IDTechEx technology analyst Dr Harry Zervos attended Graph Expo 2008, in Chicago Illinois, one of the biggest exhibitions for the printing industry, with both giant and small printers exhibiting their products. IDTechEx's purpose was to raise the visibility and create awareness on innovative technologies that could benefit from the merging of electronics and printing.
This was in line with one of the show's innovative points this year, which was a focus on printed electronics and RFID and the potential new business these technologies could mean for enterprises focused on traditional printing. The printing industry, often perceived as a conservative one, was exposed to a cluster of exhibition booths aiming to introduce new technologies and new possibilities.
Positioned around Future Print, a new GRAPH EXPO show floor feature dedicated to printed electronics, IDTechEx, Muhlbauer, Bartronics, GSI and the Flextech Alliance made it their purpose to educate exhibitors and visitors alike on the possibilities and new directions that these new technologies are opening up for their business. Inquiries at the IDTechEx stand ranged from plain and simple curiosity, to more serious efforts to understand the impact of printed electronics and possible ways different companies could get involved, from printers to material and ink developers.
One of the attractions that grabbed the attention of the visitors to the IDTechEx booth was Esquire's October issue; the front cover featured an animated electrophoretic display, for the magazine's 75th anniversary. Representatives of the printing world were at times in awe of the appeal that a simple display had on them. Its success prompted them to think of ways they could "animate" their business by exploring the use of new materials and the adaptation of their manufacturing technologies.
Dr Zervos gave two presentations on the 2nd and 3rd day of the expo, introducing printed electroluminescent displays, OLEDs, thin film transistor circuits, photovoltaics and batteries. Some of these sectors of printed electronics are already benefiting by the versatility, low cost and high volume that printing technologies have to offer. Others, have the potential to become significantly easier and cheaper to manufacture, with a great amount of research interest into the adaptation of printing technologies to fit their needs, both from industry and academia.
During the show, companies like FUJI, Xerox and HP showcased their newest products; HP in specific introduced their new inkjet press that will be officially available as of 2009, a press that is capable of printing at a rate of 400ft/min. Océ highlighted their "green", sustainable practices that have made the company a leader in the printing industry who is also dedicated in reducing its environmental impact.
For more attend Printed Electronics USA 2008 .