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Hunkeler Innovationdays wrap-up – part 1

Wednesday, 20 February 2013
By Print21
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Naresh Khanna, Print21 Independent Media Alliance partner, and publisher of Indian Printer & Publisher, highlights some of the innovations on show at this year’s Hunkeler Innovationdays event in Lucerne, Switzerland.

New digital print and finishing solutions

The expanded five-day Hunkeler Innovationdays event in Lucerne started off without much fanfare in its inimitably friendly style. The turnout on the first day looked thin, and Stefan Hunkeler confirmed that the expectations were not for a large increase of visitors over the previous event in 2011. Moreover with the addition of an extra day, he expected the visitor numbers to be more comfortably spread out over the event.

The next Hunkeler event is in 2015 and there are hints that it could be an even bigger show in that year. Certainly there seems to be support from the exhibitors who find the no-frills presentation of complete solutions without money being spent on decorations to be cost-effective. Even on the first day they were happy with the turnout of customers and potential customers who seem to know what they are looking for and have an understanding what they are looking at.

What are the innovations in Innovationdays? There are a number of upgrades and new inline finishing equipments at the Hunkeler stand and at those of its OEM’s that address the automation of book block production, direct mail, and increasing the production of complex hybrid products such as a multi-page offset printed mailer that has new images and text that have been personalized on the basis of data mining.

Hunkeler’s double plow book folder system that was introduced at Innovationdays 2011 and which can take input from printed reels or be positioned in-line to a webfed digital press seems to have matured with real life experience over the past two years. At the Hunkeler stand it is being demonstrated with a robot that can intelligently pick up book blocks for automating even single copy book orders. It can help in the instant and serial production and fulfillment of single orders containing multiple titles with great efficiency.

Other interesting finishing solutions include the Fastblock lay-flat technology for pasting and binding photo books and coffee table books and a solution from Atlantic Ziesser for short monocartons using an inline rotary diecutter with a flexible magnetic die.

There are several new digital presses at show or at least upgraded versions of earlier ones including the KBA Rotajet first shown at drupa 2012 and shown running here. Yesterday saw the global launch yesterday of the Kodak Prosper 5000XLi which contains an Intelligent Print System to monitor quality and make adjustments and enhancements on the fly.

Xerox is showing not only its CiPress based on waterless inks but also its new Colour 8250 Production Printer. The 8250 is positioned so that its capital and running costs are lower than the iGens in order to serve direct mail and transactional markets that do not require the use of paper above 220gsm. Domino is also showing its monochrome book press at the show.

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