Three Days in New Orleans…And a Stunning Announcement
Three days in New Orleans…who could complain about that? Sure, the humidity was unbearable, but that complaint can be countered with just two words: Bourbon Street.
That's not why I was there, though. The SGIA Expo was taking place — the largest printing trade show in North America (yes, even bigger than Graph Expo) — and I was there to cover it. Among other things I was writing articles for the Expo Daily, doing video interviews with vendors and visiting in-plants, and walking the show floor to see some pretty cool wide-format, textile and industrial printing devices.
Oh, and then there was that little piece of news you may have heard about that was announced at SGIA Expo: a new partnership between my company, NAPCO Media, and SGIA that will result in a new mega trade show and educational event that will include all technologies and markets within the graphic and visual communications industry. It will be called PRINTING United, and it will be exactly that: a uniting of all types of printing technologies, from wide-format and garment printing to packaging, commercial and industrial printing. Everything. All under one roof.
The announcement produced a bit of a shockwave at the SGIA Expo, particularly for my journalist friends at competing publications. And I imagine it's pretty big news for many of you who are comfortable just going to Graph Expo and leaving it at that. But that show is far from complete, as anyone who walked the SGIA show floor can attest. I saw things there I've never seen in my life. (No, I'm not talking about Bourbon Street here.) Giant robotic arms manipulating printed pieces, printing on ceramic tiles and other unconventional substrates, garment and textile printing devices of every size and shape. It was an eye-opening show.
Still, I saw only a handful of in-plants at SGIA Expo. I interviewed two of them on video, Nathan Thole of Iowa State University, and Brian Geimer of California State University, Sacramento. It was surprising, honestly, that more in-plants weren't there, with wide-format being such a growing area at in-plants. Our goal is to fill PRINTING United with so many print technologies and focused educational sessions that it will be irresistible to the in-plant community.
As for the SGIA Expo floor, a couple of the impressive wide-format devices that were launched at SGIA Expo were the Ricoh Pro T7210 wide-format flatbed printer for printing decor items such as wall coverings, flooring, furniture and tile; EFI's new Pro 24f LED flatbed printer, with LED inkjet imaging, variable drop grayscale head technology and a multi-zoned vacuum table; the Océ Colorado 1640 from Canon U.S.A., using UVgel ink, which instantly gels on contact with media, yielding precise dot gain and instantly cured prints; and Mimaki USA's UCJV Series cut-and-print devices, with white ink to enable four-layer printing. (More detail here.)
You'll hear more about these devices and others in the weeks ahead. And no doubt you'll be hearing more about PRINTING United as well.
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.