Every two years leading manufacturers of production printing and finishing solutions join together with software providers in Lucerne, Switzerland for Hunkeler Innovationdays, one of the most important global events for the production print industry.
Hunkeler Innovationdays is comparable to drupa with its clearly focused selection of exhibitors and decision maker-class attendees. The exhibitor list reads like a Who’s Who in transactional print: Canon, Clairefontaine, Compart, Domino, GMC, Heidelberg, Horizon, HP, Hunkeler, Kodak, Komori, Merlin, Muller Martini, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, Riso, Screen, Solimar Systems, Xerox, Scodix, Screen, and Spencer Metrics to name just a few.
The conference and exhibition gets its name from Hunkeler, a company connected to virtually every printer on display at the event. If you ever wondered how paper on a roll makes its way from the roll into the printer, it most likely sits on a Hunkeler roller. And once it’s printed it needs to be processed again. Hunkeler has a solution for almost anything you can imagine related to printing—paper, cutting, separating, folding, enveloping, newspaper folding, bookbinding, brochure binding, magazine folding and stapling. You name it, they do it. And where it can’t be done with an original Hunkeler device they integrate with other vendors such as Mueller Martini, Boewe Systec, Meccanotecnica, Horizon, and GUK.
The 2017 Innovationdays, which ran from Feb. 25-28, enjoyed its best attendance ever with more than 6,000 international guests traveling to Lucerne to see the latest devices, share best practices, and in an encouragingly large number of cases, place orders to upgrade their legacy production equipment with the most recent innovations in production print hardware and software.
An important “side” event to Hunkeler Innovationdays was the DOXNET meeting, which welcomed hundreds of document experts to educational sessions and insider talks led by speakers from Canon, Kodak, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, and Xerox who covered the latest trends around document production on inkjet devices.
Focus on Inkjet
With the trend in transactional printing moving to inkjet, a big focus at this year’s event was inkjet technology.
In Lucerne, HP officially released its Page-Wide Web Press T235 HD, part of the T200 HD Color series that supports a smooth transition from analog to digital printing. Other HP booth highlights included the HP Page-Wide Web Press T240 HD (an upgraded T235) and the HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press as well as the HP Indigo 50000 running a book printing application.
Xerox showcased its flagship device, the Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press along with finishing options. The Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press and the Xerox Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press completed the hardware lineup in the Xerox booth.
The Xerox booth also featured live demonstrations of its solutions, including an end-to-end solution for personalized catalog printing that integrates FreeFlow Core and XMPie. The company also demonstrated personalized augmented reality for evergreen documents. In cooperation with Solimar Systems, Xerox developed and printed a variety of documents prepared with “markers,” which, picked up by an Augmented Reality (AR) app, add dynamic visualizations to statements, play personalized video messages, and allow for the downloading of vouchers based on personal shopping preferences.
Canon took the lead in hardware innovation at the exhibition with the global release of its Océ ProStream. Canon’s polymer-based ink and the innovative paper-handling of the Océ ProStream during the printing process promise exceptional performance and media handling for roll-based inkjet printing at up to 35-million A4 pages per month.
Ricoh didn’t fail to impress either with its Ricoh Pro VC60000. The VC60000 is a flexible and fast production inkjet printer operating at 120 m/min at 1200×1200 dpi on various paper types.
Other vendors, including Domino, FujiFilm, Kodak, Pitney Bowes, and Screen had a large presence on the show floor as well.
Virtually every device on display was equipped with intelligent, interactive interfaces for enhanced user friendliness, live production overviews, and production analytics. The interest in analytics, as we’ve seen in other segments of the printing industry is becoming increasingly important. Because production print arguably feels the price pressure more than most other printing environments, analytics will play a vital role in this industry too. Spencer Metrics is one of the leaders in analytics for this market.
Mark Your 2019 Calendar
Hunkeler Innovationdays is an event that provides a platform for any manufacturer involved in the production print industry and for anyone involved in production printing. The next event is scheduled for 2019. If you decide to go, prepare well and invite your customers. You’ll find that the professional setup of this conference stimulates discussions and decision-making processes.
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