Graph Expo ‘A Candy Store’ for In-plants

In-plant managers got a chance to see the technologies they’ve been reading about at the recent Graph Expo show.

For the many in-plant managers in attendance, the recent Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2004 show in Chicago was a graphic arts fantasy land.

“I felt like a kid in a candy store,” observes Mike Renn, of Mellon Corporate Publishing, in Philadelphia. “I went to take a look at the latest direct-to-plate systems and software management packages and came away with numerous options.”

Attendance this year was pretty healthy, he adds: “I had to wedge myself between bodies to check out the latest gear.”

Other managers agreed.

“I thought it was well attended,” says John Sarantakos, administrator of University of Oklahoma Printing Services. He went to the show looking for a saddle binder and a platesetting system. He saw much more.

“Most of the large players had big areas with plenty of space to mill around,” he recalls. “Heidelberg had the most equipment. Komori had an 81˝ sheetfed that was impressive. Of course the iGen3 and NexPress were interesting.”

Some came with more interest in those devices than others.

“I had appointments to look at digital color equipment including the iGen3 and NexPress,” says Lee Sperl, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. “I believe an upgrade to our Xerox 2045 is in the near future. Also of interest was print management software. I spent several hours in those booths.”

“I was intrigued by the digital presses and online JDF software packages that would streamline print request processing and take a lot of the stress out of on-demand services,” says Mellon’s Renn. “I’d like to get a CTP system to upgrade my prepress area, or further simplify the process and go to one of the DI presses. I have more than enough information from the show to help me decide what’s best for my operation.”

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