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“Digital technology gives printers additional superpowers”

Fespa Digital 2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Fespa Digital branded show, focused on digital technology and applications, in contrast to the larger and more comprehensive Global Expo. The inaugural Fespa Digital was in 2006 at the RAI, Amsterdam, and since then the event has developed and grown over six further editions in Geneva (2008), Amsterdam (2009), Hamburg (2011), Barcelona (2012) and Munich (2014).

Fespa divisional director, Roz McGuinness, comments: “We’re thrilled to be returning to Amsterdam for this year’s show, 10 years since we launched the spinoff Digital event. Back in 2006, Fespa championed digital printing and identified it as a growing area which would benefit from its own event, and it’s fantastic to see how both the technology and event have matured in this timeframe. Ten years on, our offering in digital printing is at its strongest yet, and with the complementary areas of Fespa Textile, European Sign Expo and Printeriors, there are more reasons than ever for speciality printers to come and investigate the event.”

The European Sign Expo will once again take place alongside Fespa Digital 2016, showcasing innovations in non-printed signage. The newly named Fespa Textile will offer visitors a hall dedicated to digital textile printing including garment decoration, soft signage and interior textiles. Printeriors, following its successful launch at last year’s Fespa Global Expo, has its own space within Fespa Digital 2016, highlighting creative, real-life interior applications that can be achieved with digital printing, for visitors to walk through and gain inspiration.

The Fespa Digital 2016 global marketing campaign has been inviting speciality print service providers (PSPs) to become a Digital Print Hero. This year’s multi-channel campaign features three superheroes, embodying the key technologies at the show; Digiman (digital printing), Textilewoman (textile printing) and ESEman (signage).

According to Roz, the ‘superhero’ story emphasises the fact that digital, along with textile and signage have become the real opportunities for wide format printers over the past 10 years. The traits we associate with superheroes can be applied to our digital print community. Digital technology gives printers additional superpowers and the potential to develop their businesses and just like our superheroes, they are stronger when combined. “Being adaptable to changes in technology and customer demand is a strength of our community, and at Fespa Digital 2016, visitors will be able to discover the tools and knowledge that will equip them for a powerful digital future,” says Roz.

The 2016 edition, from 8 to 11 March, will cover the largest floor space of any event in the Digital show’s history, with 450 exhibitors occupying 42,000 sqm over seven halls at the RAI Exhibition Centre, representing growth of 159% from the very first edition in 2006. Ricoh is one of these new additions to the exhibitor portfolio for 2016. Other first-time exhibitors at the show include AT Graphix, ATS Colore Digital, CWT Tools, Ex-cel Plastics, FH-Union UK, Impronta Gadget, Luscher Tschudi, Provis and Pals Print. For visitors, particularly specialty printers, here’s a preview of new products that will be on display at Fespa Digital 2016.

Three new Océ Arizona UV flatbed printers from Canon

The Océ Arizona 1200 series – 1240, 1260 and 1280 models – of UV flatbed printers are aimed at businesses in the sign and display industry, speciality print producers, reprographers and photo labs.

This is the fourth generation of Océ Arizona machines, and the new range borrows features from the 6100 series launched at Fespa 2015 in Cologne and introduces a number of new features. There are two bed sizes: 1.25×2.5m and 2.5×3.08m and an additional roll media option for flexible media up to 2.2m-wide.

According to the company, the true flatbed architecture of the new series has been designed to deliver the most versatile platform in wide format printing. Print service providers (PSPs) can print directly to unusual materials with varied shapes such as canvas, wood, ceramics or glass and are able to print multiple times in perfect registration for high density or textured applications, such as packaging or wall cladding.

A stronger vacuum system provides drawdown of even warped, rigid media, whilst the new UV curing system reduces surface heat for printing up to the thinnest, most heat-sensitive media, making it suitable for retail displays and POS signage.

The devices use up to six-colours and can also be equipped with white and varnish. The optional addition of light cyan and light magenta ink enables superior print quality for photographic and fine art applications.

Both printers use the Océ VariaDot imaging technology to produce sharp text and lines, alongside smooth gradients and solid colours. According to Canon, the Océ Arizona 1200 series offers the best ink economy in the market, with an average 8ml used per m².

Pierre-Olivier Esteban, European TDS/DGS marketing director at Canon Europe, comments: “There is an enormous opportunity for mid-volume PSPs to continue growing their business – whether they are focused on graphical communication, packaging, industrial printing or retail. However, in order to remain competitive, they must be primed to deliver a range of high quality products, quickly and cost-effectively. The Océ Arizona 1200 series was designed and developed specifically with these requirements in mind.”

Canon will also showcase the imagePrograf iPF770 MFP and iPF770 MFP L24, two new entry-level wide-format multi-function printers aimed at office users in sectors such as construction, engineering and architecture.

ColorBooster DS, a double-sided 3.2m-wide textile printer from Hollanders

Dutch manufacturer Hollanders will unveil the ColorBooster DS, a double-sided 3.2m-wide textile printer capable to print with a precision of 0.07 mm.

 “A 100% double-sided print is not common at all nowadays and we have succeeded in developing it. The ColorBooster DS is the most unique printer available in the market place. Tested at four very different customer sites, on a range of polyester materials, we are not only opening the market for double-sided signage but also for double-sided home decoration and fashion,” says CEO Jacco Aartsen Tuijn.

CTO Peter Hollanders adds: “With dedicated ink amounts and profiling, we have succeeded in having exactly the same colour on the front and back. High-quality coloured woven fabrics can be printed in one step as with double-sided soft signage. They are achievable at much lower production costs and will be therefore made available for a much wider consumer group, extending creative possibilities.”

The company will also showcase the single sided ColorBooster 320 digital textile printer, a modular and upgradable entry-level printer for dye-sub transfer and disperse direct to textile printing. The ColorBooster 320  is designed to offer users flexible modularity that can be upgraded in the field as and when needed. A new offering at this year’s show will be the possibility to upgrade, in the field, to a stacked head configuration and a speed of 120 sqm/h. Supplied with customer changeable Ricoh Gen5 heads, the ColorBooster 320 will be delivered with water-based direct disperse dyes typically suitable for direct printing because of the high light fastness and production stability during fixation without bleeding or a halo.

Fascin8tor, a new 5m roll-to-roll printer from Gandy Digital

Wide-format equipment manufacturer Gandy Digital will present the latest addition to its growing portfolio of high-quality, high-speed large format printers. Set to make its global debut at the show, Gandy Digital’s new Fascin8tor 5m roll-to-roll printer promises to deliver large format prints with very low ink consumption, without compromising print quality and regardless of speed.

Utilising Gandy Digital’s advanced Blade technology, Fascin8tor combines eight Ricoh Gen4 print heads per colour to produce optimum print resolution. The printer uses fixed dot printing to ensure cost-effective, yet very high print quality in all printing modes and speeds.

According to the manufacturer, “printing with small fixed, high density ink dots results in cost savings for users due to lower ink consumption per square metre. This allows customers to increase productivity, extend their application portfolio and maximise job profitability.”

Building on the success of Gandy’s other flagship printers, Fascin8tor enables printing directly onto mesh without a liner for applications including outdoor billboards.

Shmulik Lagziel, managing director EMEA at Gandy Digital comments: “At FESPA 2015, we launched Gladi8tor, a large format digital UV flatbed printer with increased application durability and flexibility. The combination of multiple speed and colour configurations combined with our 8-Blade print technology proved a tremendous success, enabling users to grow their businesses and increase profitability. The launch of Fascin8tor, underscores our continued effort to deliver large format print solutions that meet the direct needs of users.”

Other products to be demonstrated at the Gandy Digital stand include:

Gandy Digital Softjet: a direct to fabric roll-to-roll sublimation printer, using environmentally safe water based inks to provide vibrant and durable colours. Featuring the latest Ricoh Gen 5 print heads, Softjet is available in 3.3m (10’10”), 2.54m (8’4″), 1.88m (6’2″) print widths.

Gandy Digital Sl8te: a hybrid roll-to-roll and flatbed LED printer. Available in 1.6m (5’3″), 2.2m (7’2″), 2.6m (8’6″) and 3.2m (10’5″) print widths, Sl8te utilises Ricoh Gen 4, six picoliter print heads to produce very sharp print quality.

Gandy Digital Termin8tor: A high-resolution, 3.2m (10’6’’) roll-to-roll printer. Offering high quality at fast printing speeds, Termin8tor comes with 4, 8, or 16 Ricoh seven picoliter print heads. Printing at 320sqm/h, this printer uses environmentally-friendly inks and produces high-resolution prints in minimal time.

Four new SureColor range of large-format printers from Epson

Epson will show its latest range of SureColor aqueous, solvent and dye-sublimation inkjet printers, including the 1.62m-wide SC-P200000. Fespa marks the European debut of four new 64-inch printers, following their recent launch: the 10-colour SureColor SC-S80600; the high-speed CMYK x 2 SureColor SC-S60600; the 4-colour SureColor SC-S40600; and the super-fast aqueous SureColor SC-P20000.

The SureColor SC-S series comprises three 64in (1.62m)-wide printers which the manufacturer says are designed to deliver increased quality, productivity and durability and lower running costs to professional print service providers (PSPs).

The new SureColor SC-S and new formulation UltraChrome GS3 ink range includes printers from 4-10 colours (including white and metallic), and they offer a choice of quality modes for backlit panels, POS materials, vehicle wraps, wallpaper and photo canvases and up to 95.3sqm/hr single-pass productivity for exhibition/display graphics.

According to Epson, alongside a substantial reduction in ink price, PSPs should experience significantly lower ink consumption as a result of the improved chemistry in the new GS3 inks. The result will be a big improvement in total cost of ownership compared to other printer options on the market.

The new aqueous SureColor SC-P20000 features the new Epson UltraChrome Pro 10-colour ink and delivers print speeds of up to 17.5sqm/hr. This printer is aimed at creation of high-quality, large-format POS, short-term outdoor/interior signage, exhibition/display graphics, promotional graphics and photographs. The printer comes with a permanent PrecisionCore MicroTFP printhead for producing results up to 2400 x 1200 dpi at high print speeds.

In its textile zone, Epson will demonstrate its latest SureColor SC-F7200 and SC-F6200 dye sublimation printers. Both are aimed at producing high-quality printed textiles, such as soft signage, clothing, sportswear and home textiles, and also offer the flexibility needed to sublimate onto a range of hard and 3D substrates.

“At Fespa, our focus is showing companies not only how they can broaden the range of printed products they can produce using our latest printhead, ink and printer design technology, but also how they can seriously maxmise their production capabilities and their profits. We’ll showcase the considerable flexibility, performance, quality and efficiency of our extensive line up of new large-format printers,” says Richard Barrow, senior product manager, Epson Europe.

Acuity LED 1600 II, an improved wide-format LED UV inkjet printer from Fujifilm

Fujifilm will demonstrate the new Acuity LED 1600 II roll printer unveiled in the Autumn of 2015. The new Acuity builds on the best features of the popular Acuity LED 1600 with improved productivity and enhanced image output.

The Acuity LED 1600 II features a new fast printing mode of 33sqm/hr, which is more than 50% faster than the previous model. Fujifilm says this addresses customer demands for quicker job turnarounds and lower output cost.

The machine, which has a maximum print width of 1,610mm, and a 1,200dpi maximum resolution, also offers simultaneous two-layer printing (white plus clear) and three-layer printing (colour plus white and clear) when combined with Caldera or ColorGate RIP software.

Other new features include an automated jetting adjustment based on the gap between the printhead and media as well as two new vacuum modes to enable the printer to handle a wider variety of substrates, such as thin or low-strength media.

The Acuity LED 1600 features Fujifilm’s Intelligent Curing Control which adjusts light from the LED lamp unit to manage the curing speed of the ink. The inks themselves are able to cover a wide colour gamut, assisted by the VersaDrop greyscale technology incorporated into the print-heads. White and clear ink heads can also be disabled when not in use to reduce maintenance costs.

Fujifilm says that, because the droplets merge at the nozzle rather than on the substrate, image quality is superior. The inks employed are Uvijet LL LED UV-curable products made by Fujifilm Sericol, tailored specifically for this platform.

Tudor Morgan, sign & display segment manager at Fujifilm Europe comments: “visitors to the Fujifilm stand will have a great opportunity to see the very best in modern wide-format print technology which combines superb quality, versatility and productivity, and we are expecting to make a number of other new product announcements before the show opens to strengthen our portfolio.”

LEF-300, a UV-LED flatbed printer for giftware and promotional items from Roland DG

Roland DG will showcase its new addition to the VersaUV series, the LEF-300, aimed at the digital customisation of merchandise and promotional print products. The LED UV inkjet flatbed printer, which is an addition to Roland’s existing LEF-12 and LEF-20 models, was developed in response to customer demand within the personalization and custom printing markets for an LEF printer with significantly increased production capabilities.

To accommodate greater quantities and larger-sized items, the LEF-300’s printing area has been expanded to 30″ (wide) by 13″ (long) – 50 percent more than the LEF-20. With four print heads and two UV-LED lamps, the LEF-300 enables bidirectional printing. The number of White and Clear (gloss) ink nozzles have been doubled for faster printing, increased density and opacity, and faster build-up of multiple layers for three-dimensional textures.

According to the company, users can print on a vast array of substrates like PET, ABS and polycarbonate, soft materials such as TPU and leather, and a host of three-dimensional items ranging from smart phone cases and laptop covers to signs, giftware and promotional items. The LEF-300’s built-in vacuum table helps hold thin and soft materials in place, allowing for easier job setup and eliminating time-consuming errors.

Daniel Valade, Roland DGA’s product manager for the VersaUV LEF Series points out how the growth of digital technology has facilitated the printing of photographs, illustrations and logos onto items that people wear or carry.  He sees potential in the application of the LEF-300 for use in mass production.

“Digital technology advancements have made it easy for individuals to use these kind of items to express themselves, and to simply stay close to the things they value. The market for on-demand printing onto various articles is high, and we expect to see this growth continue in the years to come. More and more businesses are providing custom printing services for smartphone cases and accessories. Kiosks offering on-site printing of photos taken by customers onto blank goods are also popping up at shopping malls around the world. These are all ideal markets for the LEF-300. Furthermore, the LEF-300 incorporates an input/output system that supports external devices like warning lights and custom production automation systems, making it perfect for high-volume environments.”

Rhotex 500, a 5m dye sublimation printing system from Durst

Durst will debut the Rhotex 500 – the first 5-metre dye sublimation printing system on the market for seamless and extra-wide soft signage and fabric applications. Soft Signage is already a preferred advertising medium, because it easy to fold, transport, install, wash and even recycle. The printing is done with water-based dispersion inks on uncoated and coated polyester fabrics.

Durst will highlight its ‘Durst Water Technology’ and its expanded UV portfolio of water-based, pollutant- and odour-free solutions to tap the LFP market with new and lucrative applications. In addition to the Rhotex 500, Durst will showcase the Rho 250 HS WT, which the company says is particularly suitable for sustainable POS and indoor advertising by offering offset printing quality on a variety of coated and uncoated paper surfaces.

The company will also showcase the Alpha 190, a new printing system from its traditional textile printing segment. Durst offers one-step pigment inks and automatic material pretreatment to create technological convergence designed to give even LFP specialists an easy route towards the production of home textiles, clothing and upholstery coverings.

Automation is also the crucial factor in the Durst UV portfolio for further increasing overall system efficiency. The Rho 1312 AF, which Durst says is the most versatile and fastest UV flatbed printer, sets new standards in this context with its feed, alignment and stacking units developed by Durst.

A new UV flatbed printer for industrial decoration markets from Compress

Compress, a division of Impression Technology, Australia, will showcase its new entry into the promotional and industrial decoration UV printing market with the launch of the iUV-1200s UV flatbed printer.

Featuring an overall 1200mm x 604mm (47” x 24”) flatbed area and a wide 1100mm (43”) maximum printing width, the new Compress iUV-1200s UV flatbed printer boasts a robust and a powerful UV print system including new optional braille and texture printing capabilities. The Compress iUV-1200s advanced print engine offers six independent color channels for CMYK, White and Clear UV inks with high resolution imaging up to 1440 dpi, providing users with exceptional and superb color imaging output onto a multitude of substrates. With a deeper material height thickness, the Compress iUV-1200s can accommodate and print onto substrates up to 305mm (12”) thick and at much faster print speeds of up to 35 sq meters per hour (over 300 sq ft).

Steve Richardson, managing director of Impression Technology, says: “we have a rapidly growing base of industrial decorators who have been very successful using our Compress iUV-600 UV printers. Many customers have requested a larger size to accommodate the growth which they have experienced using our equipment. Our new iUV-1200s with its 1200mm x 600mm (47” x 24”) base certainly achieves this goal. Basically with our new iUV1200s our customers get two times more printer at an unbelievable price.”

Jerry Erich, director of sales, Compress, adds: “Without a doubt we have the strongest feature set for a product of this type and look forward to demonstrating its world class capabilities. The Compress iUV-1200s is truly a remarkable “game changing” solution for industrial decoration markets.”

Features of the Compress iUV-1200s flatbed printer include third-generation dual UV LED lamp arrays for improved UV ink curing and adhesion, liquid cooled lamp system for enhanced lamp longevity, a bulk ink system in bottles with WIMS (White Ink Management System) for automated ink circulation and filtration, an inbuilt media height detector for reducing printhead strikes, a new Ink mist extractor that virtually eliminates excess ink mist and the InterWave Dot technology

Jetrix LX5, the first LED UV printer from InkTec

InkTec will debut the Jetrix LX5, which is equipped with 6-picolitre Konica Minolta printheads and is available with a four (CMYK), six (CMYK+2 white) or seven channel (as six channel but with +1 varnish/primer) colour configuration.

Using InkTec’s specially formulated UV inks, the Jetrix LX5 has a printing speed of 39sqm/hr (production mode). It runs at 11sqm/hr for fine art printing.

Ben Woodruff, head of national sales, says: “The Jetrix LX5’s ability to direct energy more efficiently and therefore reduce the overall power consumption means that the total cost of ownership over its lifetime makes it a realistic and affordable option.”

InkTec has developed a new version of the Jetrix General User Interface (GUI) to meet customers’ increased expectations. This innovative software is designed to achieve a higher quality print with faster speeds than the previous version. From now on, all of Jetrix machines print at least 10% faster than previous models and incorporates some newly designed functions such as drag and print.

Production and colour management solutions from Onyx

Onyx will show its latest production and colour management solutions for graphics, textile, décor and industrial print applications.

Onyx Thrive is a full featured, scalable workflow which is based on the Adobe PDF Print Engine and optimised for superior performance for all sizes of print service providers (PSPs). It offers the ability to add RIP power, independent of adding devices, and ensures printers and cutters are fed at maximum capacity. Onyx Thrive creates automation in your production with the power of Quick Sets, to eliminate manual steps and create new revenue opportunities.

Also included is Thrive Production Manager which provides a real-time, browser-based dashboard into your print production from any location.

Onyx Connect JDF (Job Definition Format) technology, an optional module for Onyx Thrive, is an open system that provides a simple developer interface to connect a PSP’s current business workflow solutions to ONYX production software. Onyx Connect technology enables business owners and production managers to gain greater insight into valuable production information such as estimated ink consumption, media usage and production times. It also includes the ability to automate job submission through JDF and hot folders providing control of critical job settings, and reducing errors introduced by manual intervention during the production process.

The Onyx Textile Edition is developed specifically for the large-format textile printing market and includes additional functionality such as Step-and-Repeat, Colorways and Ink Configuration Builder to save time and reduce waste. High-performance software architecture harnesses the scalability of the AdobePDF Print Engine regardless of the number of output devices in the print production environment. It automates repetitive tasks, optimize media used and reduce waste using Quick Sets and advanced nesting.

Six new digital products by Avery Dennison

Six new digital products will be launched by Avery Dennison under the theme ‘Here for you’ featuring the new MPI 1104 cast films. The company will also showcase a new digital wall film portfolio and its latest application trainings and workshops.

Shaun A Hobson, senior business director Graphics Solutions Europe, says: “we have some really interesting products, and we want to make sure that the graphics professionals who visit us can not only see our innovations in action, but also get a sense of potential applications. These materials are designed to offer more creative freedom and better application results.”

Key themes at the Avery Dennison stand will be speed of application, new choices in colours and textures, service and training intended to offer visitors everything needed to spark new ideas and open up new business opportunities.

Oliver Guenther, marketing director Graphics Solutions Europe, adds: “constant innovation is a crucial part of what Avery Dennison offers, and we think it is vital not only to make our customers aware of new options, but also to give them the full range of backup and support needed to create outstanding applications.”

Avery Dennison is also highlighting its complete Reach-compliant signage portfolio that now includes all graphics materials from 500 Event Film through to premium 900 Super Cast films – and Supreme Wrapping Film.

World Wrap Masters competition to crown digital print heroes

Mimaki and Avery Dennison are joining forces as sponsors of the World Wrap Masters competition, which will run across the four days of the show. On 8-9 March, the competition begins with the Fespa European Wrap Masters competition, where wrappers will battle it out to participate in the World Wrap Masters Series Final on 10-11 March, where the European Wrap Master will join winners from South Africa, Mexico, Denmark, Eurasia, Brazil, Ireland and France, who have already qualified.

Series finalists will compete to become Fespa World Wrap Master 2016 by wrapping Audi A1 Sportback vehicles using materials printed by Mimaki, as well as more challenging items, including clogs and a superhero-related item.


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