Convergence in Action at PRINTING United
Convergence. Depending on who you talk to, where you talk to them, and what they’re doing, that word can have a wide range of meanings. Merriam-Webster alone has four different definitions for the term, but perhaps the one that truly resonates is this: “the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole.”
That is, at its heart, the entire reason PRINTING United was created. This show was born from the realization that printers no longer label themselves as “commercial” or “packaging” or “signage.” In some cases, they aren’t even “printers,” but rather have moved to embrace the role of communications specialists of all stripes and flavors. But while it may be easy to talk about convergence and the infinite possibilities it offers to every print shop in the global community, it can be harder to pin it down in practice.
Across the PRINTING United show floor here in Dallas, OEMs are living and breathing convergence, embracing new and creative applications for their products and services. They have taken this proverbial bull by its horns, and aren’t afraid to go on the wild and exciting ride ahead.
“In our view, convergence really reflects the fact that the traditional definitions of printers and print technology are rapidly disappearing as digital devices lower the cost of entry and increase the value of output in market segments front direct mail to label, packaging, wide-format, and textile,” says Kevin Kern, senior VP, Business Intelligence Services and Product Planning, Konica Minolta (Booth 9536). “At PRINTING United, we are embracing convergence by exhibiting new products in categories of decorative print, high-speed ink, label, and production color, demonstrating our investment in growth businesses that will create new opportunities for our customers to increase revenue.”
“PRINTING United is a great example of the industry converging in one place. Together with our amazing partner relationships we have on the show floor, we can represent our entire ecosystem of products — all in one place — to the print industry,” says Ken Hanulec, worldwide VP of Corporate Marketing, EFI (Booth 8233). “And, if you look at any corner of the floor, and you are likely to also see EFI solutions. Ricoh (Booth 7001), for example, is not only showing our wide-format technology, but is also featuring our Fiery DFEs on its cut-sheet production printing equipment. Similarly, Fiery DFEs are running on digital production equipment in the booths of many additional partners, including Canon (Booth 7061), Konica Minolta, Kyocera, OKI (Booths 11545, 8011), RISO (Booth 10935), and Xerox (Booths 12345, 12541). And, for the first time, Fiery even has a presence with multiple, leading finishing equipment vendors.…For me, that’s a real and tangible example of convergence and the industry coming together to show a broader, more comprehensive range of cutting-edge technologies. PRINTING United is second only to drupa in terms of the range of solutions we can show and partnerships we have on the show floor.”
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.