A Demanding World
OnDemand Digital Printing & Publishing Expo showcases new print-on-demand
products in New York City.
Commercial printing had a dynamic decade in the '90s. Plagued by mergers and acquisitions and technical alteration, the industry has flourished, due in no small part to digital printing.
In 1990, recalls Charles Pesko (Pesko provided one of the keynote presentations at OnDemand), managing director, CAP Ventures, Norwell, MA, life for commercial printing was simple and good. That same year, Xerox birthed the DocuTech, and in 1993, Xeikon and Indigo made color print-on-demand (POD) possible, Pesko states.
In 1995, CAP Ventures valued the commercial printing industry at $91 billion, and POD began to impact delivery expectations, Pesko adds. The year earns its notch on the timeline, he suggests, as it gives rise to the Internet's—and the dot-com developers'—rise to stardom.
Proving that the POD realm is anything but static, several companies launched the products at the event. The following is a wrap-up of new product and strategic alliance announcements:
EFI, Foster City, CA, stated that it is developing a new line of software applications for the corporate, print-for-pay and graphic arts markets. The software will be marketed under the brand name Velocity. VelocityBalance, cluster-printing-enabling software, drives multiple engines and balances jobs between the engines to maximize throughput. The software—compatible with several EFI utilities, including Command WorkStation, Fiery Link and Fiery Driver—monitors print job status and redirects the job to another engine if an error occurs. VelocitySplit diverges documents that contain both black-and-white and color pages, routing pages to appropriate output devices. The software automatically generates cover sheets that contain both human- and machine-readable cover sheets that provide instruction on how the b/w and color pages are to be merged at finishing. The software is compatible with selected off-line collators and also controls in-line sheet inserters.
VelocityDesign marks EFI's next-generation variable-data solution. It enables users to design, view and upload variable-data documents from a Fiery server. The application also supports automated brochure mailing.
EFI and Océ Printing Systems USA, Boca Raton, FL, introduced three new Fiery color servers. The Océ 700C and Océ 750C is designed to drive Océ's seven- and 11-page-per-minute color copiers. The Océ 850C services Océ's 24- and 31-page-per-minute copiers. All of the servers are based on EFI's family of Fiery X4, X4 and Z16 color servers.
EFI and Ricoh, West Caldwell, NJ, announced an advanced Fiery-networked solution for the 85-page-per-minute RICOH Aficio 850 black-and-white digital imaging device. The server/imaging system is designed to serve the high-volume needs of corporate reprographics departments and print-for-pay organizations, according to EFI.
Banta Integrated Media, a subsidiary of Banta Corp., Menasha, WI, announced the release of DataMerge 4.0, a Meadows Information Systems-developed (Meadows Information Systems is also a Banta subsidiary.) technology for Internet-enabled variable-data printing. The application is based on QuarkXPress XTensions and reportedly allows XPress users to create personalized documents—for print or the Web. DataMerge 4.0 will be available in Q2 and will feature serveral modular options. DataMerge.Pro offers a single-user desktop interface for small- to mid-sized marketing departments, according to Banta. DataMerge.Server provides a more sophisticated level of automation possibilities and offers a solution for commercial and print-for-pay shops, corporate graphics departments and custom publishers.
DataMerge.Client is an XTension for QuarkXPress that printers may license and provide to their customers. The software's desktop interface offers graphically rich variable-data templates; output is disabled for this module.
Finally, DataMerge.Web is a customized module that provides Internet tools and e-commerce functionality, according to Banta. This module is particularly attractive to print service providers, marketing agencies and custom publishers that would like to create an Internet front-end but do not wish to allocate resources to its development. Additional features of DataMerge 4.0 include update printer drivers for Xerox VIPP and Xeikon/Barco PrintStreamer systems. DataMerge 4.0 modules will be available for both Macintosh and Windows NT platforms.
Heidelberg USA, Kennesaw, GA, announced its recent partnership with Coverbind perfect-binding solutions for use with Heidelberg's Digimaster 9110. According to Heidelberg USA, Coverbind's perfect-binding systems complement the Digimaster 9110's saddle-stitching capabilities. Coverbind 201 DFS is a free-standing production unit that automatically binds documents with spines of less than 2˝.
Sunnyvale, CA-based Impresse announced that Moore Corp., Bannockburn, IL, has selected Impresse's e-commerce solution for Moore's commercial printing customers. Impresse will provide Moore and its global customers with a customized platform for online ordering, tracking and fulfillment of their jobs. Moore will also use www.impresse.com to for outsourcing material; the service will facilitate shipping, delivery and invoice reconciliation for outsourced projects.
At OnDemand, Kanematsu USA, Somerset, NJ, demonstrated its new document delivery system. Combining Kanematsu's ViviCO Print Server and Adobe Acrobat Messenger software, the ViviCO Document Depot scans paper-based documents from a high-speed Minolta copier and converts content to Adobe PDF or JPEG image files, which can then be electronically distributed within a corporation or to a company's print vendors.
Atlanta-headquartered Océ Printing Systems announced a cooperative marketing agreement with Exstream Software, Lexington, KY. Exstream's Dialogue software will be co-marketed with Océ's color, production-level and on-demand product lines. Dialogue drives both online output and high-speed print and mail applications, including full support for XML (Extensible Markup Language). According to Océ, an Exstream and Océ imaging solution provides print buyers with highly automated one-to-one print campaigns and is capable of creating customized newsletters, catalogs and advertising pages.
Splash Technology, Sunnyvale, CA, introduced its ColorPort color server for Xerox's new DocuColor 2000 series. The server, according to Splash, provides a comprehensive solution for high-quality production printing for reprographic departments, quick print shops and commercial printing environments. The server is based on a recently developed Splash-Linux architecture and combines Splash's compression and color technologies, the Linux operating system and Intel processors.
Xeikon USA, Wood Dale, IL, demonstrated its new Xeikon CSP 320 D digital press. The sheetfed, color device is capable of producing 100,000 8.5x11˝ per month. According to Xeikon, the CSP 320 D is ideal for small- to mid-sized commercial printers, service bureaus, repro houses, quick printers and in-plants shops. The press offers One-Pass Duplex printing and incorporates electronic job tickets that support an automated workflow.
Xerox, Fairport, NY, announced two new digital color presses. The Xerox DocuColor 2060 sheetfed press delivers $.10-per-page operating costs and offers 60-page-per-minute speed. The Xerox DocuColor 2045 digital color press incorporates a 45-page-per-minute engine. The two models comprise Xerox's DocuColor 2000 series, which employs Xerox Digital Blanket technology. According to the manufacturer, Digital Blanket technology improves the press' image quality and reality by performing an image transfer from the unit's four photoreceptors to the printed page, in effect, mimicking the blanket transfer of offset printing. Both DocuColor Series 200 models print at resolutions of 600x600 pixels per inch.
Xerox also announced its DocuTech 2000 Series, which includes the Xerox DocuTech 6155, with 155-page-per-minute functionality; a new release of Xerox's DigiPath Production Software, with more than 50 new features; and the high-speed Xerox DigiPath Scanner.
Operating at 600 dpi, the DocuTech 6155 is optimal for book, booklet, brochure, flyer and manual applications. The press incorporates workflow based on the DocuSP controller and DigiPath Production Software. According to Xerox, the 6155 is ideal for monthly print volumes ranging between 1.5 million and 5 million pages.
-Gretchen A. Kirby