- April 12, 2002, Teresa Koltzenburg, Senior Editor
LONDON, U.K.—Ipex, the Global Technology Event for Print, Publishing and Media, is here. The 15-hall show features an astounding array of printing and converting technology, with more than 1,500 companies exhibiting in 85,000 square meters of floor space.
Running from April 9–17, Ipex 2002 is held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, U.K. According to event organizer, IIR Exhibitions, there are a number of new exhibitor- and visitor-driven initiatives at the show, including: Converflex@Ipex, a dedicated event for converting and flexo technologies; PrintCity, in halls 17 and 18, the strategic cooperation of companies within the graphic arts industry (with over 40 members); and Xerox’s "Future Print Now."
The Daily Digital Debate
Ipex event organizers say visitors have the opportunity to take part in the daily digital debate. Sponsored by Adobe and BTopenworld, the daily debate takes place in the Cross Media Theatre, hall 4. According to IIR Exhibitions, this dedicated theatre provides a focal point in the digital arena and provides visitors and exhibitors the chance to discuss key issues affecting the print, publishing, and media sectors worldwide.
During Ipex, every afternoon between 2 pm and 3 pm (14:00 and 15:00) attendees can experience a topical debate chaired by a leading industry expert. Each session will focus on an issue currently affecting the industry. Topics will include:
- Technologies for cross-media publication: creating a cross-media system architecture;
- XML for printers and publishers: technology for single-source content production;
- Designing a digital workflow: from input to output;
- A guide to content management; and
- Working with PDF
The Exhibitors Please...
In our March issue, PFFC highlighted some of the many international companies slated to exhibit at the show. (Note: For the Ipex preview that's running in the printed March issue, click here.) Among those featured in the print issue: Paper Converting Machine Co. (PCMC, hall 19, stand 415), Green Bay, WI, USA; Valmet Converting (hall 19, stand 217), Bedford, U.K.; Creo (hall 4, stands 650/650A), Burnaby, B.C., Canada; AVT (hall 9, stand 250), Hod-Hasharon, Israel; Presstek (hall 4, stand 870), Hudson, NH, USA; and Global Graphics (hall 4, stand 720 [Software]) and hall 4, stand 740 [Hardware]), Waltham, MA.
Internet technology now allows PFFC to bring you even more supplier news from Ipex 2002: Below you'll find a description of several other companies exhibiting.
Agfa Unveils Newest Plate Product Generations
At Ipex, the prepress manufacturer says it will introduce the Xcalibur 45, a next-generation, high-speed, eight-up thermal platesetter that's said to be designed for fast throughput, uncompromising image quality, and maximum convenience. In addition, reports the co., the Thermolite Plus direct-imaging plate, will be introduced.
According to Agfa, its patented, innovative technologies can help package printers achieve high-resolution imaging and improved performance on press. For instance, says the mfr., Xcalibur outputs 20 full-format plates/hr at 2400 dpi, in either manual or automatic operation. It also allows users to pre-stage a second plate in the input tray so it will be loaded automatically when the first plate is imaged and ejected.
In addition to Agfa's plate and platemaking products featured at Ipex, the co. says it will demonstrate ApogeeX, "the next generation workflow software based on PDF, JDF, and digital film," for both packaging and commercial prepress.
According to Agfa, ApogeeX represents a "breakthrough" in automation and ease of use. "Its intuitive interface lets the operator initiate and monitor tasks in real time," reports the co. "A scalable, modular design lets the user implement functions and performance as needed. Full JDF-compliancy integrates MIS/IT into the workflow for automatic job-ticket generation and end-to-end workflow management. A web-approval tool enables authorized users to approve pages or imposed flats remotely." Agfa says ApogeeX will be available for purchase in September 2002 and will be targeted to the four-up CTP and CTF commercial and package printing markets.
Visit Agfa at Ipex in Print City, hall 17, stand 241. Visit Agfa online at agfa.com.
MAN Roland Networks the Value Chain
"Showgoers [that stop by] the Man Roland exhibit (hall 17, stand 551), this year won't believe their eyes," says the company's press release. "The graphic arts innovator has totally redesigned the visual and ergonomic appearance of its products to provide a look that's in line with its mission to streamline print production workflows."
Man Roland says this "look" will be available for viewing "in [a] real world production scenario" within PrintCity at Ipex. Says Gerd Finkbeiner, Man Roland Druckmaschinen AG chairman of the board: "Next to printing systems that guarantee optimum quality and efficiency, the most important subject is networking in the printing company—the all-encompassing workflow. It must be implemented by our customers if they want to remain successful in the medium and long term."
Man Roland says its PECOM system is the key component of PrintCity's central workflow. "The command-and-control system serves as a platform for networked printing, and at Ipex, it's taken a step further. Under the banner 'Closed Loop, Open System,' Man Roland and its PrintCity partners are demonstrating total integration with an open-system architecture. This includes the networking of administration, prepress, printing, and postpress as well as the working debut of the new JDF (Job Description Format) standard."
Man Roland's Digital Directions
DICOweb, DICOpress, DICOpage, and DICOpack (mfr.'s family of digital solutions) are team printing at the show, says the co., handling projects that involve the marketing of fine wine. Labels, catalogs, direct mail, and posters are being versioned and personalized to demonstrate the one-to-one, short-run capabilities of the DICO line.
Visit Man Roland on the web at manroland.com.
Creo Tackles Rising Prepress Costs
Creo (hall 4, stands 650/650A) says it's previewing its Synapse Link software at Ipex. The co. says the product is the newest member of the powerful Synapse software family and reportedly will help printers tackle the rising prepress costs by identifying and eliminating inefficient processes or unprofitable practices.
Creo also says it will unveil several other new products in Birmingham. Visit Creo on the web at creo.com.
Daetwyler AG Features Gravure Products
Max Daetwyler Company (MDC) reports it has chosen IPEX 2002 to introduce three new products for gravure operations:
- Gravostar: electromechanical engraver for the packaging market. Says MDC: "This engraver can be equipped with a variety of different engraving-head systems to meet the most diverse customer requirements. Demonstrated will be the EM-Head for 54 screens raster at a speed of 8000 Hz. The new Gravostar is of modular design and can be adapted to handle any customer specific requirements—from a semi-automatic mode to a totally automatic mode."
- A lightweight cylinder that yields new advantages for the packaging and gravure industries. According to MDC: "[a] future-oriented and cost-efficient solution."
- A new plating system that transfers current to the cylinder without using carbon brushes. MDC reports: "This 'brush-free' system fulfills a long-standing desire—since galvanic-plating methods have been used—of gravure-cylinder manufacturing."
OMET: Set for Growth in U.K.
At Ipex, OMET announces its new collaboration with the U.K. sales agency, MM Digital Ltd., Knutsford, Cheshire. OMET says this agreement will further OMET's narrow web printing presence in the U.K. Exhibiting in hall 9, stand 350, OMET says its Ipex exhibit provides information on its range of narrow web flexo printing lines for labels, flexible packaging, and folding cartons. Visit OMET on the web at omet.it.
AVT Showcasing Profit-Building Inspection Systems
Advanced Vision Technology (AVT), reports it's showing its full range of new and established automatic inspection systems (AIS) for web applications at Ipex 2002.
Exhibiting in hall 9, stand 250, AVT is showcasing its PrintVision range of solutions, which includes:
- PrintVision/Pro: the flagship model; two monitors; optical head to sample web; enhanced ergonomic design
- PrintVision/Genesis: for narrower webs, up to 1500 mm (60 in.); entry-level solution
- PrintVision/Apollo: quality and process control; LCCD; 100% inspection
- PrintVision/Apollo Label: automatic 100% quality-assurance system for labels and narrow web
- PrintVision/Argus:combines 100% on-press solution for quality assurance with sampling optical head; LCCD camera
- pRegister: for CI flexo presses, uses camera as PrintVision to bring press into register within one minute;
- PrintVision/Prelude: stand-alone, closed-loop system enabling rapid registration; designed for CI flexo presses; incorporates pRegister module for up to 10 colors; and
- Other options: PrintFlow (job information and archiving with statistical process control); RiteSeal (for cold seal inspection on web's reverse side); and Automatic Bar Code Verification, ABC (inspects bar codes for conformity to standards).
Dotrix Launches at Ipex
Dotrix, a spin-off of Barco Graphics, reports the utilization of Ipex 2002 to launch the new company and its product offering officially. Dotrix is exhibiting in hall 3, stand 805.
Established legally in late 2001, Dotrix says it has a nine-person-strong management team from the former Barco Graphics industrial printing business, all of which participated in a management buyout with Barco remaining a majority shareholder.
"Building on the expertise of [our] high productivity prepress products for the security and decorative printing markets, Dotrix now offers totally digital workflow solutions," says the mfr. "We offer digital prepress, color-management, and imaging technologies to drive high-speed, color, digital printing applications (targeted at the industrial printing market) that provides customers with customized, flexible inkjet printing," Dotrix adds.
According to the mfr., the key product focus at Ipex is: ".factory" (the dot factory), a high-speed digital inkjet press that utilizes UV-curable inks and is designed to print on a variety of substrates used in decorative printing, specialty packaging, and security printing.
"The industrial printing market is dominated by such traditional technologies as flexo and gravure, but there's an increasing demand for shorter lead times, lower inventories, more product variety, and customized printing," explains Dotrix managing director, Rob Haak. "These demands cannot be achieved cost-effectively using traditional technologies. Dotrix offers printers an excellent solution that includes increased productivity and flexibility without comprising quality," he adds.
More information about Dotrix is available at Ipex and will be very soon at dotrix.be.
Eltex: Electrostatic Systems for "Innovative Solutions"
"Static electricity plays a role in a large number of print production and finishing processes," says Eltex-Elektrostatick GmbH. "Eltex develops and markets highly effective electrostatic innovations for controlled, beneficial applications, guaranteeing improved quality and profitability throughout the entire printing and finishing processes," the mfr. adds.
According to the co., Eltex is presenting its range of electrostatic systems at IPEX, including:
- Webmoister 60 electrostatic remoistening for heatset web offset;
- GNN75 electrostatic printing assist for gravure printing;
- Electrostatic ribbon-tacking systems; and
- Charging and discharging systems for print finishing.
Dalim Software Launches Latest Versions
DaLiM Software GmbH, a supplier of prepress workflow and production solutions, reports the launch of several important, new products and options that add "significant performance and management benefits to its range of software."
DaLiM is showcasing its latest at the "Turning Point Technologies" stand (hall 5, stand 509), which is the co.'s U.K. distributor. Products featured:
- TWiST, the co. reports: "the industry's most open, flexible, and highest productivity digital workflow"
New modules of TWiST:
- DiALOGUE: an on-line facility that allows the remote and collaborative viewing and proofing of high-res files via the Internet;
- WEBLiNK: This module provides users with full access to the TWiST workflow manager via a standard web browser, "giving the users the freedom to manage production workflows from any location; and
- Impose: "a unique option that allows companies currently using most closed and proprietary workflows (capable of driving a dedicated, single make of output device [only]) the freedom to drive any make of imagesetter and computer-to-plate (CTP) system."
Heidelberg Used Equipment Preview
Heidelberg reports the demonstration of the unique benefits offered by refurbishment to Heidelberg standards, "employing the manufacturer's expertise and using original machine data and spare parts," at Ipex (hall, U5, stand 141).
According to Heidelberg, refurbished machines are awarded the ZISMO! quality seal, which informs a buyer the machine has "zero impressions since manufacturer's overhaul." Says Jon Guy, managing director of Heidelberg Used Equipment, "Used equipment trading is an important part of Heidelberg's solutions approach, a best alternative option for those who cannot make an investment in new equipment or who need an interim step forward to the latest technology." Visit Heidelberg on the web at heidelberg.com.
The API Experience
API Foils says its featuring "an array of innovative technologies and unique stamping foils, laminated boards, and metallized papers" at Ipex this year. Showing at the API stand (hall 20, stand 452):
- SuperGrafix: "technically advanced, high-performance, hot stamping foils designed with versatility, quality, and consistency in mind," reports mfr. Available in 60 metallic colors as well as classic golds and silvers;
- API's dieLESS foiling technology;
- Holographics: "States of the Art" and "Art of Light" holographic product range; and
- The Chromagem Division, which specializes in holographic design and, according to API, has one of the world's most advanced mastering facilities. "API…[provides] the complete service, from design and origination through manufacture of holographic foils (Holofoil), film, papers (Holobrite), and boards, creating consistency across all aspects of packaging."
Also, reports API, "Henry & Leigh Slater Ltd. (a member of the API Group PLC) is exhibiting at the API booth "to highlight their combined offering to the print industry, particularly Slater's focus on the packaging and labeling industry."
Henry & Leigh Slater Metallizing is showing its range of metallized and holographic, wet-glue, and self-adhesive papers (for flexo, gravure, and offset). Reports API, the laminating division of Henry & Leigh Slater also is displaying an array of special-effects boards, including iridescent, satin, and pearlized finishes. Also featured are the highly reflective and matte-film lined cartonboards. Visit API Foils on the web at api-worldwide.com.
Primarc UV Technology
Visitors to Primarc's Ipex stand (hall 11, stand 438) can see a range of Primarc's medium-pressure mercury arc lamps and electrodeless microwave bulbs, suitable for all known UV curing systems. In addition, says the co., Ipex visitors can check out the extended series of spectrally enhanced metal halide versions. Visit Primarc on the web at primarc.com.
Indigo Demos Industry's Widest Range of Digital Presses
Indigo reports it's showcasing its entire range of digital offset color presses at Ipex (hall 5, stand 750). "With 17 presses on display for label, specialty, and commercial printing, Indigo's 1390 square meter stand will focus on business opportunities [and] end-user solutions."
According to the co., a special "solutions arcade" provides Ipex attendees the opportunity to view digital printing of on-demand, high-margin products. Demos illustrate the "unlimited" possibilities offered by Indigo's digital offset color technology, reports mfr., which combines ink image quality in up to seven colors on a wide range of paper, foil, and plastic substrates. Showing at the Indigo stand:
- Omnius WebStream 100: shown with a Nilpeter in-line finishing system to demonstrate "a complete digitally printed label solution. With fast printing speeds, a streamlined digital workflow, variable data capability, and the ability to print on almost any substrate, [this press] positions Indigo at the forefront of digital technology in the labels sector."
- Platinum: co.'s newest digital offset color press. "Delivers extremely high image quality at best-in-class price." Prints up to six colors and utilizes "Image Tracking technology"
- UltraStream 2000: designed for high-volume commercial printing;
- Publisher 4000: "twin-engine, web-fed press that delivers the power of Indigo digital offset color printing to mid-volume commercial printing, publishing, and direct-mail markets."
Rimor Intros Lighweight Air Shafts
The co.'s range of lightweight "Con-Ex" extruded aluminum air shafts recently has been extended to include a 6-in./150mm and a 3-in. Ultra-Light version. "The Con-Ex range of air shafts feature a unique rubber lug design with a built-in retraction system. Also featured at the mfr.'s Ipex stand (hall 19, stand 113): manual brakes; modular pneumatic brakes, and pneumatic clutches. Visit Rimor on the web at rimor.co.uk.
Wait! There's More...
With nearly 1,500 companies exhibiting, Ipex features an extensive array of graphic arts technology. Other exhibits attendees may want to check out include:
- ScenicSoft, Inc., hall 4, stand 647, scenicsoft.com;
- Applied Laser Engineering, hall 4, stand 219, appliedlaser.co.uk;
- Albo System AB, hall 20, stand 328, albo.se;
- Eltromat (mfr. of on-press register and color controls), hall 9, stand 700, eltromat.com;
- Enfocus Software, hall 4, stand 707, enfocus.com;
- Screen USA, hall 4, stand 360, screenusa.com;
- Inca Digital, hall 5, stand 494, incadigital.com;
- GMG, featuring its colorproofing technology at five exhibitors: Basys Print, hall 5, stand 260; Epson, hall 5, stand 671; FujiFilm Graphic Systems, hall 5, stand 510; Hewlett Packard, hall 5, stand 579; and Turning Point Technologies (GMG's U.K. distributor as well as Dalim Software distributor), hall 5, stand 509, colorproof.de;
- Pressure Seal Systems Ltd., hall 10, stand 410, pseal.co.uk;
- KBA (Koenig & Bauer Aktiengesellschaft), hall 12, stands 140A and 140B, kba-print.de;
- Körber Paperlink, hall 20, stand 310, kpl.net; and
- ACIMGA (Italian Manufacturers Association of Machinery for the Printing, Graphic Arts, and Converting Industry), hall 19, stand 117, acimga.it
For Your Convenience... Pira Provides Technology Tours
With a selection of technology tours focused on specific subject areas, Pira International (working in conjunction with IPEX organizers, IIR Exhibitions), offers a way to enhance visitors' time. Says Pira, "The range of tours [is] larger and more diverse than before, with each tour lasting up to three hours and providing a cost-effective way of optimizing time. The tours focus on the major developments within selected areas of relevance to printing, packaging, paper, and publishing." Tours relevant to the converting industry include:
- The Gold Star Tour: Gives those whose time is at a premium a snapshot of key innovations at Ipex. Intended to be more future-looking in outlook.
- New Advances in Package Printing: Focuses on major developments in package-printing technology, particularly flexo presses.
- Latest Developments in CTP and DI Presses: Includes latest developments in plates and platesetters and considers the impact violet laser diode is having on CTP market. Tracks the progress of DI presses since their launch;
- Digital Workflow: Examines the various options for companies looking at moving into digital workflows. Highlights latest developments in proofing, color control, and preflighting.
- MIS and E-Commerce: Examines latest developments in automation and efficiency of order processing (and any of the administrative functions) and the customer interface. Also examines the JDF (Job Definition Format), which Pira says promises to bring new levels of automation to the set-up of production equipment (extending on CIP3), "while also providing solid links into management-information systems for the use of stored information. Ipex 2002 is the first demonstration of JDF capabilities."
An A-to-Z listing of exhibitors is available at Ipex's web site, along with additional event information. Visit Ipex on the web at ipex.org. Have a great show! PFFC