The Tiara Group, in conjunction with the Graphic Communication Institute (GrCI) at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California hosted its 31st annual Toner Conference at Fess Parker's elegant seaside resort in Santa Barbara, California.
The three-day event, with attendees from 20 states and five nations, began with two Tutorials-Toners 101 and Inkjet Inks 101-on Monday, June 2, followed by a Cocktail Reception in the Reagan Room. The next two days were dedicated to talks and panel discussions focused on the battle between inkjet and toner technology for office desktop printing applications as well as the introduction of an important area of digital printing - production printing. The event included a mini-expo with displays by many of the conference sponsors. The conference sponsors were Actionable Intelligence; Diamond Research Corporation; Esprix Technologies; Everlight Chemical; Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems; Konica Minolta; Memjet; NETZSCH; Orient Corporation of America; Trend Toner Imaging; Ultrex, and Xanté.
Robert C. Ross Jr., CEO and Founder of Xanté (also representing Memjet), delivered a stirring Keynote Address regarding the impact on desktop business and high-speed wide-format printing of page wide, stationary nozzle arrays.
Renowned imaging Consultant, Dr. Ray A. Work III, reinforced the inkjet printing advances with an update stressing the latest devices from HP (Officejet Pro X) and Brother's newest printer, a 100-page per minute HLS7000dn.
What was unique about this year's event is the partnership that organizer and The Tiara Group's Managing Director, Terry Gorka, negotiated with Cal Poly's GrCI that brought in speakers and delegates from the commercial printing and publishing sector. Those digital print applications comprise the lion's share of the toner and inkjet business. Indeed, it was revealed that narrow format, monochrome, desktop office printing represents a mere 3 percent to 5 percent of the total revenue generated by the overall print market (office and home color printing represents an estimated 15 percent).
An OEM panel provided a lively discussion on production printing. The panelists included Ken Butcher, Director of Production Print/Digital Press, Ultrex (representing Konica Minolta);Tom McHugh, General Manager - Materials Technology & Business Development, Eastman Kodak Company;Robert Ross, CEO and Founder, Xanté;Ron Sarne, Business Development Manager, Hewlett Packard Graphic Solutions;Kevin Shimamoto, VP Sales & Marketing, Memjet Wide Format, Memjet; and Leon Williams, Chief Scientist for Fiery, Electronics for Imaging (EFI).
Kodak's Dr. Tomas McHugh stunned delegates when he revealed that Kodak had achieved practically 100 percent biocontent in a chemical color toner that is planned to be in semi-works production this August and full-scale production by June 2015. McHugh explained that actual levels of sustainable ingredients are somewhat above 95 percent biocontent. He also indicated that Kodak has entered into an agreement with Static Control (Sanford, NC) for the worldwide marketing, sale, and distribution of this new line of Kodak biotoners.
In an unexpected presentation on Tuesday, June 3rd, Dr. Harvey R. Levenson, Professor Emeritus and Director of Cal Poly's GrCI, announced that an Endowment Fund had been established at the university in the name of Art Diamond & The Tiara Group. The Fund will support research, education and training in toner, photoreceptor and inkjet technology as well as offering one or more scholarships, depending on the income generated.
Art Diamond was presented with a plaque honoring his efforts in expanding imaging technology and toner manufacturing worldwide, and received a standing ovation from speakers and delegates.
Another feature of this year's conference was the increased emphasis on panel discussions. Called "open mike" sessions, they ranged from the growth of service as an income stream that now surpasses consumables, to the main considerations impacting office printing.
Attendees also heard talks on specialty toners, biotoners, pigments and colorants, toner resins and waxes, toner additives, nano-pigment dispersions, industry litigation, and the protection of intellectual property.
Imaging consultant Graham Galliford, now Asia Pacific Regional Manager for the TROY Group, discussed worldwide toner production with his estimates of tonnage produced in each geographic region.
The three-day event included outdoor lunches and receptions overlooking Santa Barbara's sunny beaches; highly conducive for networking, a hallmark of The Tiara Group's planned toner conferences.
About The Tiara Group
The Tiara Group (www.thetiaragroup.com) was founded in 2001 as a spin-off of Diamond Research Corporation, a technology-consulting firm that facilitates the planning and hosting of the corporation's events. Today, as an independent company, Tiara produces industry expositions, seminars, conferences, symposia, and specialized meetings for public and private clients across the globe. The Tiara Group excels at offering creative, affordable ways to promote, market and operate events customized for companies, associations or groups.
About Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly
The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly-GrCI (www.grci.calpoly.edu) is an outreach of the university's Graphic Communication Department (www.grc.calpoly.edu), created to provide industry companies and professionals with corporate development and continuing education. The GrCI's focus is on research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, training, seminars, workshops, conferences, and publishing.