Pictured above: NFL legend Phil Simms gives the opening keynote.
Our friends at Canon Solutions America (CSA) have done it again with another well-orchestrated event advancing the understanding and use of color-digital inkjet technology. Last week I had the privilege of attending the first thINK Conference in New York. thINK is the newly formed user community for those of us employing the various types of CSA’s Océ inkjet technology. This community grew out of CSA’s Transactional Printers Advisory Council (TPAC) advisory group. IWCO Direct’s SVP Operations Dave Johannes was a founding member of TPAC and is now on the thINK board of directors.
Attendance was strong with more than 300 people at the inaugural event. It included not only CSA customers, but also vendors supporting various parts of the color digital value chain and numerous CSA executives, as well as several members of the media and industry analysts.
The thINK community is focused on inkjet, networking and knowledge, and the board put together a strong program to drive all three goals. The program opened with keynote speaker Jim Hamilton of InfoTrends observing that inkjet is replacing offset printing, not just because of price and speed, but because inkjet can do things offset can’t.
2015 thINK Sessions Focused on Inputs and Workflow
Two of the best sessions were presented by CSA experts on the important role paper plays in inkjet printing and how managing color output on inkjet devices requires a totally different approach than would be used on an offset press. These sessions were a good reminder that quality inkjet output, more than other print technologies, relies on the right combination of device, paper and ink. Elizabeth Gooding and Mary Schilling, authors of The Designer’s Guide to Inkjet, reinforced these concepts, noting that while high-quality offset printing is based on ink and water balance, high-quality inkjet printing is driven by ink and paper balance. In fact, they observed that paper should be the first decision that a designer makes, not the last.
Michael Poulin of CSA and Dave Johannes of IWCO Direct present “Getting the Best Performance from your Océ ColorStream / JetStream Press.”
I would also like to highlight the well-received presentation by Dave Johannes and Michael Poulin of CSA, who discussed getting the best performance from inkjet devices. The two stressed that getting workflow right is one of the most important aspects of using inkjet successfully – especially color. Inkjet requires different color management tools in order to find the right balance between vibrancy and detail. Dave complimented CSA for being willing to partner with IWCO Direct, noting “we’ve learned a lot together.” Dave also noted that while inkjet is not necessarily a lower cost production option, it can help provide stronger returns than traditional production workflows, and therefore, can be a better value.
The thINK Conference also provided an opportunity for the IWCO Direct team to meet with some of our other partners involved in the color digital workflow. We talked with paper companies about the latest options for paper stocks to support inkjet production and how quickly those stocks can be qualified and certified for our new ImageStream 3500 and VarioPrint i300 devices. We also connected with software vendors who support our ability to efficiently manage images and other assets that are an important part of a dynamic color digital workflow.
The first thINK Conference exceeded my expectations, packing a lot of education and conversation about production inkjet into a very compact timeframe. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event near CSA headquarters in Boca Raton, FL in October.
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