May 28, 2009
Last week I had the opportunity to attend Kodak’s Graphic Users Association Conference at the Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida. For those that may be unfamiliar, the 5,500-member Graphic Users Association, more commonly referred to as GUA, is a users group for Kodak software and hardware owners. Anyone who buys at least one piece of Kodak software or hardware is able to join GUA and get access to its online forums to interact with other Kodak users, as well as the opportunity to attend the annual conference. GUA operates fairly indepedently from Kodak, but still has Kodak representatives on its board to coordinate contact between Kodak and GUA, as well as to help coordinate the conference.
This year’s overarching theme of the conference was “Efficiency Revealed”, focusing on how print service providers can utilize production workflow solutions and integration to automate their print shop, increase efficiency, improve turnaround time, and ultimately decrease costs on jobs. Kodak’s Prinergy and InSite product lines that make up Kodak’s Unified Workflow portfolio were highlighted often in various sessions. Workflow topics ranged from utilizing Prinergy’s Rules-Based Automation (RBA) functionality to setting up a business plan for integrated a workflow with MIS. There was also a full software lab available, where users could test out new and upcoming software, as well as troubleshoot issues with files or applications.
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May 21, 2009
The high-speed inkjet market is expanding rapidly. One recent indication of this is the number of inkjet-related product developments that turned up at China Print 2009 (May 12th to 16th in Beijing). Held every four years, China Print’s organizers expected to have about 1,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors. It is the largest show in the region and some people believe that the next China Print (in 2013) will be larger than drupa 2012. China Print 2009 was split out over eight sizeable halls, most of which were focused on traditional printing and finishing technologies. There was, nonetheless, significant production digital print activity including many inkjet products for wide format, high-speed document, and packaging applications. The bulk of the inkjet activity was centered in Hall E2, which was also where much of the toner-based digital print technology was located.
The first indication that inkjet would be a big theme of the show was Kodak’s announcement that it would show its monochrome Stream technology there. Stream is capable of speeds of 1,000 feet-per-minute (305 meters-per-minute) at a resolution of 600 dots per inch. It supports a print width of 10.56 cm and uses pigment-based inks. The samples shown at China Print were comparable to the ones handed out at Graph Expo and show strong monochrome quality at very high speed. China Print was the official launch for the monochrome Stream product. Kodak reported that the color launch is also on schedule. Expect to see new branding for Stream in the coming weeks. Not only was the monochrome Stream technology up and running at the booth, Kodak also showed a Versamark VL2000.
Kodak monochrome Stream inkjet
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May 19, 2009
Last week Jeff Hayes, Barb Pellow, and I had the pleasure of presenting at the Survive & Thrive conference, which was held at the Beijing International Hotel Conference Center in Beijing, China ahead of the China Print 2009 trade show. Co-developed by HP and InfoTrends, the conference was the gathering point for hundreds of HP customers, prospects, and partners. Sponsored by abg International, Creo, DigiLabs, Dscoop, and Press-sense, the two-day event was highlighted by several keynotes (including ones by Alon Bar-Shany and Chris Morgan of HP, and Jeff Hayes and Barb Pellow of InfoTrends) as well as by presentations by many HP Indigo users from all over the world.
Arguably, the biggest news of the conference was the announcement that Dscoop (the Digital Solutions Cooperative user group) would be expanding its operations into the Asia Pacific region. Founded in 2005, Dscoop (www.dscoop.org) has developed a formidable presence in the North American market and provides a valuable resource for a growing range of HP customers (today primarily Indigo and some wide format). Dscoop has 700 member companies on six continents and conducts an annual conference that has grown from about four hundred attendees in 2006 to more than 1,300 in 2009. The 2010 conference will be held in Dallas in February. Dscoop is also notably web-centric, having offered more than one hundred web seminars and supporting many web discussion forums for its members. In his comments preceding the announcement of Dscoop Asia Pacific, Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President of HP’s Indigo division, called the birth and rapid growth of Dscoop a highlight of his professional career, given how it came together in a very short period of time after a “difficult” situation involving the prior user group, the Indigo Customer Exchange (ICE). Read more »
May 7, 2009
With strobe lights flashing and loud music blaring, HP unveiled the Inkjet Web Press this past Tuesday at O’Neil Data Systems in Los Angeles. The device, first seen at drupa 2008 is about the size of two tour buses end to end. With a 30-inch (762 millimeter) web width and speeds of up to 400 feet per minute (122 meters per minute) it was the star of a three-day event sponsored by HP and hosted at O’Neil Data Systems.
HP Inkjet Web Press at O'Neil Data Systems
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