Inkjet Summit a Huge Success

Conference Chair Charlie Corr talks with a panel of experts at the first ever Inkjet Summit. From left: Marco Boer, Elizabeth Gooding and Howie Fenton.

Mike Lincoln (left), general manager of the State of Colorado’s Integrated Document Solutions (IDS) unit, and Jimmy Vainstein, senior project manager at The World Bank’s Printing & Multimedia Services operation, were two of the in-plant managers in attendance.

Gilles Biscos, president of Interquest, leads a breakout session on book printing at the Inkjet Summit.

The key message at the recent Inkjet Summit, seemed to be that inkjet technology is fully developed and ready to use, so start planning for it.

“This market’s moving faster than even I anticipated it would,” remarked conference chair Charlie Corr, during the landmark event’s wrap-up session.

Added Charlie Pesko, founder of InfoTrends, “I sincerely believe that inkjet is the next big game changer in the printing industry.”

Held in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the first of its kind summit, organized by nGage Events and North American Publishing Company (owner of In-plant Graphics and Printing Impressions), drew dozens of printers, including seven in-plants. They spent three days networking and learning from each other, and left the event full of inspiration and ideas for implementing inkjet technology. Most of the in-plant attendees either have already installed an inkjet press (e.g., World Bank, Allstate) or were about to (e.g., Excellus BCBS, State of Colorado).

The summit was packed with non-stop activities: keynotes, panel discussions, case studies, user conversations and more, providing a near constant flow of information. The enthusiasm of attendees and sponsors alike was very high, with many compliments going to organizers for bringing the two groups together in such an intimate setting, which included scheduled one-on-one meetings.

Another frequent refrain at the sessions was the message that the quality of today’s inkjet equipment may not match offset, but there are plenty of applications where it is good enough to run with. Discussions on cost of operation of inkjet seemed to all come back to the idea that it was hard to get a handle on costs, which will differ for each user, depending on factors like ink coverage and type of paper used.

NAPL Consultant Howie Fenton, one of the speakers, agreed that being an early adaptor of inkjet is a good move.

“Inkjet’s evolution is happening significantly faster than [what’s occurred] with toner-based technologies,” Fenton said. “People are making money with it now.” There are also ample opportunities for today’s early inkjet adopters. “It hasn’t crossed the chasm and become commoditized,” he said. Early adopters, he noted, get “first dibs” on customers.

Related story: Inkjet: 'The Next Big Game Changer'

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.
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