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Graph Expo: 'Heavy Iron'Comes Up Light

The offset presses on display at Graph Expo 2012 were few and far between.

November 2012 By Mark Michelson
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Gone are the days when sheetfed offset presses dominated the Graph Expo show floor. The high costs involved to ship and set up a large, multicolor offset press at a show—coupled with a dearth of revolutionary technology developments to showcase—makes it hard to justify the expenditure.

By my count there were only four offset presses actually running at Graph Expo:

  • A five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52 with Anicolor zoneless short inking technology and aqueous coater, able to run six, 300-sheet jobs on different substrates, with one operator, in 30 minutes.
  • A Presstek 52DI 52cm digital offset press, which can go from digital file to printed sheet in 10 minutes.
  • A small-format, two-color BaumPrint 18 press in Baum's booth.
  • A second BaumPrint 18 in Mitsubishi Imaging's exhibit operating as part of a platemaking demonstration.

That's not to say that exhibitors like KBA North America, Komori America, MLP U.S.A., Goss International and others didn't have a presence this year. It's just that they opted for video presentations, interactive displays, print samples and standalone press consoles/units to emphasize new developments, enhanced press monitoring and consumables.

Even the five-color Heidelberg SM 52 Anicolor was just one component in the workflow presentation of a cross-media promotion Heidelberg developed for a fictional clothing store called belle&beau. The marketing services campaign included a custom Prinect online storefront, short-run brochures printed on the SM 52 Anicolor, letters and catalogs with variable data output using a Heidelberg-branded Linoprint C901 color digital press, and in-store posters and displays produced on an EFI Rastek H652 UV flatbed inkjet printer. Prinect Color Toolbox ensured color matching across the three output platforms.

Heidelberg also demonstrated the new generation of its Prinect Image Control spectrophotometric color management system, specifically designed for printers seeking to comply with G7 methods and ISO standards for printing according to grey balance control.

The Systemservice area of Heidelberg's booth featured Remote Monitoring, which enables early detection of machine system failures before problems occur, based on continuous data capture from the press.

KBA North America devoted booth space to educating attendees about its Service Select programs designed for efficiency analysis, audits and press operator training. A video also highlighted the company's presence at drupa in Germany. Featured in the video was KBA's entry into high-volume digital printing with the KBA RotaJET 76 inkjet web press.



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