Last year, during the overhaul and expansion of Domino’s facility, its North American team had the idea to celebrate its continued growth as well as its success in developing digital label printing technology. But the concept was for the event to be more than just an open house. “We wanted it to be a networking and educational event that pulled together all of the facets of the label printing industry. We wanted to include a wide range of industry leaders, market research experts and companies looking for answers to help their businesses succeed,” says David Ellen, Domino’s president, Digital Printing. “The event would include a wide ‘spectrum’ of the industry.”
Digital Printing Spectrum 2016 lived up to its name. In addition to showcasing Domino technology, the manufacturing facility was rearranged in order to host 38 tabletop exhibitors, who represented the full spectrum of label converting products and services. On hand both days were suppliers of substrates and materials, inspection systems, coatings, rotary dies and tooling, finishing machines, materials handling equipment, flexo presses, prepress and MIS software, UV curing, and also trade press and industry associations.
The event showcased Domino’s new, gleaming demonstration and training facility – the result of more than $1 million in renovations. Over the course of the program, attendees had multiple opportunities to see in action the Domino N610i 7-color digital UV inkjet label press and the Domino K600i digital UV inkjet printer. Finishing equipment suppliers Delta ModTech and AB Graphic have machinery installed at the demo center, allowing visitors to see firsthand which applications best meet their needs. Domino invites converters to bring to the facility any and all materials to test-run on its demo presses.
The agenda was set up in such a way so that between keynote speakers and panel discussions, attendees had ample time to learn from the press and finishing demonstrations, the tabletop exhibits, as well as through networking with industry peers.
Kevin Karstedt of Karstedt Partners was the day’s first presenter, and he set the tone by providing an overview of the state of digital printing, which accounts for $55 billion in label revenue, he said. His presentation included videos that were both humorous and inspirational, underscoring the theme that for those willing to take the digital leap, there is a bright and profitable future ahead.
Converters who are Domino digital press owners gave presentations, providing overviews of their business models while detailing their respective experiences with digital printing and Domino technology. Scott Fisher of Smyth Companies, Kevin Hayes of the Outlook Group, and Tony Heinl of Repacorp all provided honest, candid accounts of their operations and the role digital printing plays, as well as the future they foresee the technology playing.
Q&A Panel Discussions took place during the program. The first Q&A was focused on Finishing Partners. Moderated by Steve Katz, editor of Label & Narrow Web, the panelists featured representatives from AB Graphic, CEI, Delta ModTech, Gonderflex and MPS. The panelists discussed the benefits and advantages of various diecutting options, machinery modularity and popular equipment configurations prominent within the label market.
The Substrate & Material providers’ panel, moderated by FTA’s Jay Kaible, went over the substrate challenges and considerations that must be taken into account when printing with digital technology. The panelists – representatives from Avery Dennison, UPM Raflatac, FLEXcon and Spinnaker Coating – also talked about the latest trends in substrate usage for digital printing.
Concluding the panel program, Dan Muenzer of Constantia Flexibles moderated a discussion with Scott Fisher (Smyth Companies), Kevin Hayes (Outlook Group), Tony Heinl (Repacorp), Lori Campbell (The Label Printers), Mark Turk (International Label & Printing) and Sharon Zampogna (McCourt Label). The converters discussed a variety of topics and the role digital printing plays within their respective organizations. Throughout all three panel discussions, audience participation was encouraged and fueled the conversation, as many of the 150 registered attendees are either current digital printers or are looking to add digital assets in the near future.
According to Bill Myers, Domino’s marketing manager and the event’s organizer, Digital Printing Spectrum 2016 succeeded in achieving the goals the company set forth. He says, “Domino has received so many positive comments from the attendees, presenters, Q&A panel discussion participants, and tabletop exhibitors. Everyone truly appreciated the event, particularly the fact that it was both an educational and networking opportunity – exchanging of ideas and sharing of information.”
Myers concludes, “Our objective was to create a wonderful experience – one that pulled together the full spectrum of industry professionals. We could not be more delighted with the outcome. There were a thousand other places everyone could have been those two days, and the fact that they chose to spend their time with us at Domino, we could not be more grateful. We very much thank everyone who attended our Open House.”