10 trends at Ipex that set the tone

The eight-day Ipex show attracted 50,322 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors who showcased the best of technology. Alok Singh and Samir Lukka separate the grain from the chaff

14 Jun 2010 | By Samir Lukka and Alok Singh

What with volcanic ash, the strike at British Airways and the problems with the Channel Tunnel, about the only thing we haven’t had is a plague of locusts, Trevor Crawford quipped at the opening ceremony. Hopefully, life is a little more positive than it was six months ago.

  1. The Ipex Champions in Print were honoured at the opening ceremony. Indigo founder Benny Landa, and Professor Frank Romano of the Rochester Institute of Technology were present to receive their awards. After doing a tour of the halls, one of the Champions commented: Manufacturers give so much advice nowadays. In my day, they gave us a press and said ‘get on with it’.
  2. At Drupa, H is for Heidelberg. At Ipex, H was HP. Thomson Press, Gopsons Papers, Friends Color, Malhotra Graphics, Dhote Offset, Comart and Repro India were spotted at the HP stand. We rubbed shoulders with a print icon from North India who said: The HP stall is an exhibition in itself. I need a golf-cart to check out the stall. The launch of the Indigo 7500 and Indigo 5500, plus the debut of w3250, T200 which uses the same thermal inkjet technology as its bigger avatar, the T300.  Ramani Viswanathan of HP Indigo said the recently launched Indigo 3550 is apt for India.
  3. KBA rejoiced at the presence of Vasant Goel of Gopson Papers who booked orders for KBA 5B (51in) Rapida 130a large-format press. The litho press has an IR drier, a top speed of 15,000sph and a maximum sheet size of 965x1300mm. The presses will be installed in the company’s new Sivakasi plant (refer to page 5).
  4. Heidelberg went into a hybrid mode at Ipex with Speedmaster CX 102. A top converter from western India said: I’ve seen the new press and am impressed with it. My son will have the final say. Wait and watch … So what is the press all about? It’s a serious press, with serious aspirations and bristling with serious innovations. The recipe includes everything that is great about the CD 102, ink train, sheet travel etc, but in order to make it a new high-speed platform, Heidelberg has added a lot of the XL technology as well as new sideframes to offer proven CD 102 quality at higher speeds.
  5. Canon was the host for the India International Day on 20 May 2010. IPAMA President N S Manku and IPP, editor Naresh Khanna were spotted near the imageRunner series. What impressed us, was the Canon’s 12-colour iPF8300, a 44-inch wide printer for photography segment. We expect this kit to be handy for proofing as well as for photo and wedding albums.
  6. My short-run is shorter than yours? It was worthwhile to watch the likes of Fuji and Screen battling on the European ground. Screen launched two new versions of the Truepress Jet520, a monochrome version – and the Truepress Jet520EX which is targeted at the on-demand direct mail and book printing markets. That evening we debated about short run jobs. Samir Lukka said: Short run colour, produced quickly and efficiently is bread and butter business for commercial printers. Hence the need of colour digital presses. Alok Singh argued: Conventional presses such as Manroland Roland 700 with Direct drive and KBA’s Rapida are capable of ever more economic short runs.
  7. Partnerships are made at Ipex. Some of the key announcements were: GMG and Sun Chemical who were integrating spot-colour definitions into the GMG contone and halftone proofing system; Duplo’s tie-up with Canon, HP and Ricoh as the digital finishing solution provider. Duplo lauded Ipex 2010 as its most successful and claimed the show was finishing’s Ipex. Kodak India announced Insight Print Communications as its channel partner for CTP and consumables. Also, Insight was appointed as channel partner for Kodak’s inkjet printing solutions like Digimaster and Nexpress. Web offset press manufacturer Goss International  became 100 percent Chinese owned as Shanghai Electric took over the company according to the announcement at Ipex.
  8. Kodak was buzzing. The company unveiled Prosper 5000XL press based on the Stream technology; new Trillian SP plates which uses significantly less chemistry and eliminates the use of pre-heat and post-bake ovens, and Flexcel Direct System for flexible packaging market. Kodak honoured Lord Michael Heseltine, founder Haymarket Media Group, publishers of PrintWeek, with Kodak’s 2010 Print Ambassador Lifetime Achievement Award. Lord Heseltine stated: People say ‘is the printed word finished?’ I personally don’t believe it is, he stated. If you stand back and look at the world – because today the world is the marketplace for anybody entrepreneurial – the opportunities are there.
  9. Post-press, often been labelled as the Cinderella sector of the print industry in the past, finally made a fairytale entrance into the spotlight at Ipex 2010. Kolbus demonstrated the possibilities of processing digitally printed materials on conventional machines for industrial book production. The demonstration included processing loose individual pages to form a book block as well as manufacturing cases and hardcover books with straight spines, including format changing. The highlights of Muller Martini stall were the latest developments in its Primera saddle stitching line, the new generation Presto saddle stitcher and further development of the Bolero perfect binder. The increase in domestic book production and exports in India has bolstered the balance sheets of both these post-press giants. Kolbus has had an excellent run in India since Drupa 08. (see story on page 5).
  10. Upex@Ipex 2010, a marketplace for used printing machinery was simultaneously held as a part of Ipex. Around 60 of the leading global secondhand machinery dealers had committed to exhibiting at Upex. Market for used machinery is huge and growing in India. This is testified by figures from Pressxchange, online search engine for used graphic machinery. 13,500 users from India and 850 dealers in the fray. India was definitely amongst the top ten countries in search of used machinery, said Wayne Morgan, digital publisher, Haymarket. The Indian market is monopolised by pre-owned machines. Heidelberg India has initiated to legitimise the sale of pre-owned machines by providing certificates for the secondhand machine being sold to a printer. A similar policy is being followed by Manroland and KBA in India. In 2009, India has had 350 brand-new sheetfed units installed. This constitutes a mere 10% of total installation.

Ipex South Asia 2011

Ipex South Asia 2011 will be held at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon from 16-19 September. Out of the the total number of visitors who visited Ipex in Birmingham, 5.1% were from South East Asia. Hence this show becomes important for the emerging Indian market where Europeans, Chinese and Japanese are investing in time and technology. The good news for the Indian exhibitors is that the prices have been slashed by almost 45-50% according to Rahul Rawat, sales manager for Ipex South Asia 2011.