Graph Expo 2016: Small but mighty

graph-expo-collage-finail-003While it was smaller in physical size compared to the previous venue, Graph Expo 2016 made up for it with compelling and exciting live demonstrations, helpful educational sessions and new technology at seemingly every turn.

As a first-time attendee to Graph Expo 2016 September 25-28 in Orlando, Florida, I had a lot to see and a lot to learn. My experience was both inspiring and humbling. I was introduced to some of the industry’s leading manufacturers for the very first time. I also said hello again to manufacturers with whom I was already familiar. It was my genuine privilege to meet people in the printing industry who were so knowledgeable and also so inspiring. The education and information that our vendors shared with me was absolutely extraordinary. Graph Expo this year was quite hands-on and interactive, with live demonstrations and leading technologies virtually from wall to wall.

I had the pleasure to see the premiere of the RISO ComColor GD Series, a high-speed, full-colour inkjet technology that prints up to 160 ppm. The GD Series introduces a 5th colour (grey) that make the blacks much more intense and colours more vivid. The GD is the world’s fastest cut sheet inkjet printer (A4, single side short edge) using 5 colours, and is scheduled for release in early 2017. RISO also had information-packed sessions running all day long.

Therm-O-Type was launching its NSF Ultra Die Cutting/Foil Stamping Press, which is ideal for finishing and enhancing digital output, and can also be used to die cut and score pocket/presentation folders. This remarkable press is the result of over 27 years of collaborative work with the foil stamping, embossing and die cutting industries.

Kirk-Rudy had a hands-on booth with serveral technologies on display – including the latest Phoenix variable-data inkjet printer. The Phoenix meets the increasing and rigorous demands for printing variable addresses, graphics, dates, times, barcodes, serial numbers and text on coated and uncoated substrates. Coupled with Kirk-Rudy’s product-handling systems, it’s one of the most versatile solutions on the market today.

At the W + D booth, I had the pleasure of meeting many of the W+D manufacturers and reps, all eager to share their knowledge about W + D’s ultimate inserting solutions through both video and consultations. Highlighted was W+D’s new ConceptD high-speed inkjet envelope overprint press and high-performance, servo-driven BB700 envelope inserter, which I saw operating. The ConceptD is the first high-performance, industrial-grade digital inkjet specifically optimized for the growing personalized direct mail market.

Spiel Associates, founded in New York in 1963, showcased its mastery of book bindery equipment as well as its wide array of finishing equipment – from case binding equipment, stitchers, creasers, UV coaters and booklet makers, to table-top punching machinery and plastic coil binding machines. The company also specializes in used and reconditioned machines.

CDR Graphics (Petratto and SCS) had the dynamic Petratto Metro running boxes at full-speed. The Metro makes it possible to customize a machine to suit individual needs. This is done by adding the required modules – such as feeders, folding sections, turning devices, etc. Several units can be connected to produce many complex applications. The units can also be separated and used as independent machines. This allows production of applications that more expensive machines can’t produce.

Insource is proud to be the Canadian distributor of MB Bäuerle folding systems. One of its many products is the MPM multipageMAILER that feeds, folds and seals an envelopes inline using the same paper as the interior pages. The company has developed and manufactured print finishing machines for over 60 years, and today specializes in automated folding and inserting systems and system solutions.

Finally, there were many helpful learning sessions, including seminars and special presentations that discussed new technology, future trends and how-to business strategies. Being a female and new to the industry, I especially enjoyed the Girls Who Print at Printerverse that featured special guests and activities – including the “Meet the Mentors” discussion panel of successful women entrepreneurs in the printing industry.

All in all, I think that Graph Expo 2016 was a huge success. I was told that the previous Chicago location was larger. That aside, I found this year’s event to be a positive experience with a vast array of technologies – from wide-format printing to table-top finishing equipment. Small but mighty, as they say!

Even though we did have over a dozen Canadian exhibitors at Graph Expo 2016, I’m still looking forward to seeing Canadian exhibitors and visitors, who were unable to make it to Orlando, at the next big industry tradeshow on Canadian soil.

Written by Alannah Wakefield, Business Development, Insource