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Graph Expo 14

Short-run machines were all the buzz at the 2014 show in Chicago.



With printers and multi-function devices offering more and more flexibility in substrate choice, short-run machines were all the buzz at Graph Expo 14, as print shop managers and execs took to the floor to ask about warmup times, downtime when switching media, and service packages – a nice way of saying, “Who do I call when it breaks?” – to differentiate among manufacturers.

This year’s show, which included everything from HP’s mock grocery store to Xante’s free barber services, honed in on printers that have increased versioning capabilities for promotional and P-O-P printed products. That might mean anything from duty-free packaging in multiple languages and special events tote bags to seasonal grocery bags or location-specific retail displays.

These shorter runs might help you win a new job with an accurate mock-up, but they also feed the growing appetite of individuals to decorate the world around them and of large consumer products companies, which stand to financially benefit by slashing inventory in the wake of better, lower-cost, on-demand short runs.



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