Sunday, May 13, 2012

Woodie Rush's thoughts about his attendance at Drupa

Woodie Rush, Principal at RSH DSC, is a consultant and, in my opinion, is one of the most knowledgeable people ever to grace the reprographics and graphic imaging industry.  He recently attended the drupa event in Dusseldorf, Germany and sent me his thoughts about drupa, which I’m now going to share with our blog-visitors.

First, about Woodie, his former positions, prior to founding Rush DCS:

VP of Global Strategic Services at ReproMAX
Vice President for Corporate Development at Plan Express
Vice President for Administrative Services at Campbell Blueprint & Supply

And, here’s what Woodie says about Rush DCS’ area of concentration:

Application of the principles of supply chain management and comprehensive automation to the acquisition, processing, and delivery of construction data via electronic or hardcopy processing.

My goal is to maximize the opportunities for automation and develop networks of interoperability and integration within the construction technology marketplace.
Finding solutions for integration of disparate systems to meet desired customer services, and building bridges between organizations that concurrently serve the same markets.

Okay, let’s get to Woodie’s comments about drupa:

To:                  Joel Salus at Reprographics 101

From:             Woodie Rush at Rush DCS

Your blog is one that I consider a source of good information about what's happening in our industry, and I thought I would drop you a line about my experiences at Drupa this year.  

I see that you have had others report on their experiences as well, and I generally agree with David Zwang's observations--specifically regarding the healthy optimism about the future of the industry as evidenced by both the attendance and the products being presented.  

In the four days I was there, it was impossible to see everything, but in my humble opinion, THIS is the kind of venue that people in our industry should should plan to attend..... sure, Drupa goes way beyond reprographics, but in today's world, who ISN'T looking for new ways to generate revenue?   While an international event like this is, indeed, expensive, and held only every four years, I saw more equipment, more software, and had opportunities to speak to more "emerging faces" than I have had in years, and considered this a most educational experience.

Your reporting on Landa provides an excellent example.  Founded by Benny Landa in Israel, and a leader in the development of the Indigo acquired (several years back) by HP, he began focusing on 'nanotechnology' in printing.   It's not easy to impress me with slick demos, but what I saw these 'inkjet' printers do was truly innovative, and I began thinking of service offerings for which that equipment would a great fit.    Without being overly enthusiastic, I would encourage your readers to take a look at their products.      

One of the most interesting aspects of Drupa for me was the fact that "Canon-Oce" integration seems to be almost, if not totally accomplished.   All of us who regularly attend industry trade shows have always looked for the huge round "Oce'" banner ----but not here!  The Canon branding was overwhelming. I actually had to ASK at the Canon reception staff where to find the Oce large format devices such as the Velocity (see Oce Velocity jpg) (Note to blog visitors – if my attempt to post the picture of the Velocity worked, you’ll see it at the bottom of this post!) .....  Oce was there, but to say the Oce brand was prominent would be an overstatement.  The Canon branding was overwhelming.  I KNOW there MUST have been Oce-USA staff here from the states, but, for the first time since I started attending these kinds shows, I saw NO ONE from Oce'  (US or Venlo) that I recognized---and I went by the booth at least once time each day.

KIP was there, and seemed to draw good crowds to their booth, especially the C7800, which you reported about on your blog.  A good friend of mine from Europe told me that while he had never purchased KIP equipment before, he was seriously considering the C7800.   Sherman Sawtelle was there, and seemed to be engaged with potential customers throughout my visits to their booth.

The HUGE booths at Xerox (with XMPie), HP, Canon, Ricoh, Fuji-Film, and AGFA were staffed with people with whom you could explore 'under the hood' how things worked, and I learned a lot about the architecture of software systems supporting these hardware providers.  I was surprised to learn, for example, that while Oce owns Onyx, the RIP behind the new Oce Velocity wide-foramt printer is being powered by MemJet, which illustrated to me that interoperability and integration remain a vital piece of tomorrow's software/hardware landscape.

But the highlight for me was the time I spent at so many of the smaller, "standard booths", where I found people from around the world who have their thinking caps on, creating new opportunities that enterprising reprographers should at least explore.  For those looking to put a full range color services online, a small company from Israel (B2cprint) seems to have come up with an innovative approach that I found most interesting.   Similarly, a colleague from Germany showed me the scanning system being offered by Rowe that may hold promise for automating scan workflows.  These small companies came from every corner of the globe, and I found discussions with their owners and representatives often stimulating and thought provoking.  With only a 4 day pass, there was absolutely no way I could get around to all of them, and the 'Catalog" I purchased is 784 pages long---and that's not due to it being presented in several languages.  The bulk of the book is a directory of companies exhibiting at the show.  While the catalog is not downloadable, the list of exhibitors can be downloaded for free at

I ran into several folks from the reprographics industry around the world, but I was a bit surprised that so few 'reprographers' from the US were there.  This is one show that (in my view) is well worth the investment, and if your readers intend to remain a part of the quickly changing landscape of our industry, I would urge that they begin planning now to attend the next drupa show, with not only the principals attending, but also with key technical representatives attending.  Having attended many 'trade shows' in my career, I do consider Drupa to be the best opportunity to see new hardware AND talk with folks who are more than simply 'sales staff'.  I would also encourage Reprographics 101 to consider attending to provide a comprehensive, unbiased report on the industry in general.  

Overall, this was a show well worth the investment.

Picture of the new Velocity from Oce-Canon.  

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