Visitors to GRAPH EXPO 2010 are seeing a strong emphasis on connectivity and integration across every aspect of print production. This theme is thoroughly explored at xpedx (Booth 3200) in the South Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place. Dennis Killion, xpedx director of marketing, says that the technologies critical for printers to investigate at GRAPH EXPO fall into two general categories: systems and equipment that reduce costs and increase efficiency—and those that help drive top-line revenue. xpedx is the nation’s largest distributor of printing equipment and supplies.
Common to both strategies, Killion says, is integration. That means linking processes “to take the touches out” of print production in ways that maximize throughput as they minimize cost and waste.
Process optimization takes center stage in the xpedx booth. The presentation showcases solutions in workflow, color management, proofing, wide-format output, and digital printing and finishing. With the help of products from top industry suppliers, xpedx is highlighting the power and the profitability of the digitally enabled graphic arts shop.
xpedx is demonstrating a workflow that starts with EFI’s Digital StoreFront and MIS software, then connects to a Kodak PRINERGY digital workflow for production management. The result, comments Killion, is an example of full automation that links all key steps from job input to output on a digital press.
The sequence continues after printing with the Bourg Sheet Feeder, a highly flexible sheet handling device that accepts collated output from any digital press and feeds it directly into bookletmakers, trimmers, and other near-line finishing equipment. Morgana’s DigiFold Pro and Secap’s mailing solutions, including a folder/inserter, tabber and addressing printer, are also being demonstrated.
Nearby, xpedx is showing EFI’s PrintSmith, which has been integrated with the xpedx paper catalog giving print shop estimators access to real-time inventories and custom pricing. There is also a sample department to showcase the extensive xpedx lineup of paper and non-paper stocks, imaged throughout the show on a wide-format inkjet device, and showing the profit potential in signage, banners, and other items that can be produced with equipment and supplies readily available from xpedx. Among the papers spotlighted is the xpedx coated Endurance brand.
Wide-format solutions, including the Epson GS6000 and EFI’s Vutek QS220, are being demonstrated, as is the Epson Stylus Pro 7900, demonstrating advanced photographic inkjet technology.
xpedx is conducting continuous briefings on G7 benchmarking, workflow integration, obtaining certification from the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) and in-plant services. Killion says all of the talks are concise and give printers important, actionable information.