I was told to wait till the actual drupa happens before I let loose my trigger-happy blogging digits on the keyboard… However with only a week left to drupa, the excitement is bubbling. Bear with me - it’s my first drupa.
Like many others, I have my long list of must-sees. I’m not supposed to pick favourites – and I’m not – but I admit I have a few top-of-the-listees. Skimming somewhere at that top are HP and Xeikon. These two players are often pitted against each in the digital arena. This duel is particularly interesting because each brings very distinctive approaches to digital printing. And they’re both bringing their A-games to this drupa edition.
HP (Hall 17)
At the pre-drupa media conference, HP announced the debut of PrintOS, a cloud-based operating system for print production management. Besides cloud connectivity, PrintOS will feature a suite of web-based and mobile applications to simplify and automate print production.
Most of the apps will be available without charge for HP users, although there will be certain apps that are on a subscription basis. HP executives added that pricing packages would be fairly affordable, running within the three-digit range per month.
Hardware announcements came soon after. HP revealed that it would be exhibiting its largest portfolio of digital printing solutions at drupa yet. Might I add that HP is this edition’s biggest exhibitor.
Five HP Indigo digital presses and three HP PageWide web presses are the latest inclusions in the commercial printing division. The packaging arena will showcase the new HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press, purportedly the industry’s most productive digital narrow web press.
One I’m particularly curious to see: the HP Pagewide Web Press T1100S. In March 2015, KBA and HP announced the co-development and launch of the HP Pagewide Web Press T1100S solution for the corrugated industry.
This press is the largest and reportedly most productive inkjet web press – with such claims, I have see this giant in action. Which is why I’ll be spending a day at KBA’s facility in Würzburg next week for a special live demo. You might want to bookmark this space for that.
Xeikon (Hall 08a)
One of the star products at Xeikon for drupa 2016 is the Trillium One. Back in March, at Xeikon’s pre-drupa open house in Lier, Belgium, I witnessed the Trillium One in action – and it was a speed monster.
Xeikon is skewing the Trillium One towards the commercial and direct marketing segment. With the Trillium One, Xeikon goes head on with HP Indigo.
Trillium One uses liquid toner – a new development for the dry toner specialists. The liquid toner technology was first introduced at drupa 2012, and for drupa 2016, has been named Tonnik. For green warriors, this might be one technology to pay attention to. According to Xeikon, it has the potential to be the most “sustainable, environmentally-friendly and economical colourant” for the digital printing industry.
The Trillium One boasts the ability to run 60 meters per minute at 1200 dpi, with a print width of 500 mm. Having personally witnessed this at the open house, this was an impressive display. Although not altogether surprised; after all, Xeikon is responsible for the CX3, the aptly nicknamed ‘Cheetah’, which is one of industry’s fastest label digital printer to date.
Fusion Technology is another headliner at the Xeikon booth. Targeted at the label and packaging market, the technology combines full colour production printing with digital embellishment of labels and packaging in a single, one-pass and fully digital production process. Beginning to end, with absolutely no manual intervention.
This innovation is capable of producing embellishments through modules, which currently includes: a digital alternative to hot / cold foiling, screen printed white, tactile varnish, spot print; and Braille. Fusion will be able to support beyond 4-process colours.
Basically: beginning to end, no manual intervention.
The ultimate goal: fully automated, unattended label and packaging production for faster turnaround times.
Fusion will be on showcase at drupa 2016, and is slated for commercialisation by 2017.
Of course, there are more drupa highlights, which you can read up on in our drupa issues Part 1 and Part 2.
Bookmark this page for latest live drupa updates.
Also, I’ll be taking over our Twitter account in my time at drupa – you might want to follow us there. Updated constantly with even more ‘live’ stuff, including fun bite-sized info and the occasional selfie :D