sound printing.
Technologically, drupa 2012 was a fair of superlatives, with impressive innovations in all processes, demonstrating that printing is more alive than ever.
The innovation park at drupa was immensely interesting, placing the focus on new ideas. As Frank Romano, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the US, points out, ‘Many new ideas aren’t worthy of a huge stand, but must be presented in ways that people can see and understand them. The innovation park does this. It finds areas that are not in the mainstream, but will be.’
While the focus at the drupa innovation park was on technology, at drupa cube, the chic congress location, everything revolved around trends in print-based communication. The 13-day congress programme featured 80-plus speakers whose presentations were aimed at print buyers, advertisers, publishing houses and designers. Information was presented on cross-media campaigns, corporate publishing, trends in newspaper, book and magazine production, dialogue marketing, packaging, electronic printing and media production.
Bobst’s most successful trade fair ever
The Beswick Machinery team arrived home with the news that drupa had proved to be Bobst’s most successful fair ever. The company’s three business units – Sheet-fed, Web-fed and Services – each generated record sales, and the new uniform branding triggered positive emotions among customers and employees.
A highlight of Bobst’s successful performance at drupa was the fact that more than 40% of machines sold during the exhibition went to new customers. ‘This unusually high figure confirms the effectiveness of our group strategy,’ explained Bobst CEO, Jean-Pascal Bobst. ‘We have managed to increase our company’s attractiveness for existing customers while convincing new customers that Bobst is the right partner for their packaging production operations.’
The confident atmosphere on the Bobst stand in Hall 10 travelled all the way to Bobst’s HQ in the Swiss city of Lausanne, where the thousands of sales leads received at the show – including more than 100 for firm projects to take place in the next three months – have led the company to expect very strong trading in the wake of the exhibition.
In short, Bobst plans to use the momentum generated in Düsseldorf to continue to implement its company-wide transformation process.
‘Our entire team has worked hard to pave the way for our future. The results of this year’s drupa confirm in no uncertain terms the benefits of these efforts and commitment. I’m very proud of our employees’ great achievements,’ commented Bobst CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst at the close of the exhibition. ‘We intend to use this success and renewed motivation to further consolidate our company’s position in the global marketplace.’
Atlas reports strong results
Another of Beswick’s principals, Atlas Converting Equipment, reports significant enquiries, plus several sales of several Titan slitter rewinders during drupa. Daily demonstrations of the new Titan SR9 Series Dual Turret (DT) slitter rewinder were well attended and impressed audiences with the machine running at up to 900m/min and reel set changes accomplished in less than 30 seconds.
In the development of the Titan SR9 Series, Atlas has focused on achieving significant reductions in machine downtime, lower operator intervention and a reduction of costly waste materials – all adding up to outstanding productivity gains.
The concept of the Titan SR9 Series technology platform features three separate machine modules of unwind, slitter and rewind sections – the idea being that a converter needs only to change the rewind section of the slitter from a Duplex Shaft (DS) to a Single Turret (ST) or Dual Turret (DT) configuration, to meet changing production requirements, without the need to change existing unwind and slitting modules.
Also on show was the new Atlas CW technology platform for primary and secondary slitter rewinders for flexible materials, attracting great interest from visitors. This latest CW technology introduces the next generation of compact film slitting solutions from Atlas in web widths from 2,5 to 10,4m, delivering increased productivity and reliability, higher quality rewind reels, reduced noise levels and more operator-friendly controls.
Polyflex celebrates HD certification
Any number of locally-relevant stories emerged as fair-weary South Africans trekked home from Düsseldorf.
One came from the Antalis team (headed by director, Keith Solomons), reporting that Esko Graphics and Antalis had taken the opportunity at drupa to congratulate Polyflex on its HD certification. This HD certification – a first for Africa – has been awarded to Polyflex to recognise outstanding HD print results and Polyflex’s ability to control the process of HD platemaking. The aim at Polyflex is to supply flexographic printers (specifically packaging converters) with plates that enable them to print gravure-like quality and this international standard puts Polyflex on the international map of outstanding plate suppliers.
Fujifilm breaks all records
drupa proved a resounding success for Fujifilm, with the largest ever number of sales made during the show and over 7 000 leads taken, breaking all previous records. The stand was exceptionally busy for the entire two-week period as Jet Press presentations drew the crowds.
The Fujifilm stand was split into three zones (Commercial, Wide-Format and Packaging) reflecting the company’s growing portfolio.
‘We’re delighted with results,’ comments Ryuta Masui, senior VP, Graphic Systems, Fujifilm Europe. ‘While overall visitor numbers might have been down, the quality of leads proved that decision makers were out in force, and we exceeded our pre-show expectations. In particular, we had huge interest in our Jet Press 720 B2 digital sheetfed inkjet press as well as the Jet Press F folding carton press and Jet Press W digital inkjet web press. Our-wide format products and XMF Workflow Production Suite were also key attractions, as were our traditional plate products. We’re looking forward to following up with many companies around the world in the coming weeks.’
Fujifilm is locally represented by Ferrostaal.
Printing isn’t dying, it’s changing
With digital being the word on everybody’s lips, I was interested to hear Leon Minnie’s ‘take’ on this sector of the printing world.
As Konica Minolta South Africa’s product manager: Production Systems, Leon’s visit to drupa confirmed that the printing industry, including digital production printing, is still growing. ‘It showed that the printing industry is innovative and has adapted well to challenges. Printing is most certainly not a dying trade, but a changing one,’ Leon asserts. ‘Smart phones, tablets and electronic social media are adding to its future success.’
He highlights one major trend and what he describes as ‘the next revolution in the printing industry’ – B2- size inkjet technology and the increased size of digital machines. This trend steers away from the use of A3 paper and toner technology.
‘Throughout the exhibition it was evident that new digital inkjet systems are developed to print on B2-size paper. Although these were technology launches, and manufactures showcased only prototype machines, it’s clear what the industry wants. Digital inkjet machines will certainly change the printing industry and traditional litho printing forever,’ Leon remarks.
He’s excited by Konica Minolta’s embracing this new revolution – the only traditional copier company to launch and develop, in collaboration with Komori, a B2-size inkjet digital press, named the KM-1. Leon reports that this device differs from others showcased at drupa as it uses UV ink, is capable of automatic double-sided printing and runs at higher speeds. ‘This will certainly create a stir in the market, elevating Konica Minolta to a different league,’ he says.
Although inkjet technology is becoming increasingly prominent, Leon believes that toner isn’t dead and certainly has a place.
Leon identifies another huge change in the industry – digital off-line and near-line finishing equipment. ‘Many companies displayed these “small” finishers that look like dinky toys compared to traditional litho equipment, but they’re of the utmost importance to finish digital work to the same standards as litho,’ Leon explains. ‘Like Konica Minolta, most digital manufacturers showed this equipment integrated on printers on show and then handed out finished products such as books, brochures, business cards, boxes and mailing systems.’
Many software solutions were also demonstrated at drupa and revealed how to streamline production workflows, create photo-books, combine complex documents and effectively distribute these jobs to printers – digital or litho or both – with minimal human intervention.
Cloud technology and SaaS (Software as a Service) was also shown to be replacing old systems and traditional ways of thinking. These new solutions allow printers to pay a service fee and allow someone else to do most of the work, allowing the printer to do what’s crucial to his business – printing.
‘The printing industry is strong, changing and exciting. For the South African market, the potential for growth is huge,’ Leon concludes.
Mimaki launches UV-LED flatbed inkjet printer
Graphix Supply World (GSW) reports on several of its principals’ drupa exhibits and success stories, including Mimaki, Esko, Bordeaux and Folex.
Wide-format specialist, Mimaki Engineering, launched its latest UV-LED flatbed inkjet printer, JFX500-2131. Equipped with six Gen 5 printheads, its output is 60m2/h in four-colour mode or 50m2/h using white ink, delivering highly detailed printing down to 2pt characters.
With a 2 100mm x 3 100mm flatbed size, the JX500- 2131 printer allows direct printing on a wide range of materials up to a 100mm high. UV-LED curing ensures excellent curing-efficiency – allowing high-speed printing without leaving uncured ink behind. And there’s a wide choice of hard or flexible inks to suit every job.
The system uses eco-friendly, energy-saving, longlasting LEDs and almost no VOCs are generated by UV-curing.
Aimed at producers of sign graphics, packaging and POS/POP displays, the JFX500 also suits commercial printers, particularly those handling short-run work.
Mimaki takes ‘Best Wide Format Textile Printer 2012’ award
At drupa, Mimaki received the prestigious accolade ‘Best Wide Format Textile Printer 2012’ by EDP (The European Digital Press Association).
The award went to the Mimaki’s TS500-1800A textile printer, launched at FESPA earlier this year. It’s described as ‘the fastest dye-sublimation printer on the market’ and is capable of printing at 150m2/h on transfer paper.
In response to increasing demand for high quality at high speed, Mimaki has set the benchmark for a new standard in high-performance digital textile printing.
The TS500-1800A enables printers to capitalise on growing demand for personalised products in this burgeoning digital market. It’s suitable for sportswear, fashion, retail, soft signage and exhibition graphics.
Kongsberg tables offer affordable flexibility
During the first week of drupa, Graphix Total Solutions (GTS), a specialist division of GSW focusing on flatbed, packaging and easy printing solutions, took orders for four Esko Kongsberg XN finishing tables, plus an order for a Kongsberg i-XP24.
According to Esko, the Kongsberg XN is the more versatile, highest performing finishing table available in the mid-range market. Capable of handling a broad variety of materials, the new table serves all markets from packaging to sign making and displays. In addition, the Kongsberg XN can be used for cutting plates as part of the Esko Digital Flexo Suite and can handle the heavy materials used for protective packaging.
A choice of four tool heads and a full assortment of insert tools guarantee unmatched versatility. Newly developed tools include a solid board V-notching insert, a corrugated paper-core board V-notching insert and a Braille tool insert.
The cutting table can be equipped with a powerful milling spindle, called the MultiCUT- HP. With this high-powered tool head, the Kongsberg XN offers up to three times more milling productivity. Even when processing challenging materials, it keeps a productive, consistent speed. And thanks to the power-saving variable vacuum hold-down technology, it consumes less energy.
The contemporary-looking Kongsberg XN has a modular tabletop industrial design and is available in different sizes: from the smallest 1 680 x 1 270mm (XN20) up to the largest 2 210 x 6 550mm (XN48). The enlarged work area allows full Y-axis reach of all tools and the length of the XN24 and XN44 models has been extended to 3 200mm for larger digital print materials.
Bordeaux expands inkjet technologies
Bordeaux used drupa to introduce its R&D capabilities for inkjet technologies for applications such as packaging, textile and electronics.
On show were Bordeaux’s latest UV LED inks with substantial elongation properties. This ink complements Bordeaux’s existing UV and UV LED product lines, making them suitable for a wider range of printers.
Bordeaux was also emphasising its ability to provide total solutions by exhibiting a new line of water-based laminates for wide-format digital printing and UVbased laminates for more diverse applications such as document finishing and prepress applications. Both are intended to increase durability and abrasion-resistance, and to prevent fading.
Folex shows new repro film, packaging proofing films
Another of GSW’s principals, Folex, manufacturer of speciality films and media, displayed materials for repro applications such as Reprojet P HD for pigment inks, as well as its new high performance version for eco/solvent printers, Reprojet ES CL. The repro range forms part of a series of films, canvas, fine art papers, adhesive and clings with coatings for pigment, latex, eco/solvent, UV and dye inks.
The company also showcased the new clear and silver metallic film developed specifically for the Epson WT7900 inkjet printer used in the flexo and gravure packaging and proofing industry. The coating has been modified for this printer ink, which also prints white. Good drying times and high colour brilliance ensure the ultimate performance for the display of quality packaging proofs.
The Folex range of products offers customers consistent performance and meets all the important reproduction criteria such as image quality, resolution and colour brilliance.
New PUR for digital
Morgana – one of Ipex Machinery’s principals on show at drupa – offered visitors a wealth of finishing equipment.
Morgana’s new range of affordable PUR binders for digital was shown for the first time at drupa. While the DigiBook 300 is already known to European customers following its release towards the end of 2011, and with installations completed in a number of countries, two further models have been added.
The DigiBook series now suits all sizes of digital printers, and all lengths of digital print runs. For shorter runs, the DigiBook 150 operates at 150 cycles/hour and can bind publications with a spine thicknesses from 2mm to 50mm, while the top-of-the-range machine, the DigiBook 450, produce up to 450 cycles/ hour with automatic cover feeding.
PUR binding for digital is a real growth area for finishing equipment providers, and Morgana has seen significant interest since the launch of the DigiBook 300, and expects further growth this year.
In the booklet-maker sector, Morgana showed the final version of the DocuMaster MFC, as previewed at GraphExpo 2011. This latest addition to Morgana’s DocuMaster booklet-maker line-up provides multiple feed stations that allow the gathering of pre-collated printed book sections with specialist covers. The Documaster MFC incorporates Morgana’s new DynaTilt creasing system which automatically registers each sheet and adjusts the mechanism to ensure an accurate crease position every time.
Controlled by a high definition touch panel, the DocuMaster MFC is given full instructions as to the book size, number of pages and crease position.
An enhanced range of DigiCoater products was also shown for the first time, complete with feeder and stacker options, and the latest in coating solutions. Available in both 330 and 500mm formats, the DigiCoater is the ideal companion to any digital printing system that aims to emulate offset print quality.
The DigiCoater 33 is an entry level coater ideal for printers working with litho presses and digital print engines with a maximum sheet size of SR A3. The DigiCoater 50 caters for printers who require a larger sheet size up to 500mm.
It’s available in two versions – one with four tanks and two coating rollers for those who wish to coat only; and one with six tanks and three coating rollers to suit those who want to coat and prime from one machine. Switching between coating and priming is achieved via the touch screen control panel.
In addition to its own exhibit, Morgana products were shown on the stands of digital printing suppliers – including a DocuMaster MFC in production as part of the Ricoh exhibit; a DigiFold Pro on the HP stand; and CardXtra Plus multi-function finishing devices at Konica Minolta and Ricoh.
Xeikon unveils more details of Trillium
At Xeikon’s press conference, the focus fell primarily on the company’s exciting Trillium technology.
Representing two decades’ worth of Xeikon’s electrophotographic (EP) expertise plus a new liquid image development system based on High Viscosity Toner (HVT), we learnt that this combination offers lower running costs at significantly improved speeds, while maintaining the high quality levels and eco-sustainability of Xeikon’s current presses.
For printers, this means no longer having to compromise between image quality and productivity/ cost. The technology is first being implemented in a range of products dedicated to the document and commercial printing markets.
‘For the last few years, the conventional wisdom has been that printers choose EP presses for quality and inkjet for speed and lower costs,’ commented Wim Maes, Xeikon’s CEO. ‘Xeikon’s Trillium technology changes this thinking as it utilises the best of both and closes the gap between speed/cost and quality,’ he added. ‘As it’s toner based and a waterless non- VOC technology, it also enables printing on untreated substrates. It’s also compatible with existing paper recycling technologies and has the potential to become sustainable from a toner composition perspective.’
Xeikon’s Trillium is a colloidal suspension of toner in a carrier liquid (a pharmaceutical grade white oil), which allows toner particles down to 2?m in size – up to four times smaller than its dry form. These small toner particles enable high resolution and result in lower consumption. The implementation of HVT allows the use of the smallest gaps in the transfer zones to deliver a combination of high image quality and high speed.
Another key strength of Trillium technology lies in its ability to print mid- to high-image coverage at high quality, making it particularly suitable for direct marketing and commercial printing applications.
With ownership of key patents for the toner and the technology, Xeikon has the rights to incorporate HVT in a printing press and produce the necessary consumables. Recent announcements by other companies clearly illustrate the viability of toner technology as an alternative to inkjet and takes EP to the next level.
The new Trillium-based range of presses is being marketed in parallel with the current 8000 Series.
On the company’s stand at drupa, the system was running a design (at 60m/min) to illustrate the speed and quality achievable.
[Ed’s note: Since the show, we hear that IT Strategies, a Boston-based consultancy specialising in digital printing, has released a white paper on the role of liquid toner and Xeikon’s expansion into this area. Key conclusions are that Xeikon’s ownership of key patents for high-viscosity liquid toner technology has given the company a dramatic shortcut in both time-to-market and investment to develop a new liquid toner technology.]
Xeikon’s 3030Plus – latest digital label press
Among other important news stories to emerge from Xeikon’s press conference was the launch of the Xeikon 3030Plus, the fifth model in the highly successful Xeikon 3000 Series of digital label presses. Featuring a top speed of 15m/min, the narrow-web press offers entry-level technology with 50% higher productivity than competitive offerings in its class. So said Filip Weymans, marketing and business development director.
‘It’s the perfect choice for converters who need a press with 330mm web width, but want extra speed for improved productivity,’ he insisted.
In keeping with the other Xeikon 3000 models, the 3030Plus utilises high-precision LED-array imaging technology, which combines true 1200 dpi resolution at 4-bit per spot to deliver the finest print quality. Incorporating Xeikon’s full rotary printing technology, combined with virtually unlimited variable repeat length, the printing speed of the press isn’t affected by either label size or number of colours used.
It prints on many substrates, including self-adhesive materials and coextruded films, BOPP, PVC and PET, cartonboard, paper from 40 to 350g/m2 and transparent and opaque PET films.
Like other members of the 3000 Series, the Xeikon 3030Plus is driven by the X-800 Digital Front-End. Based on open standards, the X-800 can be integrated into any production environment. Its modular set-up allows label printers to manage different production elements efficiently. Prepress functions, such as impositions and colour management, can be performed in the prepress environment, allowing the press operator to focus on production. The X-800 also allows easy inclusion of metadata functionalities, such as sequential numbers and/or barcodes.
In addition to Xeikon’s QA-I toner, which meets FDA guidelines for indirect food contact at room temperatures, as well as direct contact for dry food substances containing no surface oil or fat, Xeikon offers spot colour toners, a Xeikon’s one-pass opaque white toner and clear toner for anti-counterfeiting applications.
[Ed’s note: Filip Weymans was in South Africa to attend Label Summit Africa, held in Cape Town in March. As reported following last year’s Labelexpo show in Brussels, Thunderbolt Solutions now handles distribution of Xeikon’s digital presses in South Africa. Call Shaun Kennedy to answer your queries.]
Comexi takes multimillion-euro orders
Comexi, a Spanish company specialising in machinery for flexible packaging converting, closed the show with sales of more than17 million euros. As a result, the company’s president, Manel Xifra, is confident of finalising a number of installations over the next few months.
Among innovations presented at drupa was the worldwide launch of the Comexi Offset CI8 press. This is the first press designed for the flexible packaging industry that’s capable of offering all the advantages of offset printing; and the first units have already been sold.
During the exhibition, visitors also had an opportunity to see how the slitting and rewinding unit Comexi Proslit S-Turret works, as well as the Comexi Flexo F2 and the Comexi Cingular units.
Reflecting on Comexi’s participation in drupa, Manel Xifra says: ‘drupa is no doubt the Olympics of printing. We set ourselves two main challenges – to demonstrate our technological leadership and our capacity to confront the significant changes our sector is experiencing, marked by the need for a more sustainable and economic printing process; and to open doors for future sales. We achieved both objectives.’
Despite a lower number of visitors to this year’s drupa, Comexi attracted 3 000 visitors to its stand – double the number who visited the Comexi stand in 2008.
Pulse promotes inks for shrink films and labels
For UK ink manufacturer, Pulse Roll Label Products, drupa now runs a close second to Labelexpo.
‘It was a very good show for us,’ commented MD, Gary Seward. ‘Our focus will always be Labelexpo but this show is now a close second. It was great to see our digital coatings running on a number of machines at the show. We’re a fast-growing company with additional distributors being appointed each month. Providing support to them is very important and being at drupa enabled us to meet with them to enhance the Pulse brand further.’ The South African distributor is Hi-Tech Inks.
For label printers, Pulse’s SLM Flexwrap UV inks and coatings offer EuPIA-compliant formulations for shrink film and indirect food packaging applications. These offer high colour strength and coverage for excellent print reproduction and mileage without the need for primers or protective varnishes. The SG series offers similar characteristics but isn’t intended for food packaging. Both offer excellent adhesion and shrink characteristics of more than 70%.
SF010 is a UV-curable, silicone-free opaque white ink for rotary screen printing, formulated to permit use as a first-down white for subsequent over printing by flexo, letterpress and litho, as well as screen inks or varnishes.
The new range was complemented by EL088 a UV flexo, semi-gloss release varnish for peel and read applications and the RLM series of metallic gold and silver inks and foil effect brights for flexo, screen or letterpress printing. Both offer good adhesion and resistance properties and are suitable for use on coated paper and board and treated PE, PP and similar substrates.
Also featured were Digitech UV varnishes aimed at digital press users and available in gloss, matt, super matt and foil block-able formulations. The range includes a UV curable primer that permits substrate priming for digital press use. The formulations are suited to a wide array of substrates including coated paper, board, treated and primed synthetics as well as aluminium foils.
BST’s most successful show yet
The Sareltech team returned to Cape Town fired up from the drupa experience. Apart from being present on the BST stand (and the show was dubbed ‘the most successful drupa in BST International’s history’), they also came back with four new agencies: Vacuumatic – web flag inserters; Bobotex – roller coverings; Frazer – anti-static systems; and Softal and AFS – corona treaters.
BST noted a considerable increase in visitors this year, 15% up compared to 2008; and sales director, Kristian Jünke, was impressed by the depth of discussions. ‘All major OEMs, brand owners and decision makers seized this opportunity to learn about our innovations and see them live,’ he said.
From day one, the new QCenter line of inspection products, including the spectral measurement system QCenter.Spectral, were real show-stoppers. Meeting constant visitor interest, one demonstration followed another in quick succession throughout the show.
This system is the outcome of a close development partnership between BST and X-Rite. For the first time, BST claims, results of inline spectral measurement can be exactly compared to those achieved using a handheld device.
QCenter is a modular solution for quality assurance applications – various modules can be integrated on a platform to suit individual requirements. Centrally controlled, functions vary from simple web viewing to complex defect detection and spectral colour measurement
Positive reception to Omet’s multi-process idea
Widely applauded was Omet’s multi-process technology for the all-in-one-pass production of labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons. The idea is simple: handle all converting processes in one pass, eliminate handling, minimise time and use a smaller number of operators with standard levels of preparation.
At drupa, Omet showed the real possibilities of such a solution by printing folding carton and flexible packaging – from roll unwinding to final sheet delivery. This multi-process technology include flexo (UV and solvent-based), rotogravure, offset, screen, digital inkjet, cold and hot foil, lamination, etc
Gallus notes strong demand for inline solutions
Gallus (sold through Heidelberg in South Africa) is looking back on drupa with great satisfaction. During the 14 days, 8 000 visitors watched live demonstrations of the Gallus ICS 670 that showed the efficiency of inline production of top-quality folding cartons.
Several hundred enquiries from around the world, as well as conclusions of contracts during the fair, confirm the high acceptance of the Gallus solutions for production of folding cartons.
The Gallus ICS 670 was equipped with a number of innovations, including the new gravure printing unit and the cold foil module.
Océ expands inkjet portfolio
Canon and Océ showed their collective portfolio at drupa – underlining their combined strength following their merger.
New additions to the Océ ColorStream 3000 range include the entry-level Océ ColorStream 3200 and high-speed Océ ColorStream 3900, which join the Océ ColorStream 3700. Developed for transactional print providers, the new Océ digital full-colour inkjet printing systems offer a wide range of speeds and proficient ink and colour management to deliver within tight production schedules.
Of particular interest for the African market is the basic model ColorStream 3200 which lowers the entry-barrier into cost-efficient inkjet printing, especially for transactional print providers. Printers who require a print width of 430mm and don’t have print volumes to justify investment in current inkjet offerings now have a lower investment level solution. They can start with a slower speed of 48m/min (648 A4 or 688 letter size images) and upgrade to the faster Océ ColorStream 3000 series speeds when required. Print providers looking for an efficient way of full-colour inkjet printing can now replace toner-based continuous feed systems with a comparable speed inkjet solution.
Another new product, the Océ JetStream 4300, is the latest system from the continuous feed inkjet portfolio. The 200m/min, full-colour production printer offers PSPs the opportunity to produce books, magazines, newspaper and transactional print at short and medium lengths.
Visitors also saw the future of large-format printing in a concept product called Velocity. This large-format digital printer combines high-speed Memjet inkjet technology with proven Océ workflow to print up to 500 A0 colour prints/hour – it can print the equivalent height of the Eiffel tower in half an hour!
Since the launch of the jointly-developed Canon imagePRESS C7010VPS, Canon and Océ have developed a high capacity stacker has been developed to extend the finishing range of these systems.
The stacker works alongside a standard finishing device interface that offers unlimited stacking capacity via an ‘unload-while-printing’ functionality that facilitates continuous production, reduces foot print and the need for further investment. It has a high stacking accuracy that’s ideal for feeding into offline post-processing equipment and the capability to configure stack height – ensuring exact output to input if post-processing takes place at another location.
Also exhibited was the new Océ ColorWave 650 Poster Printer, a specialised version of the Océ ColorWave 650. Aimed at the point-of-sale market it prints on a variety of paper sizes and at speeds of 155 A1 sheets/hour. Prints are instantly dry, water resistant, cut to size and ready to be mounted.
Optimus Cloud is EDP’s ‘Best Web Based Software Product 2012’
‘We’re delighted to win our second prestigious award. This adds to our 2011 Best Special Application award for Optimus dash,’ commented an ecstatic Nicola Bisset, Optimus MD, on receiving The European Digital Press Association (EDP)’s award at drupa. ‘It confirms the Optimus team’s goals in continuously providing relevant, feature-rich solutions for our worldwide customers.’
Held annually, the EDP Awards recognise the best innovative technology within the digital market. The citation states: ‘Optimus Cloud offers an automated system for printers, which is less of a drain on staff resources, whilst being a transparent and user-friendly system for customers, allowing print buyers to order standard products with one click, and to order variable data products with full access to the product’s template, regardless of complexity.’
Having spent a number of years researching the market and responding to the changing ways people buy print and print-related products the Optimus team launched Optimus Cloud at FESPA earlier this year. It provides a seamless and intuitive approach to simplifying and automating print purchasing while having instant access to relevant information.
All Soma exhibits sold
Soma Engineering (local connection: Heidelberg’s Tony Patton) launched its new Premia flexographic printing press (pictured above) and the latest version of its Lamiflex E laminator, complemented by two new Pluto and Venus slitter rewinder models and a Flexmont S mounting and system.
The machines were demonstrated running together in full workflow production mode with data for job parameters from initial job preparation to finished product monitored through the company’s new Soma Connection monitoring software. All combined to maximise efficiency and reduce waste over all aspects of the printing and converting cycle.
All the machines on show were sold!
Edale feedback – a successful drupa
As the doors closed on day 14, Edale’s aim of promoting its range of printing and converting equipment was declared a success.
Despite a somewhat challenging climate, Edale (local connection: Ferrostaal) was thrilled to report enquiries up by almost 30% on the last show held in 2008. There was also a notably higher attendance from International visitors.
There was strong interest in Edale’s packaging printing machines – the Gamma system with inline FDC-510 flatbed die-cutter drew much attention, in particular from offset printers who are looking to move into flexo to gain flexibility, shorter lead times and lower cost equipment.
Kemtek to distribute Aristo equipment
Kemtek Print Solutions concluded a distribution agreement with Aristo Graphic Systeme to market its multifunctional cutting tables in South Africa.
‘The Aristo agreement, along with our recently-signed supply contract for Durst’s Rho Inkjet printing systems, forms part of our strategy to offer a complete solution to wide-format customers throughout sub-Saharan Africa,’ comments Gavin van Rensburg, Kemtek CEO.
Aristo already has 30 installations in South Africa, and, according to Gavin, Kemtek’s reputation for technical support, after-sales service and national support is what attracted Aristo to Kemtek as its preferred distributor.
Founded in 1862, Aristo was a pioneer of geometric data processing and is today Germany’s leading manufacturer of large-format, computer-controlled multifunctional flatbed cutters for precise CAD/CAM processing of non-metallic substrates, rigid or flexible.
The Aristomat LFC large-format cutting tables are robust, fast, precise and reliable. Their ergonomic construction plus uninhibited access from all directions provide optimal workflow efficiency, while powerful vacuum technology guarantees process security.
The LFC 5232, demonstrated at drupa, can cut, groove, score and mark a variety of different roll and plate materials such as solid or corrugated card, plastics, foam, transparencies and glass fi bre up to 50mm thick. The widest model measures 5 200mm x 5 200mm, arguably the largest digital cutting table in the world.
‘Innovation, precision, reliability, high-performance and fair prices are our key principles,’ states Michael Hock, Aristo’s chief sales manager. ‘The success of our worldwide exports and long standing reputation stems from outstanding service, plus decades of experience and reliability. Kemtek shares our passion and expertise in the industry and I’m confident that its specialised team will make quick inroads in the South African market with our extensive range of precision-built Aristomat cutting tables.’
Mosca reveals the future of strapping
As a regular drupa exhibitor, Mosca’s CEO Timo Mosca has observed many changes in the industry. In this article, he explains where new challenges and markets can be found, how his company can prevail in the face of global competition, and why he claims technological leadership in the strapping industry.
What’s required of strapping machines in the printing and packaging industries?
Requirements differ from industry to industry and application to application. The graphics industry requires automated, process-reliable machines such as our RO-TRI, to process orders quickly and efficiently. The corrugated board sector needs high-performance machines that can be integrated into a production line for smooth high-speed strapping of individual stacks or entire pallets.
What share of your business is accounted for by the print and paper industries?
They used to account for an equal share but the corrugated sector has now overtaken the printing sector. This is also reflected in the shift of focus at drupa: corrugated board processors now have a much bigger presence.
What factors in the corrugated market are important for strapping?
It depends whether the board is processed as sheets or whether it’s to be converted to primary packaging. In the first case, the main concern is to achieve high-speed strapping, while in the latter it’s for gentle strapping. For high speeds, pallet strapping machines such as our KCK 131-26 are ideal. Operating at 200 pallets/hour, this is the fastest pallet strapping machine in the world. Demand for gentle strapping is continuously rising. Using soft tensioning of the strap in single, double or cross-strapping, our technology creates a securely strapped bundle that protects the product and retains stability. We’ve developed strapping specifically for the corrugated industry in which the strapping runs in line with corrugations and not across them, ensuring very gentle strapping of corrugated sheets.
Where are your future markets?
We aim to continue growing in the corrugated board sector and establish ourselves as market leaders. We’re also looking along the production chain. For instance, board manufacturers supply flat boxes to food processors for assembly and filling. For transport, these have to be palletised and strapped. Consequently, customers of corrugated board producers can also become our customers.
You refer to yourselves as technological leaders – on what do you base this?
We repeatedly bring new stimuli to the market. For example, we were the first to use DC machines, powered by non-wearing direct drives – a system that has become a standard throughout the industry. The SoniXs technology that we developed is also unique. No other company manufacturers a strapping machine that uses ultrasound to seal the strap ends. It’s not always quantum leaps in technology that make the difference. Frequently it’s gradual improvements that become apparent and lead to new applications. Take the oxidation-free SoniXs TRP-VA (pictured above) that we developed to meet the food industry’s hygiene requirements. This was possible only because we use ultrasonic strap sealing. The fishing industry now has a sustainable machine that doesn’t have to be scrapped after six months because it has rusted away.
How do you deal with competitors from low-cost economies copying your technology?
It’s naturally quicker and cheaper to copy something than to develop it yourself – and mechanical engineering is not rocket science. However, the key distinguishing factor is our comprehensive approach. We don’t simply ask, ‘How do I construct a machine?’ We look into the customer’s problem.
What’s on show at drupa?
At drupa, we’re presenting our entire portfolio, from the smallest automatic machine to the large high-performance machines and covering everything from PET, PP and PLA straps to service and advice.
We’re showing a new generation SoniXs MP Evolution, a successor to our standard automatic model. It’s a further stage of development in terms of reliability and performance. Our electronic components create unique selling points for us, which the competition is unable to match. For customers, this is reflected in increased productivity at lower cost. The largest machine we’re demonstrating is a new version of the KZV-111 automated pallet strapping machine with optimised design elements and components. Use of a narrower strap track makes it possible to strap flat pallets.
We’re also focusing on the theme of integration of strapping machines into production lines. To enable this, we offer machines with full CE functionality that can be used without enclosures or perspex guards. In place of these, we manufacture operationally safe, user-friendly machines, safeguarded by light screens and light curtains.
EVEN MORE DRUPA NEWS …
As fast as one drupa report is completed, another enters the pipeline! Following last month’s ‘stop press’ review, plus all the drupa-related news included in these pages, further exciting post-drupa success stories are being written for Issue Seven. Do let Gill know if you wish to share YOUR news!