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New products and business ideas for sign makers and print service providers at SGI 2016

Wide format print signage, digital signage, outdoor media, screen and digital printing industries will be the highlights of Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI) 2016 exhibition in Dubai, the Middle East’s longest running B2B event for signage, graphic imaging, POP/retail, screen, and digital printing industries.

From 10 to 12 January 2016, over 400 global and regional exhibitors will unveil equipment worth AED220 million, attracting trade visitors from over 80 countries, including sign makers, printer manufacturers and distributors, print service providers, architects, real estate developers, media agencies, brand and image consultants among others.

“Being the largest exhibition of its kind in the Middle East, SGI Dubai attracts exhibitors and visitors from across the world who mutually stand to benefit from each other’s presence. There has been a sense of revival in the region in a big way post Dubai’s Expo 2020 win and we can see the development happening around us at a breakneck speed. The demand within the printing and signage industry has grown tremendously and I am sure the stakeholders in this industry have experienced this growth since the last few years. SGI Dubai is aptly positioned to cater to the demands of the industry and is in sync with the exponential growth that the region is witnessing,” says Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of International Expo Consults (IEC), organizers of SGI Dubai.

Demonstrations of the ever-increasing applications of wide format printing will be among the biggest highlights of SGI 2016. As traditional sign making technologies are declining, digital technologies are taking over and offering a multitude of applications that enable print shop owners to increase their business and engage in new applications.

The trend of creative car wraps, popular in the US and European markets, is fast catching up in the UAE and other GCC countries. Wrap advertising acts as a mobile billboard, making it easier to target a wider proximity of a brand’s target market. Brand owners are increasingly viewing this application as an impressive addition to their brands’ integrated marketing strategies. IEC points out that several businesses small and large will continue to turn to car wraps as one of the best, most cost-efficient forms of branding and advertising. SGI Dubai 2016 will have a dedicated area for car wrapping, to display the sector’s latest technology and trends.

A larger number of exhibitors at SGI Dubai will also be presenting printers and solutions employing latex inks. As latex inks are water-based, their environmental impact is reduced and only low VOC levels are emitted thus eliminating the need for expensive ventilation systems. Existing and new applications, such as car and vehicle wraps, outdoor advertising as well as indoor advertising can thus be realised in an environmentally friendly manner.

According to the organizers, SGI Dubai 2016 is spread across a larger floor space and is much bigger than its previous editions. “The exhibitors and visitors can expect to witness the best-kept secrets in the industry from across the globe,” says Falaknaz. 

As SGI maintains its position as the launching ground for new products for the signage and advertising industries in the Middle East and Africa, here’s a preview of what leading exhibitors at SGI have announced for this year’s show.

HP – Latex 3100, 370 and HP PageWide XL

HP will present a broad portfolio of its large-format solutions on stand at SGI Dubai, to demonstrate the cost benefits currently available to print service providers (PSPs). Specifically, HP will show sign and display PSPs how they can innovate and open new business opportunities through HP’s latest technology introductions such as the recently launched Latex 3100, 370 and HP PageWide XL Printer portfolio. HP will present for the first time in Middle East these new solutions, explaining also how they can increase productivity and workflow efficiency.

Features of the booth will include and extensive print application area illustrating more than 30 different printed applications across very diverse materials, such as self-adhesive vinyl, pvc banners, films, papers and textiles, where visitors will be able to see, touch and learn the unlimited versatility of the latest HP Latex ink generation.

Also on the stand will be a Lounge area where visitors will be able to see and discover the new 3.0 version of the industry awarded HP Wallart software solution which easily brings your interior decoration ideas and projects to life.

Designed for unattended printing in high production PSP environments, the 64-inch HP Latex 370 Printer with the new 3-liter cartridges prints from traditional signage substrates like vinyl and banners to temporary textiles, canvas and wallpapers, increasing margins and productivity via the ability to change cartridges while printing and maintaining the high quality at high speed, instant dry and scratch resistance benefits of the 3rd generation of latex inks.

Available since February 2015, the HP Latex Mobile App enables users to confidently increase unattended printing by remotely tracking jobs and receiving alerts on the status of the printer on their Smartphone screen. HP has announced the public release of its new HP Latex software developers kit (SDK), which allows third-party workflow and MIS developers to integrate their tools with HP Latex 370 printers for seamless workflow integration.

The new HP PageWide XL Printer portfolio offers large-format printing available in color and black-and-white with speeds up to 30 D/A1-size prints per minute, as well as two 775 milliliter ink cartridges per color.

HP PageWide Technology consists of more than 200,000 nozzles on a stationary print bar and spans the width of the page, enabling breakthrough printing speeds. Extended time between service station cycles also enables sustained productivity capacity.

Canon – Océ ColorWave 910, Arizona and imagePrograf

Canon Middle East will showcase the Océ ColorWave 910 printing system, one of the fastest wide format color printer available in the market today, producing prints at raw speeds of over 1,000 square meters per hour. The Océ ColorWave 910 is targeted at printers looking to boost their digital productivity for a wide variety of applications, including point-of-sale and event posters, maps and technical documents. According to Canon, unlike traditional large format inkjet systems, the Océ ColorWave 910 can maintain maximum productivity regardless of image content, ink coverage or media type.

Canon will also demonstrate its comprehensive range of wide format printers which includes the Arizona 460GT UV-Flatbed that produces near-photographic image quality for printing on rigid or flexible media, Océ ColorWave 700 and the imagePrograf range that includes iPF6400s, iPF6450, iPF8400, iPF8400SE and iPF9400s.

Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director, Canon Middle East, said: “The signage and graphics arts industry is faced with the challenge of commoditization, with consumers expecting organisations to provide them with faster print runs and personalised prints. Expanded range of printing substrate is a growing need and advanced graphical capabilities in imaging and display technologies are demanding printing to be done having a high level of quality.  Our innovative printing range such as the Océ ColorWave 910 is perfectly poised to tackle these demands.”

Commenting on Canon’s participation at the SGI 2016, Verbrugghe added: “Canon has enjoyed a successful partnership with SGI year-on-year, with the event helping us fortify and consolidate our position as a leader in the wide format printing industry of the region. Our market share in water-based applications has grown significantly (double digit) and consecutively in the last four years, reflecting our long term vision and commitment to the industry. Leveraging this partnership, we have invited over 80 key partners and customers from the MEA region to the Canon stand at SGI to get acclimatised with our new technology and also share their success stories with stakeholders and visitors.”

Agfa – Jeti Mira UV-inkjet printer

Agfa Graphics will debut its Jeti Mira UV-inkjet wide-format printer for the Middle Eastern and African markets. The Jeti Mira is a six-color and white UV-inkjet printer targeted at applications ranging from posters, signage, exhibit graphics and POP displays to niche applications such as DVDs, wood, art reproductions, personalized objects and more. Its dockable roll-to-roll option enables printing on a wide variety of flexible media.

In addition, Agfa Graphics will be showing the Anapurna M3200i, a high-speed 3.2 meter-wide roll-to-roll UV-inkjet printer, which prints indoor and outdoor banners and billboards in a six, a four, or a four color plus white configuration. Agfa Graphics will also present its eco-solvent inks for industrial and wide-format inkjet printing applications at the show.

Walter Nackaerts, Managing Director Direct Export, Agfa Graphics said: “At SGI Dubai we demonstrate how the Asanti workflow for wide format printers is driving both the 3.2 meter-wide roll-to-roll Anapurna M3200i and the Jeti Mira. It underlines our focus on a matched component approach joining software, equipment and inks.”

Jacky’s – Screen Truepress Jet W3200 HS

Jacky’s Business Solutions will display for the first time, the Screen Truepress Jet W3200 HS (High Speed), a mid-range to high-end flatbed wide format printer, which is offered as an upgrade for companies that want to grow their capacity into the 100 sqm/hr range. Capable of producing saleable quality with speeds up to 184 sqm/hr, it is also equipped with reliability features such as intelligent nozzle mapping and an automatic cleaning system, to maintain those speeds.

Additionally, the combination of a double set of white channels together with the accurate drop placement makes that multi layered applications such double side window film and day/night backlits, can be produced with high overall speeds. A good variety of print samples will be showcased at Jacky’s stand. The true flatbed design that is shown at SGI can be extended with an industrial built roll system.

Ashish Panjabi, COO, Jacky’s Business Solutions, said: “We’re introducing the Screen Truepress Jet W3200 HS at SGI 2016 to compete in the high-end segment of the market. We have a loyal customer base that buys HP printers from us, but when they were ready to expand and invest in a UV industrial printer, we didn’t that in our product portfolio previously. The addition of the Screen brand to our portfolio complements our HP product range, which will help us retain our customers and acquire new ones with a wider range of printing solutions.”

Sawgrass – VJ 628 8-colour system and SubliJet-HD inks

Sawgrass will exhibit its full portfolio of sublimation solutions, including the new Sawgrass VJ 628 8-colour System and SubliJet-HD inks. The Sawgrass VJ 628 features a Mutoh print engine with i2 print technology that eliminates banding. It is capable of printing a full-bleed on 24” (610 mm) products and is equipped with high performance industrial printheads capable of printing up to 1440 x 1440 dpi. Designed specifically for larger format and high volume sublimation production, this system is targeted at applications such as interior signage, fine art and photographic reproduction or high volume production of personalised gifts and promotional products.

SubliJet-HD Sublimation Inks for the Sawgrass VJ 628 System recently won in the Roll-to-Roll Dye Sublimation on Metal for Ink category at SGIA. Available in dual-CMYK or 8-colour pro photo configurations delivering expanded gamut up to 548,000 colours, SubliJet-HD enables for rich blacks, neutral grays and photo-quality reproduction.

Sawgrass will also showcase the newly launched Virtuoso HD Garment Decorating System, the industry’s first and only fully integrated system designed specifically for cotton transfer printing. Featuring ChromaBlast-HD textile inks, ChromaBlast transfer media and both SG400 and SG800 printers, this system is designed for decorating white and light coloured cotton fabrics with vibrant, durable images that are soft to the hand.

“We are thrilled to present the newest addition to our line of Virtuoso HD Product Decorating Systems and the industry’s first fully integrated 8-colour sublimation system of this size to SGI Dubai,” says Sawgrass President Darcy Mauro. “In direct response to dealer and end-user requests for an alternative to the current 24 in / 610 mm aftermarket solutions, we worked with Mutoh to develop the VJ 628 System, which offers a wider print area and brings the power of our desktop Virtuoso HD Product Decorating Systems to its next evolution.”

Konica Minolta – Bizhub Press C1100 and Press C71hc

Konica Minolta will present its flagship bizhub Press C1100 series and Press C71hc production machines. The bizhub Press C1100 performs at full rated speed for paper weights, from 55gsm to 350gsm media and automatic duplexing. Konica Minolta machines on display will also feature advanced automated finishing capabilities. The bizhub Press C71hc will be highlighted for its accurate reproduction of RGB workflows.

Nayyar Ansari, Business Development Manager Production Printing, at Konica Minolta, said: “Konica Minolta has not attended a major industry exhibition for a number of years, but we feel that the Sign & Imaging Middle East show is the correct platform to showcase our range of award winning digital SRA3 Press’s for the commercial production print market.”

Tanveer Ahmed Khan general manager at Juma Al Majid OFE division, said: “SGI is an ideal industry meets to showcase the best of print technology and production efficiency. We look forward to presenting Konica Minolta’s range, the bizhub Press C71hc, a sophisticated machine delivering accurate reproduction of RGB workflows. Conventional CMYK printer faces the challenge of a narrow colour range, some of the colours seen in real life or on a monitor may change in print or appear less vivid. PRESS C71hc offers an extended colour range with its high-chroma toner, what you see on a calibrated monitor is what you get.”

OKI – Pro9541 and the Pro9542 graphic arts printers

OKI will be launching its new Pro Series range of graphic arts printers, the Pro9541 and the Pro9542, which provide the option to print in CMYK plus an additional spot colour of white or clear gloss on transparent and darker media. The Pro Series printers are primarily targeted at sectors producing creative designs as well as those with a volume print requirement, including print houses, advertising, design and other creative agencies.

The company will also exhibit the C920WT white toner printer, which enables printing in-house using white toner alongside high definition colour. The printer is aimed at businesses offering short run display materials, bespoke stationary, concepts, t-shirts or promotional merchandise.

John Ross, General Manager of OKI Middle East, India & Africa, said: Unrivalled media flexibility and stunning high definition colours make the Pro Series a cost-effective option for creative businesses looking to unlock a lucrative new revenue stream. We are so confident about the reliability of our above printers that we are offering a 3 years extended warranty upon registration within 30 days of purchase.”

Magic Trading – Stahl Heat Press

Magic Trading Company will exhibit a range of products including the Stahls’ Heat Press and heat transfer materials, along with fiber laser marking machines for engraving on small items, 3D crystal laser engraving machine, sublimation printers, and promotional gift items.

“We are launching a high-quality and affordable 3D crystal laser engraving machine at the show. Another highlight will be the low-cost business starter kits to print on dark color t-shirts. Although we hope to get some new clients with our participation at SGI, we also think it’s equally also important to keep our existing clients up to date with our latest offerings,” said Sina Haghi, general manager, Magic Trading.

Masonlite – acrylic fabrication

Masonlite will showcase acrylic fabrication machines from Holland, Switzerland, and USA, targeted at mass production of acrylic displays. The company will also display channel letter making equipment from Korea and China.

“Since 1980 have been striving to bring the latest technology to the signage industry in the Middle East, and the SGI expo has been the best platform to demonstrate new technology. Our focus this year will be on the ATC CNC router and the metal and acrylic laser cutting laser machines,” said Sunil Purushothaman, sales director, Masonlite.

Afra – Mohr Digicut

Afra International will launch the Mohr Digicut in the MEA market. The laser cutter can cut, perforate, crease and engrave in one pass—without the need for a tool change. Products that can be manufactured with the Digicut include: cards, invitations, envelopes, folders, writing paper, samples, business cards, place cards, lanterns, jigsaws and bookmarks.

“Digicut opens up a wide variety of creative possibilities for the processing of a single sheet. Using laser you can not only cut sophisticated designs, but also punch, engrave and crease – all in one pass; and this on variety of different materials. The major benefits include precise cutting of very delicate contours in a wide variety of materials, engraving without leaving marks on the flip side; economic production of print runs from 1 up to a few hundred copies, and no tooling costs as processing is done by laser,” said Vinay Krishna, general manager, Afra International.                                

Afra will also demonstrate other digital print finishing equipment, such as the Mohr 56 and Uchida Aerocut Nano. The Mohr 56 Eco cutting machine provides extensive programming options with a memory capacity of 198 programs. The Uchida Aerocut Nano is an entry-model card cutter that can cut & cross cut prints by one pass. The machine is targeted at digital presses that want to produce multiple sizes cards as it can take paper stocks up to 330(W)x488(L)mm, 350gsm.

Al Mahir Printing

Al Mahir Printing Equipment Trading will promote its one-stop solutions for screen printers, digital printers, and advertising agencies with a wide range of machines and material for screen printing, transfer printing, roll to roll sublimation printing, flat bed-direct to any substrate printing (DTS) and laser engraving. The company will also showcase its range of sublimation products and promotional items.

Al Mahir Printing’s product portfolio of international brands include screen printing machines from Grafica Flextronica; screen and transfer printing machines from Impress; sublimation products from Bestsub; screen printing inks from VFP and Winson; UV and specialty inks from Colors; and printing emulsions from Prodecran.

“The USP of Al Mahir is its unique combination of high quality and cost-effective products, supported by added value services and in-depth knowledge of the screen printing industry. We also provide in-house screen printing services for our customers through our sister company Al Mahir Silk Screen,” said Dilawar Dalwai, managing director, Al Mahir Printing Equipment Trading.

Altos Trading

Altos Trading will showcase its range of products for printing, creative packaging, point of sale, presentation and stationary, such as print media such as rigid PVC sheets, rolls, adhesive PET gold and silver sheets, rolls, polypropylene from Priplak France.

Other products in its portfolio include banner and back lit material, magnetic sheets and rolls, double side tapes, security stickers, PVC stickers, LED lighting, and office equipment.

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