Drupa--Direct Imaging Takes Center Stage
Thousands of visitors flocked to Drupa 2000, the world's largest graphic arts trade show. IPG was among them. Find out what we learned about the direction the printing industry is heading.
Everything worth seeing in the graphic arts world was at Drupa 2000. For two solid weeks, the world's printers crowded Düsseldorf, Germany's fairgrounds to visit some 1,669 exhibitors from 44 countries. In-Plant Graphics was there, finding out about the latest innovations and trends so we could share them with you. With 18 halls to visit, though, the task was a bit overwhelming.
The most prevalent trend in the offset world was the move to on-press imaging. Numerous vendors offered new direct imaging (DI) presses, such as Komori, MAN Roland, Sakurai, Adast, Karat Digital Press, Screen and Ryobi.
Elsewhere, manufacturers crossed categories left and right. Offset vendors unveiled digital printers, experts in digital color printing moved into the black-and-white domain and vendors of all types scrambled to offer "e-services," or to otherwise link themselves to the Internet world.
"We believe we've really become the output to e-business," noted IBM's Bill McCracken, a statement echoed by vendors everywhere.
Offset king Heidelberg—which moved into digital printing last year with the black-and-white Digimaster 9110—went a step farther at Drupa and introduced a digital color printer, the NexPress 2100. MAN Roland teamed up with Xeikon to market, sell and service Xeikon digital color printing systems under the MAN Roland name. And in a similar category-crossing vein, Xerox showed off a direct imaging offset press, which used its DigiPath software.
Even digital color press manufacturers crossed categories. Two of the biggest, Indigo and Xeikon, turned some attention to the black-and-white world. Indigo showed its previously introduced Ebony press, with a production speed of 136 letter-size pages per minute, and Xeikon announced plans to market Nipson black-and-white digital presses under the Xeikon brand.