While Chicago is hosting its annual marathon, the graphic communications market is experiencing its own “marathon” as GRAPH EXPO 2012 opens today. Over the next four days, there is something for everyone to learn, with more than 50 seminar sessions from which to choose, among some 20 educational categories.
Education takes place at exhibitor booths, too. Staff members are poised to demonstrate the latest technology. For example, EFI (Booth 2000) was awarded a handful of 2012 MUST SEE ’EMS awards—more than any other company—prior to the show’s opening. Its DSFdesign Studio for EFI Digital StoreFront and PrintFlow Dynamic Scheduling are two of the five award-winning products being highlighted.
Digital printing, workflow, and packaging solutions from Kodak (Booth 1221) have been recognized with a trio of MUST SEE ’EMS as well. Its NexPress Gold Dry Ink is a metallic sparkle effect using gold-tinted ink. The Kodak InSite Prepress Portal System, version 6.5, a Web-based management system, makes it easier for print buyers, prepress operators, and service representatives to submit jobs, proof and approve work, track progress, and collaborate on changes. The latest version includes an application that allows users to do so from an Apple iPad tablet. The Flexcel Direct System uses energy-efficient, high-power laser engraving to produce press-ready elastomer sleeves with increased production throughput.
Does your badge look differnt?
The Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), which produces GRAPH EXPO, is practicing what it preaches. In keeping with this year’s “Print Integrated” theme, GASC is employing RFID technology to track traffic to show floor sections and pavilions, measure attendee duration on the show floor, and assist vendors in determining interest in their booths.
“Printed electronics are being touted as the next big thing, and we plan to put this particular RFID technology to good use,” says GASC President Ralph Nappi. “With the global market for technologies such as RFID expected to reach $24 billion by 2015, this is the perfect venue to both acquaint attendees with the technologies and to use them in a practical application.”
The beta program involves adding small RFID tags to each attendee badge, which allows traffic to be tracked when entering and leaving the show and when attendees visit various sections of the show floor. The RFID data is connected to registration data to provide reports to GASC in real time and to ensure accurate post show data.
The RFID tags, readers, and reports are provided by AllianceTech. Registration data and integration is being furnished by Convention Data Services, which specializes in event registration support and exhibitor lead retrieval services. Other examples of RFID applications and printed electronics, along with a live “Experiential Lab,” can be seen in the Future Print section (Booth 3457) sponsored by FlexTech Alliance.
Vertical market penetration
Agfa Graphics (Booth 627) is demonstrating its storefront product within :Apogee Suite 8.0, its prepress workflow designed to help optimize the production processes in offset, digital printing, and/or hybrid printing environments. It lets firms target various markets with Web-to-print applications, offering the ability to set-up multiple Web-to-print stores targeting specific business customers.
It features other tools created to facilitate interaction with customers. Among the innovations is preflight that offers improved color management, making adjustments should the output target change. A customer profile wizard generates the optimal calibration profiles for any substrate. The end result is consistent color output over different media types, regardless of the output device.