The choice of Guangdong Province as the location for the Print China exhibition is no accident. The province, which has the highest GDP in China, accounts for one-third of the nation’s printing industry. Any overseas publisher who prints in Hong Kong/China knows that the manufacturing process is most likely to be carried out in somewhere in Guangdong.
Print China is a major event for the industry people. This year, the second Print China exhibition, running from April 9 to 13, covers more than 100,000-square meters and is expected to draw more than 1,000 exhibitors from 72 countries. Held once every four years at the Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Center, the who’s who of the international printing world is here including HP, Heidelberg, Kodak, Oce, Agfa, Luscher, Canon, Screen, MAN Roland, Ryobi and Komori.
HP, for instance, occupies a big booth to exhibit its many digital printing solutions including Indigo presses—effectively covering the whole spectrum from higher-end commercial application to entry-level usage. Live demonstrations and printing samples are carried out at regular intervals. Samples of personalized children’s titles such as Noddy from U.K.-based Penwizard at the Indigo W7200 press section highlights its variable data printing capabilities while a multitude of labels—in all sizes, shapes and colors—point to HP’s successful collaboration with Avery Dennison across four continents. The big presence of HP at Print China is indicative of its success in the country, which is its second-largest market for Indigo presses outside of the U.S.
Other exhibitors showcase more mainstream products and solutions. Over at Kodak, its Prosper 1000 press takes the spotlight. A monochrome digital inkjet press that offers perfecting with a print width up to 24.5 inches, it can support run lengths up to 7,000 copies and it targeted at the book printing industry.
Agfa meanwhile debuts its new :N92VCF chemical-free violet plate for the newspaper industry. Its equivalent product for the commercial printing market, :Azura TS, is the most successful chemical-free thermal printing plate in the industry. Both products are manufactured at its plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.
At MAN Roland booth, live demonstrations on its six-color Roland 700 HiPrint with inline coater is the highlight while over at Goss, its Magnum press (manufactured by its Shanghai facility) offers a single-width one-around newspaper printing process with advanced folding capabilities, improved tension control, modified cooling controls and various enhanced features.
Aside from the international brand names, exhibitors at Print China are mostly local equipment and supply chain manufacturers—with demonstrations conducted primarily in Chinese and the whole event targeted at locals. It is obvious to visitors that offset printing presses and conventional plating equipment reign supreme on the floor. For technology companies like HP, converting the local market into one that is digital and inkjet may not be easy but China sure is a huge market. HP’s recent installations—including the first T300 in Asia at major book manufacturing exporter CTPS, located 40-minutes away from the exhibition hall—are positive signs of a market receptive to digital technology and eager for a different sort of printing solutions.