Impressions of PRINT 13: the largest and most innovative global exhibition of digital, offset and hybrid technologies in 2013
By Andrew Gunn, National Marketing Manager, Production Solutions Group, Xerox Canada
It’s been a few weeks now since the show ended and I have caught up on my mountain of post-show activities and reports. Print13, I thought was a rousing success for not just Xerox, but the industry as a whole. My thoughts on the show are broken down in to the following points and observations:
- Perhaps the most noteworthy trend was the lack of “iron” on display. The first thing you noticed when entering the show floor was that Heidelberg was not there with their usual 20 thousand square foot booth. Xerox has now actually taken over that spot.
- Overall, attendance was very strong and was up by 30 percent over 2012. However, while making the rounds, it was obvious that most people gravitated toward the digital print engine suppliers, especially the Inkjet offerings. Xerox showcased for the first time on North American soil the IMPIKA Inkjet offering. We purchased IMPIKA back in February of this year and it was probably the show’s biggest attraction on the Inkjet front. As this is Xerox’s first foray into the Aqueous Inkjet market, most people think this is a great investment as IMPIKA is a proven Inkjet technology and should serve to help Xerox transition into the Inkjet market on top of what is already being offered with the Xerox CiPress Inkjet technology.
- I heard many customers tell me that “they need to get on this” when seeing Impika and talking about inkjet in general. In previous years you did not hear that as much. Well, it looks like it’s here to stay and people are now seriously looking in much greater numbers than before . So in my opinion, I expect to see this double in growth YOY for the next 3-5 years. Especially after reading the Caslon Report that showed placements of inkjet in North America that went up from 60 to 120 from 2011 to 2012. I expect this to continue, based on quality getting better, prices coming down and substrate latitude evolving, etc.
- Gains in print technology are now focused around harnessing data and leveraging digital print to create focused communication for Graphic Communications providers’ end customers. If you visited the Xerox booth, you would have saw that we revolved our entire value proposition around this theme. These are the types of conversations we are having with our Graphic Communications customers these days.
- In Line Finishing was front a centre with Work Flow tied to it. Customers are looking for the “Web to Finish” dream and this was on display everywhere. For the first time ever you had finishing companies like Bell, Howell and CP Bourg front and centre at the show with some of the biggest booths. In years past they would be at the back running their off line offerings. Additionally, you would notice that Xerox had on most of its bigger ticket items fully integrated with in line/near line finishing from Web to Print. This is something, as we move down the automation path, you will be seeing more and more of as print providers lean out and automate their business and work-flow.
I will be posting more industry thoughts throughout the year, so please comment on the blog or email me some of your thoughts and I will make sure to discuss on my next blog.