Printers line up for biggest digital print show

Australian printers are booking flights to Switzerland for the Hunkeler Innovationdays to check out the next generation of innovative digital print kit, solutions and applications.

The year’s biggest digital print trade show is less than a month away with a crowded field of major manufacturers showing off some 40 new machines, plus software, paper stocks, and an array of presentations and workshops.

SOS Print & Media director Michael Schultz says his company is attending the February 23-26 event to get a first look at recent and upcoming equipment, as the event is noted for its innovation and fresh ideas.

“It is a good opportunity to see the latest innovations and the event is full of targeted solutions with practical applications you might not see anywhere else,” he says.

Schultz says he is most interested in continuous feed inkjet printers, digital finishing lines with specific applications, and new digital paper types.

“All the European paper suppliers will be there, and with inkjet being such a growing market there are new types of paper coming out all the time that are not yet in Australia that we would like to line up supply for,” he says.

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The Hunkeler InnovationDays has become one of the most important events on the graphic arts calendar, with the finishing solutions supplier spearheading the event which showcases innovative digital solutions as much as individual pieces of kit.

Book printing is a major focus of the event, with most manufacturers featuring one aimed at short-run or on-demand printing. Most of the machines on offer include in-line or near line finishing so the books come out ready for distribution.

Xeikon will have a continuous feed printer at the show, which previews its own Xeikon Café being held three weeks later in Belgium.

Host company Hunkeler’s will feature a 200-metres-a-minute all-in-one on-demand book printer, while Screen will debut its Truepress Jet520HD, along with the Jet520 for brochures, and Xerox features the Impika eVolution.

Other book printers featured at the show include the Canon Colorstream 3000 continuous feed inkjet printer, the Fujifilm Jet Press 540W, Heidelberg’s new book and brochure printer for customisable small print runs, and all-in-one book production units from Ricoh, Meccanotecnica and Horizon.

Continuous feed inkjet printing also looks to be popular with the HP T230 inkjet web press, the Ricoh VC60000, which prints on offset paper and was promoted as an offset replacement when launched last year, along with the Canon Colorstream 3000.

[Related: More inkjet news]

Kodak leads the recent push into digital newspaper printing, a highlight of the event, with its Prosper line – also useful for on-demand book and magazine printing with speeds of 300 metres a minute.

The other newspaper printer there is Hunkeler’s new machine with in-built finishing, including gluing and binding for magazines and newspaper inserts.

Hunkeler also has a laser security printer and digital finishing machines on display, and Pitney Bowes, Domino, Kern-Data, and Bowe Systec, are bringing out mail printers and inserters for firms wanting to add value to their business.

As usual, digital finishing units are plentiful with Muller Martini and GUK presenting standalone models.

Presentations at the Innovationdays include the Interquest Digital Book Printing Forum on February 24 and the European Business Document Association Future Opportunities for Print on February 26.

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