Page 14 - May 2014
P. 14

A                                 underneath. Once on the main floor level
               PERSONAL                          the halls are arranged either side of the main
               VIEW                              concourse, where most of the refreshment
                                                 faciliƟes are situated. I favour ExCel, but finding
   PEX 2014 RETURNED to its original home        accommodaƟon in and around the site offers
    of London, aŌer being based at the NaƟonal   a challenge at a decent cost. Birmingham I
    ExhibiƟon Centre (NEC), Birmingham for       found to be slightly easier as there were several
the past few decades. There is an obvious        villages around where you could find B&B.
difference in the venues, which affects how you
view the appeal of the show. From a personal     When I aƩended IPEX in Birmingham, the show
point of view, there are several consideraƟons   was always big enough to occupy my Ɵme for
to take into account, when comparing these       four or five days. This year, I am sorry to say,
two venues. The NEC comprised of twenty          I did the whole show in two. This I think was
halls, of various sizes and spread over acres    down to one crucial factor and that was the
and that includes how your feet feel aŌer a      lack of the major manufacturers of prinƟng
day traipsing around them all. They were also    and finishing equipment. This was born out
not always connected, due to the addiƟons        when talking to various demonstrators on
over Ɵme, they were even on different             the stands as I went round. They all said it
levels. The newer ones even had their own        was regreƩable they were not present as it
travelling walkway to get you from one end       detracted from the feel of the show being a
of the complex to the other. Refreshment are     show piece for the industry. This was especially
scaƩered everywhere around the halls. The        going to be a problem when the young people
car parks were far enough away to need a         are shown around the halls on the Saturday.
(free) bus service to avoid the walk. Whereas    This is the only Ɵme they would have a chance
the ExCel Centre in the Docklands area of East   to see what the industry has to offer as a
London is built on one level with the car parks  career course. For me, seeing the equipment
                                                 when I was an apprenƟce was a major draw
‘«®Ä›Ý› ÖÙ®Äã®Ä¦ Ñ«®Ä›, Êě Ê¥ 㫛 ¥›ó ½®ã«Ê   and influenced my path during my fiŌy years
Ñ«®Ä›Ý ƒã 㫛 Ý«Êó                             working in the industry.

                                                 When I started work in the prinƟng industry,
                                                 as a bookbinding apprenƟce, leƩerpress was
                                                 sƟll the dominant prinƟng technology and litho
                                                 was new. IPEX was spread over the complete
                                                 halls of Earls Court and Olympia in London.
                                                 There were leƩerpress machines everywhere
                                                 and very large finishing machines. Over the
                                                 ensuing years I witnessed the rise of litho and
                                                 the demise of leƩerpress as a mainstream
                                                 producƟon method and now the rise of digital.
                                                 LeƩerpress lasted for around five hundred
                                                 years, litho for around sixty years. Who knows
                                                 what the future holds for digital?

                                                 Those litho machines that were on show, of
                                                 which there were only a handful, were of the
                                                 smaller sizes and one was being used for a

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