From the Editor: In-plants in Chicago
I remember when Graph Expo was an equipment show. This year’s event, though, felt much more like an IPMA conference. I saw dozens—maybe even hundreds—of in-plant managers during my four hectic days in Chicago last month.
They crowded into meeting rooms for the three events we hosted and the luncheon organized by the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. They attended seminars on in-plant topics led by fellow managers. Even on the show floor I ran into in-plants at every turn: watching equipment demos, networking at IPMA’s In-plant Place booth or just standing in the aisles shooting the breeze. One evening, Ricoh and IPMA held a happy hour at a Chicago rooftop bar, where I was able to mingle with dozens of managers from all over the country.
This year’s expo was a lot busier for me than usual. NAPCO Media, IPG’s parent company, produced the show’s daily e-newsletter, so I was often busy writing articles about the press conferences and in-plant events I attended. In those e-newsletters you may have seen my cameo in two videos—one showing off the Sharp Pro Series and another taken at the Xerox booth, where the Rialto 900 and iGen 5 were launched—with musical fanfare. The latter video (below) features three in-plant managers talking about how they use Xerox technology.
And then there were the two in-plant breakfast events and a luncheon that IPG organized. Each drew an impressive turnout. I talked with attendees from Villanova University, Penn State, the New York State Bar Association, Principal Financial Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the states of New Mexico, Kentucky, Colorado, California and Oregon, the City of San Francisco, and the Universities of Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Delaware, to name just a few.
Our sessions featured the likes of Barb Pellow, group director at InfoTrends, Tom Rohrbach, of Progressive Insurance, and a panel of four managers from Penn State, Arizona State, Omaha Public Schools and YWCA of Los Angeles.
Then—almost as an afterthought—there was the equipment on the show floor. Inkjet presses, predictably, drew lots of attention, especially the Rialto 900 roll-to-cut-sheet press from Xerox and the Océ VarioPrint i300 sheetfed press from Canon USA (shown via video demonstrations). The in-plants I talked to were looking at a variety of products, chief among them wide-format printers and Web-to-print systems. Perfect and spiral binding equipment were also on their lists, as were mailing and inserting equipment.
Between Graph Expo and Canon Expo the week before, my head is swimming with new technology. I’ll try to sort it out for you in this and future issues of IPG.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.