8 October 2014
Headlines from Graph Expo 2014
CHICAGO—The commercial printing industry came together last week at Graph Expo in Chicago. Here's a preview of some of the key announcements made at the show, and a heads up on some of the stories we'll be delving into over the next few weeks.

The day before the show, Screen held it's annual open house where it announced a new press lineup, including a reworked TruePress Jet 520 HD sheetfed inkjet press and a new label press. The 520 now comes with new Ricoh heads that deliver a higher resolution of 1,200 dpi, and about 50 other updates like a new paper transport system, a new drying system and an expanded colour gamut. The objective here, according to Screen, is to expand the reach of production inkjet into areas where offset still dominates.

The TruePress Jet 350UV is an inkjet label press that rolls through 164 feet per minute, in CMYK and white. It's available now.

Konica Minolta, whose booth showcased just how extensive  a portfolio the company has, from presses, to desktop label printers, to 3-D printers, showed off a new MGI Jet Varnish 3D with its own Konica Minolta heads and a smaller footprint than the original machines. Not on the booth was the KM1 sheetfed B2 press the company is developing with Komori. A Beta version is apparently coming soon.

HP brought its Indigo 30000 folding carton press for its first showing in North America with news that more than 10 devices have been installed worldwide since the press debuted at Drupa in 2012.

EFI celebrated its 25th anniversary at Graph Expo. Its focus heading into the next 25 years is to expand its inkjet portfolio into sings, packaging and decoration. The CEO promised more acquisitions, and perhaps a foray into 3D printing.

Xerox announced an expanded lineup of its Impika continuous feed inkjet press. One device has been installed in North America, with another four or five installations on deck by year end. Most of those are in the mailing markets where coverage runs to about 30% to 40%. Also new for Xerox was the C60/C70 entry level device.

KBA made news with an announcement that it's planning to develop a packaging press with HP. Few details were available regarding the announcement, other than a prediction that a model would be developed by late next year and that a press would be manufactured by KBA. The company also announced a new model of its Rotajet inkjet press, the Rotajet L that comes in at 35", and will sport a new generation of heads that can be retrofit onto existing presses.

Ricoh expanded its portfolio with the new Pro C700X cut sheet device which comes with a fifth colour station, and produces up to 90 pages per minute. It also unveiled the Pro VC60000 inkjet press. It's a continuous feed machine that prints more than 100,000 A4 pages per hour at up to 1,200 dpi.  It's essentially the same press as the Screen 520 HD model.

Graphic Systems North America (GSNA) used Graph Expo to showcase for the first time in North America, the Ryobi MHI 925 LED-UV offset press. Live demos were done with the CRON CTP system to demonstrate low-cost production for runs as short as  750 to 1,000 impressions.

On the digital finessing side, several products wowed at the show: Scodix with its raised varnishing options; Highcon, an Israeli company that drew crowds with its digital die-cutting devices; Motion Cutter, a new entrant from Europe that debut a digital high-speed laser system; and Standard made its entry into the die cut market with a new line designed for short runs.
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