On Demand 2011: Digital Innovations in D.C.
The On Demand Show took place in Washington, D.C. recently. Here’s a look at the digital technologies that were on display.May 2011 By Bob Neubauer
Now in its 18th year, the On Demand Conference and Exposition tried something new this time when it moved south of the Mason-Dixon line to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Not everyone was happy with the results.
Though some exhibits were packed at intervals, others were not so busy. Perhaps the absence of key companies like Xerox, Kodak, Presstek and Standard caused some potential attendees to skip this year's event. Or maybe D.C. was too far for the Northeast day trippers who attended previous years' shows in Philadelphia, Boston and New York.
IPG spotted fewer in-plant managers than usual this year. Most of those were there to see specific equipment they were hoping to buy. Unlike past On Demand shows, the educational program (called the Publishing Xchange Conference) did not have an in-plant track this year, possibly contributing to a smaller in-plant attendance.
Still, those who made the trip had more than enough to see—once they found their way to the back of the convention center, down two levels and past an unrelated expo. Canon USA had the commanding booth this year in terms of size and location, followed by Konica Minolta and Ricoh/InfoPrint Solutions.
Other exhibitors that anchored the show floor included GBC, MGI USA, GMC Software Technology and Graphic Whizard. HP also could be included in the latter group, but it again elected to be located in the co-located Association for Information and Image Management's (AIIM) info360 Expo portion of the hall. The exhibitor list topped 90 companies, down slightly from 2010.
Much of the exhibit hall had the feel of the tabletop displays at Seybold Conferences in the early years. Some larger pieces of equipment were displayed, even several high-volume inkjet presses.
Some of the Highlights
Canon USA used the event for the U.S. introduction of the DreamLabo 5000 seven-color, roll-fed printer with a 12˝ width and 2,400x1,200-dpi print resolution. The device is positioned as an alternative to silver-halide technology for retail photo printing applications—including prints and photo books—due to its dense, nearly continuous imaging. Canon also sees the DreamLabo 5000 as a solution for high-end print-on-demand products because of its high-definition text printing capabilities. The printer has a 12˝-wide print head that uses Canon's proprietary FINE inkjet technology to apply CMYK plus photo cyan, photo magenta and gray dye-based inks. It can output 40 single-sided sheets of 4x6˝ photos per minute (with internal automatic cutting).