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Print Marches On at drupa 2012

Jul 15, 2012 12:00 AM


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Feel the Power! Print Marches on at drupa 2012: 8 trends and products that made us say WOW!

Drupa attracted 314,500 attendees from 130 countries- 75,500 fewer people than the 2008 show. Over the past decade, the U.S. printing industry lost 7,700 printing com-panies and 3,900 German printers closed their doors during that same period. Naturally, the attendance figures reflected these and other sobering industry realities. Nonetheless, drupa 2012 was an exciting show, one that got even jaded observers excited about the industry. Benny Landa deserves a great deal of credit-he is a digital pioneer and a peerless communicator. But before we delve into the inkjet partner-ships and digital press particulars, we wanted to spotlight some additional super drupa developments that are taking print to the next level. Up, up and away!

INKJET FOR NEWSPAPERS HITS ITS STRIDE.
"After years of starts and stops - primarily stops - the last few weeks have seen some significant traction," reports News & Tech's Chuck Moozakis. "Dow Jones and TKS demonstrated the versatility and potential of digital printing with live editions of The Wall Street Journal's U.S. edition produced on the JetLeader 1500 machine daily. [Also] River Presse Edition (RPE) in Limoges will put into production two Océ 4300 digital presses equipped with manroland finishing equipment capable of producing broadsheets, tabloids and Berliners at press speeds."

POSTPRESS GETS SOME DIGITAL RESPECT.
HORIZON'S SmartStacker for inline or nearline use with HP's 10000 press impressed. It slits a B2-size sheet into a maximum of 28 individual sheets, with seven slits in one direction and four in the other. Slit sheets can be either offset or straight stacked for different applications.

Israeli-based HIGHCON debuted "Euclid," said to be the world's first entirely digital cutting and creasing production machine for folding cartons. Who knew you could fold a folding carton with a laser? It's a great leap forward for short-run digital folding carton production.

HEY, THAT'S MY MAP!
VDP has come a long way from the Chromapress/Novartis seed campaign back in the day... Map specialist "LOCR" makes it easier for users to generate personalized regional and route map data from for direct mail, transpromo and transactional documents. The maps can be edited as JPEG files with all popular VDP applications. An API interface provides easy integration in web-to-print software. GMC (Inspire) and XMPIE (XMPie uDirect Premier and PersonalEffect) have announced special locr partnerships.

...AND THAT'S MY PERSONALIZED VIDEO!

PAGEFLEX is partnering with DYNAMICVIDEO on a template-based workflow for video production. Users can customize video footage as well as advertising copy including regional or local promotions, images, and calls to action. "Our customers have known about the power of personalization for a long time for customized communications in print and cross-media campaigns," says Pageflex's Elly Perets. "Now [they] can bring that customization experience to the growing popularity of video and rich media."

LOOK WHAT MY MAGAZINE CAN DO ON AN IPAD!

Production specialist DALIM show-cased an "Enrichment" option for its ES workflow suite-no more boring old static PDFs. Convert your print-ready PDF files into interactive digital magazines, newspapers, corporate publications, brochures and catalogs-even adding movies and slide shows-on the iPad. It's very cool-going far beyond just putting magazine files on an iPad. (See also QuarkXPress 9.2 ePUB and iPad publishing tools and Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite.)

HOLY AUGMENTED REALITY, BATMAN!
SAPPI FINE PAPER has a rich tradition of producing compelling print publications for printers. Recent efforts include What's Next as well as an oversized 44-page booklet ("My Life in Print") which features the stories of 16 people and the printed objects they treasure.

Also new: Special Effects, Volume 5 of The Standard pairs special effects with interactive print. On a physical level, readers-especially designers-will enjoy the look and feel of foil-stamping techniques, embossing/ debossing, engraving/thermography, varnish/aqueous/UV coating tech-niques, strike-through, laser die-cut-ting, lenticular printing and flocking.

On a technical level, they'll marvel at "Super Dude," a printed character who "leaps" from the page as an animated superhero when viewed on a mobile device or online at http://www.na.sappi.com/superheroes. Awesome!

HOLD THE PHONE FOR CROSSMEDIA.
RICOH teamed with PTI MARKETING TECHNOLOGIES, the vendor behind MarcomCentral W2P, to demonstrate Clickable Paper, a crossmedia service that lets consumers access related online content by pointing a smartphone at any printed surface.

Ricoh Visual Search developed the technology, which can be used with newspapers, magazines, direct mail, books, brochures and posters to deliver digital information or services such as multimedia content, websites, e-commerce services, and social networks. Books, for example, can come "alive" with videos and other content. Ricoh claims Clickable Paper "transcends the limitations of QR codes, coding images, text, or entire books, articles, and magazines with an evergreen link. Ricoh is testing Clickable Paper in Japan with the free iPhone app "TAMAGO Clicker." Can't wait to see the next iteration!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: GOOD OLD OFFSET PRESSES.
They just work. "B2-format offset presses provide great quality at competitive cost on a wide range of substrates with in-line coating and perfecting units," observes InfoTrend's Jim Hamilton. "Want to accelerate that process in B2 format? HEIDELBERG'S solution is Anicolor for faster B2 makeready. PRESSTEK puts platemaking on press with the 75 DI. These are available today, unlike the [majority] of B2-format digital tech demos across the show."