Drupa stand highlights: pre-media, MIS, workflow & W2P

By PrintWeek Team , Monday 04 April 2016

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The first in a series of round-ups of all the launches attendees can take a closer look at at Drupa 2016.



Agfa - Hall 8a, B62-1/B62-5

Agfa Graphics will be focusing on developing sustainable systems in the field of offset printing, and will be exhibiting under the banner ECO3, standing for ‘eco-friendly’, ‘economic’ and ‘extremely convenient’. The firm will use Drupa as the springboard for its Avalon N8-90 CTP, the latest addition to its family of thermal platesetters, and the new Energy Elite Eco no-bake positive thermal plate. Also new on stand will be a pallet loader for the high-end Advantage newspaper platesetter, and the Advantage N Essentials CTP series of platesetters.

Asahi Photoproducts - Hall 11, A60

Asahi will bring its full range of flexo plates to Drupa and also use it as the launch pad for two new plates. The AFP-DCV (Deep Colour Vibrance) digital flexo plate was developed to produce vibrant colour prints from both water- and solvent-based inks thanks to its unique polymer coating combined with Asahi’s Pinning Technology for clean transfer. The second new plate, AWP-DEW, features a faster plate processing speed, making ideal for larger format flexible packaging operations with higher plate throughput, according to Asahi.

Bodoni Systems - Hall 7, C25

British colour management specialist Bodoni will be showing a number of new products, including PressSign Global Print Management designed to operate between multiple locations anywhere in the world, which the firm described as “a huge leap forward in production control” for multi-site operations. The firm will also be demonstrating the latest versions of PressSign PrintBuyer and PressSign Pro, the former provides an “objective assessment” tool for print buyers and printers, and the latter a system for monitoring and controls colour printing across multiple processes.

Beijing Keyin Modern Printing Technology - Hall 4, B03

Beijing Keyin is unveiling two new plates at Drupa developed by Lucky Huaguang Printing Technology. Starlight TP-SU is a thermal CTP plate with a new double coating formulation. It can be used for both UV and conventional inks. Starlight TP-S8 is a new high-sensitivity thermal CTP plate, which benefits from the same characteristics as the TP-SU and also delivers good ink/water balance, fast ink flow and a high ink utilisation rate, according to the company.

Cron - Hall 5, B24

Cron has upped its original stand size to accommodate space for several new product launches. Although the Chinese company isn’t revealing very much about the new products, it says they will be aimed at ensuring offset production remains competitive against digital. The Drupa launches will be in the fields of lower-cost, precision plate production; CTP automation, from plate loading to quality controlled processing; and the creation of colour management links to the press. The company says the new launches will have a positive impact for all offset printers, from those producing two-page documents to VLF operators.

EFI - Hall 9, A40-1/A40-2

EFI is playing its cards unusually close to its chest for this Drupa. However, it has hinted that products on display will include new superwide-format technology, including print devices for packaging, as well as advanced aqueous UV ink technology. EFI will also showcase the most advanced EFI Fiery digital front end platform to date, which includes an extremely fast front-end platform designed to drive the new generation of high-speed, high-quality inkjet presses, including the new Landa press exhibited next door to EFI’s stand, and Xerox’s new Trivor 2400 inkjet press.  

Fujifilm - Hall 8b, A25-1/A25-3

Fujifilm will have two stands at Drupa, which in combination represent the company’s largest presence at the show to date. The manufacturer’s team will be based at the company’s 2,020m2 stand in Hall 8b, but there will also be a smaller booth in Hall 1 to support the company’s partnership with Heidelberg. The pre-media focus of Fuji’s offering will the new Superia system, which pulls together elements of the manufacturer’s offset product portfolio, incorporating its XMF workflow, platesetters, plates and pressroom chemistry, which Fuji says will enable printers to minimise resources, and maximise their efficiency and profitability. Fujifilm will also be featuring Flenex FW water wash flexo plates on its booth, which the firm described as “transforming the traditional flexo business.”

Heidelberg - Hall 1

Heidelberg will use Drupa to show its Suprasetter CTP operating with both a new Auto Pallet Loader (APL) and a Dual Cassette Loader (DCL). This configuration will allow users to load up to three different plate formats. The new modular APL can hold up to 1,200 printing plates in 106 format or 600 in larger formats (depending on the plate thickness). APL is retrofittable on Suprasetter 106s made after 2013. Away from the show but running concurrently will be a packaging specific presentation at Hall 11 at Heidelberg’s factory in Wiesloch. There the new APL will be demonstrated on a Suprasetter 162.

MUST SEE: Heights (UK) - Hall 10, B14-1

heights-titaniumThe Heights (UK) Titanium range has been developed to cover the existing and projected market requirement for a high-end, compact and high-productivity thermal/conventional plate processor.

The UK manufactured machine builds on the pedigree of the Mercury/Aztec and Bora processors, of which 10,000 have been sold worldwide. The firm also manufactures OEM processors for DuPont, Fujifilm, Kodak and Toray.

Despite the rise of processless plates, technical sales director Stephen Morrissey says there is still a significant market for a high-end products like Titanium from large volume users who run high quality processed CTP plates. 

Full pricing and specifications will be announced at Drupa, where the firm is exhibiting in the Picon Pavilion.

Hell Gravure Systems - Hall 16, D10

German gravure specialist Hell will be demonstrating its latest product innovations in the field of direct laser engraving, including high-speed dual-beam technology for the Cellaxy laser engraving system. This dual-beam technology is already available for the existing S1300 and S1700 PremiumSetter models for flexographic printing. The third model in the PremiumSetter series, the S3000, will also be shown for the first time at Drupa and will have up to four laser sources.

Kodak - Hall 5, F09-1/F09-6

Kodak will show a range of new products including its latest process-free addition to the Sonora family of plates. Making its debut at Drupa will be Kodak’s new Flexcel NX System 2016, which builds on the company’s NX Advantage technology. The new features include NX tags for the application of multiple patterns on a single plate layout and Advanced Edge Definition, a Kodak-patented technology that controls ink flow at the edge of objects, resulting in cleaner print and greater visual edge definition. It will also show Electra Max thermal plates and Libra VP digital plates for commercial and newspaper printers. The Kodak stand will also feature an Ultra NX ‘experience room’ to showcase environmentally conscious plate technology.

Ohio Gravure Technologies - Hall 16, D10

Ohio Gravure Technologies will be showing two new engravers for gravure cylinders, the Gravostar Prism and Gravostar Spectrum, as well as a hybrid engraving technology. Ohio says the entry-level Prism offered a wide screen and stylus range, assisted set-up, fast engrave heads and specialty engraving options. The Spectrum engraver has been designed to produce high-quality cylinders quickly and cost-effectively. The manufacturer says the Spectrum was designed to fit into any production environment, is easy to use but includes the most advanced technology to provide a productive ‘one-button’ machine. The company will also show its Collage Layout System, a job layout software package for the packaging and specialty printing industry.


Cerm - Various stands

While Cerm will not have its own stand at Drupa, the Heidelberg-owned MIS developer will exhibiting on a variety of its partners’ stands. The firm’s key launch will be its digital shopfront Web4Labels, which has been completely redesigned to feature a responsive design. Flexible information grids will give the printer the possibility to customise the information for every individual customer, which, according to Cerm, will lower the threshold for customers to participate in the printers’ workflow via the web.

Imprint MIS - Hall 10, C13-3

First-time exhibitor Imprint MIS will use the show to launch version 18 of its eponymous MIS package. The company says the latest release includes greater functionality, additional modules, SentinelNet online machine monitoring and Shop Floor Data Capture. Imprint has also developed a Direct Mail Business Control System (BCS) that focuses on the requirements of the complex direct mail market. The BCS Estimating module handles multiple items/components of differing run lengths including data handling and processing with the ability to split out detailed pricing in a quotation. The system also handles laser and digital print click rates for simplex and duplex personalisation.

Tharstern - Hall 7, E28

Tharstern will be exhibiting its latest MIS features in Hall 7, which houses the Drupa Innovation Park. In addition to new functionality, integration experts will also be on hand to offer advice about automation and demonstrate how Tharstern can help them by providing a ‘joined up’ workflow with JDF integrations.


Agfa - Hall 8a, B62-1/B62-5

As well as its own stands in Hall 8a, Agfa Graphics will also present new solutions for the growing packaging market at the Drupa Touchpoint Packaging exhibition in Hall 12, where it will show technology and software for future packaging design, production, authentication and customisation or personalisation. This includes: Arziro Design, a state-of-the-art plug-in for Adobe Illustrator to create counterfeit-proof artwork; Arziro Authenticate, a unique and powerful hybrid authentication and track & trace solution; and a range of ink technologies for smart packaging applications.

Enfocus - Hall 8b, A23

Sharing a stand with its parent Esko, Enfocus will be demonstrating its new Appstore platform, a system across which users and developers of Enfocus Switch can create and share apps to extend the Switch workflow. See ‘must see’.

MUST SEE: Enfocus Appstore - Hall 8b, A23

enfocus-appstoreEnfocus will be demonstrating the range of workflows that can be created using apps from its new community-created Appstore  platform.

Appstore users can view information for each available app, including compatibility and version information, the name of the creator, screenshots and a link to the support offered by the creator. Once downloaded, an app is available for free for a one-month trial period, following which it can be purchased on a subscription basis.

The developer said that new apps were being added to the store daily and Switch users around the world can download them to help solve business problems. At Drupa, Enfocus will be demonstrating the range of workflows that can be created using apps from this community-created resource.

Existing apps range in function, but so far around 20 are available and include tools for managing XML files taking data from CSV files. By Drupa, the firm expects there to be close to 50 apps available.

Esko - Hall 8b, A23

At the time of writing, Esko is not revealing much detail about what it will be exhibiting, but it says it will introduce significant innovations in its software to assist brand owners and printers keep on top of the need for rapid changes in artwork and packaging design. With that in mind the company is exhibiting under a banner of ‘packaging simplified’.

Global Graphics - Hall 7, C20/B21 

Global Graphics will unveil the latest version of the Harlequin RIP as well as its latest software offering, the Harlequin Multi-Level Digital Screening Engine (MDSE), which it says will help single-pass inkjet presses achieve significantly better print quality. MDSE varies the amount of ink delivered from the inkjet head in any one location on any type of media to overcome common problems such as streaking and mottling that are frustrating many press manufacturers. Meanwhile, version 11 of the Harlequin RIP offers more controls for inkjet presses and new features for labels and packaging. Global Graphics says it “raises the bar in output quality by introducing features to improve inkjet output quality, offers more controls for variable data printing, and contains new features for labels and packaging applications”.

GMG - Hall 8a, B10

GMG will showcase its latest software, a Photoshop plug-in, new proofing media, and its extended range of services at Drupa. The GMG proof media range is being expanded and reorganised into two lines: GMG ProofMedia Premium and GMG ProofMedia Studio. The developer has also added a new feature to its OpenColor colour management package, which enables it to calculate profiles for halftone proofs. GMG ColorProof has also been updated to ensure colour-accurate print output of data calculated in this way. GMG is also launching a plug-in called ColorPin, with which Photoshop users will be able to carry out operations that were previously only possible with the help of complex workarounds and a lot of manual intervention. There is also a packaging-specific version.

Heidelberg - Hall 1

Under the banner ‘Simply Smart’, Heidelberg will show how the integration of its products, workflows, consumables and services work to bring comprehensive solutions to its customers. Prinect Smart Automation is key to automated print product manufacturing. For some time now, it has enabled virtually fully automated production of standard products from prepress, through press to postpress. Prinect automatically defines the product concepts based on job data and product information. In conjunction with the new Prinect Portal, the amount of work involved in processing jobs for production can be significantly reduced, in an ideal situation by up to 90%. From Drupa, the new Portal will also facilitate communication between customers and printers. This is intended to make the Portal the standard tool for completing all key steps in the workflow and replaces Remote Access.

Hybrid Software - Hall 7a, F41

Hybrid Software is bringing a number of new products to its Drupa booth, including Cloudflow Share, billed as a “unique” way to transfer data between multiple sites and an important addition to its Cloudflow enterprise workflow solution. Cloudflow Share will be shown for the first time at Drupa, and Hybrid is citing significant advantages over existing file transfer methods because it can operate over lower bandwidth connections. “We are using standard internet connections to distribute work around the world without the need for expensive leased lines,” states managing director Christopher Graf. Other new products include a 64-bit scalable RIP for PC and Mac platforms, and an expanded-gamut colour management solution for packaging. Hybrid also lays claim to being “the one company that can integrate any MIS into any workflow process”. 

HP - Hall 17, A01-01/A01-15

HP, which will have the biggest stand at the show at 6,200m2, will be demonstrating its ambitious PrintOS development, a new cloud-based production environment that it says will “reinvent print production”. See ‘must see’. HP will also be showing a number of new Indigo presses that will be equipped with Indigo Optimizer, a new software tool that the company claimed can increase throughput per shift by up to 40% through features like intelligent job sequencing and the production of proofs without stopping jobs in production.


printosDescribed as a “print production operating system for print service providers”, the cloud-based production environment PrintOS is made up from a suite of tools and a set of apps developed by HP and third parties, including customers. While it has been developed for HP, it can also deliver jobs to non-HP digital presses and analogue devices.

The first two apps for PrintOS are from Oneflow Systems, the company born out of Precision Printing in Barking. PrintOS Box, a tool for onboarding jobs and getting them into production, and SiteFlow, an order submission app with pre-press and shopfloor management capabilities.

The first third-party integration is with web-to-print developer Pageflex, with more expected to be announced between now and Drupa. HP already has more than 40 customers, running more than 100 Indigo presses, using the platform.

Ultimate TechnoGraphics - Hall 8b, D06

Ultimate TechnoGraphics will be demonstrating its latest imposition plug-in, Absolutely Imposing, a new imposition software package, Impostrip, and finishing automation software, Ultimate Bindery. The company describes Absolutely Imposing as the “easiest way to impose documents from Adobe Acrobat”. Impostrip, meanwhile, is an imposition automation module that can be integrated into a workflow, MIS and web-to-print system. Ultimate Bindery is a finishing automation tool for digital printing. This plug and play solution enables printers to automate the set-up on a single or multiple device finishing workflow.

Xitron - Hall 15, C54-4

RIP and workflow developer Xitron will be showing version 11 of its Navigator RIP for the first time at Drupa. Navigator 11 will be shown as the core digital front-end in several different implementations, encompassing each of their market segments. The firm says version 11 offers improvements in speed, memory usage, and screening for flexographic printing as well as functional enhancements such as better handling of poorly formed PDF files, specific use of PDF/VT hints and export of die separations when used in packaging applications. 

X-Rite - Hall 8b, A23

Pantone owner X-Rite will be showing PantoneLive Private Cloud, a secure, cloud-based repository that allows packaging converters and printers to store and share existing proprietary colour libraries across the supply chain. The new development is part of the PantoneLive ‘ecosystem’ designed to digitally communicate colour, accurately between brand owners, designers, pre-media, ink suppliers and printers. All colours published in Private Cloud are available for selection within PantoneLive-enabled pre-media systems such as GMG and Esko, and X-Rite says having colour references stored in a secure online repository significantly reduces approval times. 


Chili Publish - Hall 7a, F40

Chili Publish will unveil Chili Publisher version 5.0 at Drupa. The company says the “feature-packed release” will give users new functionality that can transform the way documents are created, edited and shared.  This release includes a completely updated user experience, enhanced output options, new design effects, and enhanced support for Asian languages. The revamped package includes the ability for users to work across a range of devices and locations with a completely new user experience for online editing. This accommodates the wide range of applications in which users choose to edit – on their phones, tablets or computers. 

Design’n’Buy - Hall 7a, E21

Indian developer Design’n’Buy will show the latest version of All-in-One-Designer, which now includes MIS and workflow features. The company described version 2.4 as a “major re-engineering” and says it will offer an improved experience for printers and end-users. This includes the addition of a quick edit function that enables users to make changes in pre-defined templates from the product details page itself, without going into design studio. The introduction of a colour-picking module and masking support to full CMYK output are also cited as new features. The company’s Get Quote product has also been added as a feature. This enables printers to act as an administrator and draw up customised quotes. Once approved by the customer, the administrator can place orders on behalf of customers.

Four Pees - Hall 7, C19

Four Pees is presenting products from its partner companies Axaio and Twixl Media. Axaio, renowned for its automation solution MadeToPrint, is showcasing MadeToTag, a software solution for creating barrier-free PDF files from InDesign. Currently in public beta phase, the product is expected to be on the market this autumn. Twixl Media focuses on iPad publishing. As a plug-in for InDesign, the new Twixl Publisher is used to create and distribute standalone and kiosk apps. Finally, Atomyx Portal is a proprietary development that has resulted from a collaborative effort between Four Pees and Callas Software. The workflow automation tool can be integrated into various existing environments and is fully upgradeable.

Infigo Software - Hall 10, C13-2

Infigo will be showing the latest developments in its Catfish and MegaEdit web-to-print solutions, following what the firm described as an “amazing year” that exceeded all the company’s expectations. It has also recently become a member of HP’s SmartStream Solution Partner Programme.

Printbox - Hall 7a, E10

Polish company Printbox has just released a new upgraded version of its end-to-end photo product software package. The new version, which is also available as a free upgrade for existing customers, introduces a large number of improved features. These include the operation of the photo calendar editor and communication in the Ecommerce Editor. The new version also includes the ability to add solid backgrounds, change the display order of all asset groups, and a new module for Google Analytics to view the details of the sales statistics. The firm is also launching a range of new templates and designs.

Radixweb Software Services - Hall 8b, D11

Radixweb Software Services will present the latest version of its web-to-print storefront package, OnPrintShop, at Drupa. Version 5 features a simplified and configurable Designer Studio module, a mobile-responsive admin panel and new tools to help grow sales. 

MUST SEE: Drupa Innovation Park

dipHead to Hall 7 for the Dip!, billed as the “global platform for innovations” and a chance for start-ups and technology companies to showcase their wares, and for the industry’s more established players to have an alternative presence at the show. It’s also the target zone for visitors from the marketing and print buying communities, who might not be as interested in the heavy metal side of the industry. The Dip! is made up of lots of small stand spaces with the focus areas of multi-channel publishing and marketing, web-to-print, e-commerce, process optimisation, added value in print, print technology innovations, and new business models. Exhibitors range from Alwan Color Expertise, to FlyerAlarm, web-to-print software specialist Lead-Print and imposition specialist Quite Software. DP Lenticular is also promising to show a new large-format lenticular lens. Other Dip! features include presentations and lecture programmes.

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