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Conf Report: Oce Open House

By [email protected] - 7th March 2007 - 15:33

Oce Open House is being held in Poing, Germany this week. An estimated 6000-7000 people will attend the event from all corners of the world. GEOconnexion International Magazine attended the Tuesday event, during which a Press Conference was held and a huge display of the Oce company product line.

Rokus van IperenDuring the opening press conference, CEO Rokus van Iperen outlined the progress and goals of Oce during the past year. He indicated that 2007 marks 130 years of operation for the Oce company - in a profitable way - the company never having posted a loss. He pointed out that Oce likes to create new products and that many were 'ground-breaking' systems, often including new technologies and approaches. van Iperen said, "the global market for office document management is worth over Euro 30 billion annually." With the takeover of Imagistics company in 2005, 2000 new staff were added and the company now ranks in the top 5 in North America."Commercial printing is increasing by 7% per year on average," he said. The Display Graphics is the fastest growing segment in digital wide format, increasing by 6% per year through 2010.A pioneer in digital printing, Oce is experiencing 13% growth in the this area where continuous feed printing is meeting new customer needs. In digital prints the company is also experiencing 13% growth.The Oce Open House is a remarkable conference and open house event. This was my second time attending this event and three things struck me immediately:1) It is extremely well organized from transportation to exposition to events.2) Wherever I stopped and spoke to Oce staff, they are excited and passionate about their products. They talk about innovation and possibilities for doing new things and creating new business. The is high energy.3) Oce is a prime example of diversity, innovation and creativity in print. The company manufacturers equipment for newspapers, magazines, posters, and in one case, I even saw several examples of small product runs for cards and artworks.I was pleasantly surprised to see maps coming out of the many wide format printers on display and CAD / GIS plots and drawings.Tom EgelundTom Egelund, Executive Vice President of Oce Wide Format Printing Systems spoke about how the company wants to accelerate growth. He see's two areas of growth in particular, technical documentation and the booming display graphics market. Egelund pointed out that Oce products are found in many businesses including, construction, automotive, aerospace, defence, energy exploration and reprographics. IN black and white printing alone, Oce boasts 24 percent growth in placements of low volume monochrome printing systems - of which the TDS700 is an example.Digital display graphics is smaller (Euro 3.7 million) at the moment, as compared to the larger analogue market (Euro 19 million). Yet, Oce believes the largest growth in the future will come from the digital side. Key to capturing this growth, is understanding customer needs and workflows. Indeed, I spend some time with the 'enterprise' services group and learned that Oce performs assessments of workflows within organisations, to determine needs and understand the nature of business processes - prior to suggesting products. This is improtant, since, display graphics are largely application oriented. As Egelund states, "the real productivity of our printing systems lies in the way we address the entire workflow."Arizona 250 GTHe also present the new Oce Arizona 250 GT. This new printer produces amazingly sharp graphics. I took quite a few pictures of the maps coming off this wide format printer of Australia. The annotation and symbology were crystal clear.In my opinion, "this is the wide format printer that would cause me to buy high-end CAD and GIS software. It causes maps to come alive, places to become real and enhances the communicative element of maps to a new level. It reproduces what exceptional CAD and GIS, with highly textual and graphical content can produce."Jan DixJan Dix, Executive Vice President, Oce Digital Document Systems says that the industry is undergoing change. The changes are influenced by geography, vendor changes and other threats and opportunities. Dix says, "no other player is driving the industry 'Beyond the Ordinary' as we are." That in reference to the strong emphasis on innovation in Oce. "We are also the best positioned for growth." It was interesting to learn that Oce has more than 50% of all placements last year in the global market. The company has won the 'Best in Show' at On Demand 2006. Oce is also a leader in the high volume market Dix says, "We are leading some of the world's largest information handlers into new possibilities."It is noteworthy that, as Dix states, "we are not just following the market, we are driving it." He later indicated that the company maintains a strong presence in the monochrome market and that some production systems reach speeds of 1350 letter prints per minute via Oce DDS.There is a strong demand for personalisation in transaction documents. Oce VarioStream technology provides monochrome output, but at the same time allows customers to move to colour as needed. The new VarioStream 9240 model provides 4-over-4 printing and continuous colour as well.The Oce Open House included a very wide variety of printing equipment and software. It is at this event that one learns just what is possible in print today. And often that is much more lively, interesting and creative than we might imagine.I found myself asking more and more quesitons as the day went on. The Oce staff are extremely helpful in answering questions and proud of their products. This is an attractive quality, that, perhaps caused me to ask - and learn - more. See my full report in the next issue of Geoconnexion International Magazine.

Author: Jeff Thurston

Bio.: Editor, Geoconnexion International Magazine

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