When it comes to printing trade shows, there has been a shift away from companies attending the larger, more general shows. Even the venerable drupa suffered a decline in 2012, partially due to the economy as well as the challenges facing the printing industry as a whole.
The other trend of interest is the shift toward digital technologies, as the large conventional equipment manufacturers have pulled back from trade shows, for the most part.
These two trends are in evidence in the upcoming Ipex 2014 exhibition, which will be held from March 24-29 at the ExCel in London. A total of 352 exhibitors are listed for Ipex 2014; by contrast, Ipex reported slightly less than 1,000 exhibitors for its 2010 program (the show runs every four years).
There is definitely a trend toward digital again this year. Equipment and ink manufacturers include Domino Printing Sciences plc,, EFI, and Fujifilm; Xeikon and others are also on hand.
Among the digital press leaders, Fujifilm will showcase business models for commercial print produced using inkjet technologies. The company will display its Jet Press 720 B2 sheetfed press, Jet Press 540W web press, and the new Graphium digital label press. The company said it expects to run the two Jet Presses live to produce short-run calendars, brochures, magazines, books, labels, manuals and posters with run lengths from one to 5,000. On the ink side, Fujifilm will showcase its new Uvijet Graphium ink, designed for label printing.
Domino is showcasing its digital offerings, emphasizing the possibilities of integrated, high speed customization, addressing, coding and numbering via its K600i, a single color high resolution digital UV inkjet printer designed to integrate variable data printing within existing sheetfed and web presses and finishing lines, or as a stand-alone digital press.
On the conventional side, Komori and Goss International are the two biggest names. Among the conventional printing ink manufacturers who will be on hand for Ipex are Anguang Ink Ltd., Brancher Kingswood, Druckfarben Ltd., Pulse Printing Products, Shackell Edwards, Think Ink and Van Son Holland Inks.
Who isn’t there will also be a topic of discussion. Heidelberg, HP, Xerox, Landa and Kodak will not have booths at Ipex. At Ipex 2010, Heidelberg and HP had the two largest booths. Landa, of course, made a huge splash at drupa 2012 with its introduction, but the company announced a while back that it was working on perfecting its new presses.
All in all, Ipex will offer attendees with a look at what is new, primarily on the digital side, but it will be interesting to read the feedback from attendees and see how the current trends will impact future programming.