57 days to drupa

drupa 2004 organisers invited the world’s leading print media to Germany where exhibitors unveiled some of their offerings at the biggest show in print.

According to the drupa organisers one of the key themes of the 2004 show will be JDF, (Job Definition Format), which will be everywhere. Many, including most of the leading manufacturers, see JDF as the means by which all leading print shops will run in the next few years. All process steps will be controlled by JDF: it will assign jobs to equipment, will control and set the equipment for the job, will report back for analysis and costing. In short JDF will lead print into becoming a CIM (computer integrated manufacturing) process. The drupa presentations made clear that JDF will be seen on all the leading stands, and is being widely supported by equipment, software and solutions developers.

The three big networking presentations to be seen at drupa; Heidelberg in Halls 1 and 2, PrintCity led by MAN Roland and Agfa, and NGP with Creo and KBA, will all be assiduously promoting JDF, as will all the stand alone booths. There will also be a dedicated JDF section at drupa, where all are strongly encouraged to visit and come to terms with the potential and practicalities of JDF.

Despite the economic downturn that has afflicted virtually every country bar China since drupa 2000 this year’s show is completely sold out of exhibitor space, with the all 160,000sqm of the 17 huge halls booked out. There will be 300 less exhibitors at 1635, due to company amalgamations, the dot com collapse, and some developers falling by the wayside. Visitors expectations have been lowered, and the organisers are aiming at the 370,000 marker, down from the 400,000 that made the trip last time, still dwarfing all other print shows.

However whatever the final number there is no doubting the importance of drupa 2004. Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, the drupa 2004 president says the event, “Will determine the direction of the print media in the years to come. Like society in general, suppliers in our industry and in all segments of the media are at a crossroads. We stand in a gateway to a new age: these are exciting times.”

Highlighting their solutions during the drupa media week were 17 leading vendors, who all gave insights into what the world’s printers could expect when they step onto their respective stands.

Heidelberg will be showing its latest innovations under the theme “Created with Passion. Made for Success,” says Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg CEO. Visitors will find the industrial print and variable data print area in Hall 2 together with the solutions from Prinect Systemhaus. Hall 1 will be dedicated to commercial print, packaging print as well as commercial web and Polar finishing solutions. “We will be presenting some surprises in all areas – prepress, press and finishing and all other segments”, Schreier stated in his address to the trade media. Adding that service is of considerable importance for Heidelberg, he also says that while the strategy had changed the goal of being market leader had not.

PrintCity in Hall 6 is described by its president, John Dangelmaier as the “strategic alliance of independent best-in-class companies in the graphic arts” and he claims it “will be showing its most ambitious networking project to date.” Visitors will see jobs being created and carried out by the “most completely integrated multi-vendor production workflows, driven end-to-end by Job Definition Format (JDF), yet seen anywhere in the graphic arts industry”. Every technical process along the production route of a given print job, including the often-overlooked postpress stage, will be part of the JDF loop. And PrintCity will be using the full range of JDF capabilities by carrying out real job tracking and statistical analysis on live production equipment from its host of member and associate companies. Christian Gugler, chairman of PrintCity’s Networking Activity Group, said “What PrintCity will show at drupa 2004 is going to be light years ahead of any previous demonstrations of JDF that visitors will have seen.”

Engineering development will not be forgotten though, the new Mitsubishi Diamond 3000 TP Tandem Perfector for instance will show an innovative concept. The one-pass 4×4 device does not print like conventional perfector presses. Reverse side and front side printing units are arranged inline and connected by the translink unit without the need for media turning. Thus, the reverse side of the sheet is first fully printed and then transferred to front printing units. Additionally the Diamond 3000 LX will be shown for the first time with features such as a wider stock range (0.04 – 1.0 mm) and six colours with in-line chamber coating.

The PlateRite Micra from Screen will be shown at drupa – not only with the current 5mW laser diode – but also with a newly developed 30mW violet laser diode. This offers users the possibility of processing violet-sensitive photopolymer plates in B3-format with selectable resolutions of 1,200 or 2,400 dpi. The industry’s fasted 16-page thermal platesetter, according to Screen – the PlateRite Ultima 16000 – will be unveiled at drupa by the Japanese manufacturer. It features an advanced 512-channel imaging head based on GLV (grating light valve) imaging technology as well as inline punching.

A sister will be born to the Screen PlateRite Ultima 32000 at drupa. The new model 32000Z allows high-speed output on a range of plate sizes from B2 to 32-page-plates (min 650 x 550 mm) and can be used for commercial and newspaper applications.

Kodak Polychrome Graphics will launch a non-process thermal plate which, according to the company is compatible with all major platesetters in the range of 800 to 850nm. Although the manufacturer claims a run length of 75,000 impressions, Doug Edwards, vice president research and business development from KPG says that in tests within newspaper applications it has already reached the 100,000 mark. KPG says the new processless plate for on and off-press imaging has a good shelf-life and is scratch resistant.

Additonally KPG will demonstrate the new Sword Ultra Positive-Processing Thermal Plate which is based on its Sword technology. One of the technology demonstrations from KPG will be the KPG Flexcel NX CTP plate, which according to KPG delivers superior resolution and excellent colour reproduction on any packaging substrate. The plate is compatible with CTP devices with a sensitivity range of 830nm to 1064nm and can run on press with alcohol, water-based and UV-inks, KPG says.

Fujifilm says sheetfed and web applications can be imaged with the new B1 fully automatic violet platesetter Luxel V9600CtP/Vx9600 CTP. The Japanese manufacturer announced three new platesetters for drupa, including the Luxel V-6CtP, a B2 semi-automatic violet platesetter with a speed of up to 35 B2 plates per hour as well as the new B2 fully automatic violet platesetter with the same imaging speed. The Luxel V-6CtP, can be seen in May in Düsseldorf. Additionally the company announced its new POD rip technology, a front-end system designed for on-demand printing, which will be configured with the Xerox DocuColor.

Fujifilm is also weighing in with a new processless plate, currently under development. Further Fujifilm announced a new positive thermal CTP plate, Brilia LH-PJ, for the commercial printing market as well as two new CTP media, the Thermal Plate Brilla LH-NN and the Violet Photopolymer Plate Brilla LP-NNV for the newspaper market. Taking up the theme JDF-drupa, the Fujifilm Celebra Extreme workflow system embraces JDF. The new release presented at drupa, will introduce a range of JDF functionality.

Industrial printing with inkjet has always been a big issue. In Hall 7, dotrix, recently acquired by Agfa, will be presenting an enhanced configuration of its single-pass digital inkjet press – the.factory. Web widths of up to 63cm can be printed on at a speed of 300m/min or 907sqm per hour.

The English company inca will be showcasing its new Spyder 150 flatbed printer. The printer which features a 60 x 40 inch print area is capable of a speed of up to 50sqm per hour. Three modes of output, producing resolutions from 400 to 1,000 dpi, substrate thicknesses of up to 30 mm as well as the usage of specially designed UV-inks for the device from Sericol make it possible.

On display at the Baldwin booth will be the newly introduced Prepac P3 and P3 UHC cleaning cartridges. The Prepac P3 technology will clean web- and sheet-fed blankets more efficiently, quickly and cost-effectively without requiring external water to be used in the cleaning process,

QuadTech announced that the lights-out pressroom has moved a step closer with its new Data Central software. It is designed specifically to enhance press productivity for commercial web offset and newspaper printers. It overlays the control provided by current QuadTech press controls, providing automatic configuration as well as sophisticated statistics and reports on press performance and optimisation.

“The independents” will be the theme of Artwork Systems. The Belgian company will be showing its new ArtPro and Nexus 8.0 software versions, which now accomodate “full acceptance of PDF in the packaging environment”. Drupa will also see the introduction of its asset management solution Mnemo.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@sprinter.com.au.  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.