02 Oct Recap of Print 13 at McCormick Center in Chicago
This past September was the time for the once-every-four-year Print show held at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago. Print13’s purpose was to showcase new technologies for the print communication industry. This year, as in years past traditional print took a back seat while digital manufacturers flooded the show floor with spacious booths full of the latest technology. There was a strong showing for toner-based equipment by Xerox, Konica Minolta, and Canon. This year however, a technology shift seems to be building and the buzz on the show floor had to do with inkjet and a bright future in print its purveyors promise. At Print 13 there seemed to be an inkjet system for all applications:
- Traditional Offset
- Digital Print
There was a lot of activity around the Canon booth as they took the wraps off their just announced “Niagara” color inkjet-web digital press. The Niagara promises to merge B&W and color workflows into one production stream. Here are some of the features:
- Four color ink system
- Ability to run coated and uncoated paper
- Speed of 3,800’ duplexed B3 sheets per hour and 8,500 duplexed letter sheets per hour
This machine is meant to fill the gap where printers are seeing offset run lengths shrinking while job frequency is increasing.
Konica Minolta and Komori partnered up to develop an inkjet sheet-fed press. They have merged Komori’s knowledge of offset presses and KM’s expertise in inkjet to create a new sheet-fed inkjet press which utilizes UV ink. The KM-1 features:
- 23×29.5 sheet size allowing for 6-up letter size printing
- Able to print thicknesses .06-.45mm
- Print on offset coated, uncoated, and textured paper. No special substrates.
- UV ink 12,000×12000 DPI.
- 3,300sheet per hour simplex, 1,650 duplex.
Infotrends was cited as predicting production color inkjet will eclipse electrophotography and account for 54% of digital color page volumes in 2016. Pira International also predicted digital print to continue to take market share from traditional offset into 2018.