on the road to
Northprint 2011May '11

Cip decided to investigate the new printing technology and ideas that were on show at this year’s Northprint. In particular we wanted to look at digital printing presses and wide format digital printing. This wonderful task being assigned to Gary and James who started off with great intentions to be there at the opening of the doors at 10am. This didn’t quite happen as James and Gary found themselves still at the office at 10.30am, both with steam coming out of their ears, trying to put things in place so they could make their escape. They eventually made it to the show at 12pm and it didn’t start well for James - he proceeded to watch Gary receive all his VIP gifts as he registered and booked in - all James got was a name badge! Feeling somewhat hurt and with Gary finding this very amusing James pleaded to be upgraded and duly was.

northprint 2011On the way to look at the Xerox stand a company called ecovision caught their eye and a representative took them through the environmental benefits of ‘eco-wipes’ - a product which to be claimed is better for the environment and which will save cip money at the same time. This fits well with the cip ethos of looking at reducing their impact on the environment.

The next thing to catch their eye was wide format digital printing, in particular the Roland Versa CAMM printer. This highly versatile machine was printing and kiss cutting labels at the same time and is capable of printing onto vinyl and many other substrates. It’s “big brother” stood next to it using metallic inks and the results were mind blowing and it is something cip are looking to invest in.

The ‘WOW’ factor arrived at the Xerox stand - the Xerox Color 1000 printing press being equipped with the “Clear Dry Ink” system. A brochure was handed to them and they were amazed at the near litho quality of the print and the new Clear Dry Ink system which gave the impression of a brochure with spot UV throughout. They were signing on the dotted line to purchase when the approx £150,000 price tag was mentioned and due to the risk of a heart attack in senior management they thought better of it!quote

By this time the vip free lunch and drinks vouchers were burning a hole in their pockets, and they did a full tour looking for a place to eat. They eventually settled on Costa Coffee and selected two plates of their finest chilli and “bullet” rice, a recipe that neither one had tried before - crunchy rice is definitely the way forward. In order not to waste any of the free vouchers given to them they spent a further twenty minutes at the till trying all different combinations of cookies and muffins in order to not waste a penny, in the end the poor woman gave up and let them have what they wanted so they would go away.

Ricoh was next and the Pro 900 machine in particular, this machine is closer to what cip expected the next generation of digital presses to be and an appointment to have a closer look in the near future was made.

Gary and James then enjoyed a brief excursion into Ricoh’s cloud software, shopping carts, online ordering system software etc, the stand was departed very quickly after hearing the price tag!

Next was the Tharstern MIS software and estimating system, which is something cip have been interested in for sometime and the opportunity to get a closer look and demo was too good an opportunity to miss. Gary and James were given a full demonstration and they were very impressed with the high levels and complexity of the numerous tasks this software will produce. They had run out of time! Another quick excursion to the Costa Coffee to harass the poor women and use up the rest of their vouchers with suitable snacks for the journey home. This almost resulted in disaster, arriving back at the car 6 minutes after the expired time having overtaken a traffic warden on the way back to the car.

A great day was had, a report outlining – Tharsten, Xerox, Ricoh, large format digital, Eco wipes. was duly filed to senior management and they now await further discussions on looking into these further.

NEXT ARTICLE right-arrow