And how it's becoming a viable, high-value process
Variable data printing (VDP) is a growing segment of the printing market. But many don't understand the technology involved or how it provides a new business opportunity. This fall's Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2003 will show variable-data presses have changed in the 10 years since they were first introduced shown and feature a seminar entitled, "Variable-Data Printing for Real." Graph Expo will take place Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at McCormick Place South in Chicago and is expected to attract 500 exhibitors.
The Indigo E-Print system and ChromaPress developed by Agfa were the first digital color presses that allowed for per-piece variability throughout a press run. These new "variable data" output systems joined other digital-print and direct-imaging options in the marketplace and sparked considerable speculation and debate about how digital-printing technologies could and would be used by graphic communications businesses. These debates are still continuing.
According to a study published by TrendWatch Graphic Arts, the number of commercial printing establishments owning digital color presses will increased by more than 234% to achieve 7% market penetration by 2007. At Graph Expo, attendees will be able to see precursors to the machines that will exist in 2007 and see how much progress has been made since their initial debut.
"The arrival of practical digital printing, both with variable and fixed data, has opened up important new opportunities for printers to add value and services to their customer relationships," notes Regis Delmontagne, president of Graphic Arts Show Company, producer of the shows. "But it has also challenged these companies to learn new ways of selling and developing new strategies for meeting more of their customers' needs."
Graph Expo 2003 will also feature sessions entitled, "On-Demand Printing: Show Me the Money," "Making the Digital Printing Decision," and "The Digital Salesperson" as well as information on new business opportunities in wide-format digital color printing.
Other sessions will examine the state of the printing industry, potential value-added services, online job submission, JDF and PDF workflows, proactive preflighting, color management, designing for digital, and XML.
The Graph Expo show is presented by Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) which is owned by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), Printing Association of America (PIA) and NPES The Association of Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies. (Graphic Arts Show Company: 703-264-7200, www.gasc.org)