Regional TrendsTopics

Rainbow Of Colours And Images

Development, when it happens can be easily viewed. It’s not a thing that can be wrapped up or talked about in hushed tones. Reflected in every strata of life, development brings with it a ton of opportunities. The 16th edition of the Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East exhibition will be focusing on these growing vistas amid high demand from exhibitors in the Middle East market and also from the global market.

To be held from January 20 to 22nd at Dubai World Trade Centre in Hall no. 1 and expanded over to Zabeel Halls 1, 2 and 3, the show is set to explore the possibilities of the signage, outdoor media, screen and digital printing industries. More than 400 exhibitors are expected to be part of the show, which will facilitate exhibitors and visitors to interact with sign makers, print and production manufacturers, architects, media agencies, real-estate developers, brand and image consultants among others.

Heads will be put together to discuss topics like digital signage, augmented reality, social media and mobile phone integration. Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of International Expo Consults (IEC, organizer of the show) says, “Eighteen years ago, we had representations from few countries but today we are proud to say that over 400 exhibitors from over 30 countries will be participating at the 2013 edition and the numbers are set to grow further in the future. Our show has generated sales amounting to billions of dollars for exhibitors serving the digital printing, signage and outdoor advertising industries in the last decade and a half. We could achieve all this because we had a great team to put the show together.”

Commenting about the exhibitors’ response on SGI 2012, he added, “Last year, our exhibitors had very good response from the trade visitors and this made them decide to come in large numbers for our show this year. We will support their demand with an even larger floor space at the show. This indicates that there is a tremendous demand within the industry. This is also a great indicator of the sign of good times and also shows that the industry is growing at a faster pace as compared to previous years.”

Falaknaz observed that augmented reality will be the next big step that will boost the retail industry in UAE and the Middle East region. “The objective of augmented reality is to add information and meaning to a real object or place. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulation of reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space as the foundation and incorporates technologies that add contextual data to deepen a person’s understanding of the subject. Augmented reality is a win-win situation for both the merchandiser and also the customer,” adds Falaknaz.

According to a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. the global digital signage systems market is expected to generate US$ 13.8 billion by the year 2017. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC says, “An emerging technology in this space, digital signage, has rewritten the rules of marketing, enabling enterprises to deliver information to their employees and customers more effectively. Furthermore, digital media technologies have completely transformed the landscape in which enterprise and media companies operate by enabling them to optimize their business processes. New delivery mechanisms have also allowed marketers to use innovative strategies to reach their customer bases effectively.”

Sharif added, “Digital signage has definitely demonstrated its effectiveness as an innovative marketing tool worldwide. UAE and the MENA region in particular, have got tremendous growth potential with regard to the digital signage market. If one is looking at rolling out a creative media campaign then ‘digital signage’ medium will prove as a powerful and effective medium to attract the eyeballs. Digital Signage is today growing exponentially worldwide in sync with the growth in social media, such as Facebook and YouTube among others.”

IEC is expecting to welcome regional visitors as well as from the US, Europe and Asia among other geographies. The show has also lined up several conferences that will be addressed by distinguished speakers. Sharif Rahman adds, “We are eager and delighted to welcome several distinguished speakers at the show and this will add a lot of value to the show and the visitors. This is an integral part of our event and we are proud to have some really big names with illustrious careers in this industry sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience gathered over the years at SGI 2013.”

HP Sees The Shift From Analog to Digital

A firm believer in the power of digital printing and the myriad of applications it offers, the company will show a host of Designjet as well as HP Scitex wide format printers

Hewlett Packard will be exhibiting HP Designjet L26500, HP Designjet L28500, and HP Designjet Z6200 which is the fastest heavy-duty photo printer and ideal for digital print shops, photo labs, ad agencies, design firms and commercial printers. The company will be also showcasing HP Scitex LX 850 roll to roll printer and HP Scitex FB700 that images UV-cure ink on almost any rigid or flexible media and can load, print and collect up to six sheets of media simultaneously. The piezo-inkjet printer features an automatic, media-feed-bar system which, on demand, progressively advances (up to six) flat-media boards.

The FB700 will print up to 1,200 x 600 -dpi, in six colors, on materials up to 2.5 in. thick and up to 165 x 320 cm in size. Print speeds range up to 500 m2/hr (5,382 sq ft/hr) or 95 full-size sheets/hr and up to 290 m2/hr (3,122 sq ft/hr) in POP-quality printing mode.

HP Scitex is designed to produce durable outdoor and indoor applications, including point-of-purchase displays, tradeshow graphics, interior decorations, banners and furniture.

Visitors will be also able to see a wide range of different applications at SGI 2013. Abdallah Aoude, PSP Business Development Manager of HP Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa commented that, “SGI Dubai will help to increase our on-going business and create new opportunities by showing different latex applications at the booth.” Abdallah observed that digital printing is showing positive outcomes and has as steady growth. Participating at the show for the last 6 years, the company thinks SGI as a good opportunity for HP to move exiting deals and create new opportunities. Regarding future trends, he thinks, “There is a very big potential to move from analog to digital by using different applications.”

Canon ME to Display LFP And CAD Solutions

Divided into different zones, visitors to the company’s stand will be able to see end to end large format printing and CAD solutions for architecture, engineering and construction as well advertising and proofing applications

Canon Middle East believes that SGI is a great way to begin the year, as it will provide an insight on the latest trends in the sign and graphic industry. Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager- Professional Solutions at Canon Middle East feels that customers will get an opportunity to experience Canon’s latest technologies and end-to-end solutions, which will help customers tackle their needs and help them grow their business. Commenting on the success of SGI, Ayman said, “LFP market is enjoying a healthy growth across MEA and the growth of SGI is absolutely relevant to the current market trends.”

He added, “Canon has been participating in SGI through our valued resellers, and had witnessed rapid growth in terms of popularity, visitors and of course business demands. However, Canon Middle East has decided to participate directly for the first time, which reflects our commitment to the growing LFP industry.”

During SGI 2013, Canon Middle East will be exhibiting different LFP products including the newly launched CAD models- iPF760/iPF765 as well as the newly launched GA models- iPF6450/iPF8400/iPF9400/iPF9400s, distributed based on zones including Photography, Proofing, In-House Printing, CAD/GIS and Signage Zones. These zones will showcase end-to-end solutions that will fulfil diverse needs of the customer.

Ayman observed, “SGI provides a great platform that allows customers to determine where the Sign & Graphic Industry is heading to. It helps them view the bigger picture, in terms of market opportunities, and how it can be beneficial to their business environment.”

Regarding the recent trends followed by the market, Ayman observed, “We believe that CAD will continue to have the highest portion of LFP business, despite the recession, which affected the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) market mainly in UAE. However, a noticeable growth in the Graphic Arts segment is also an area to focus on especially in areas like Photography, Proofing & In-House Printing.

ME Printer Magazine Welcomes You to SGI 2013

During SGI 2013, ME Printer Magazine will host a stand that will give customers and visitors an opportunity to directly interact and share their views with the magazine

ME Printer Magazine is once again the official media partner for SGI 2013. The magazine will be having a stand at the show, where customers and visitors can drop in to share their comments and views. The editorial team will be readily available at the stand to take in the views of customers and to talk with them about the printing industry.

Prabhulla Chandran, Client Service Manager of the company opines that the show gives a chance for industry professionals to express their views directly with the magazine. “With a stand at SGI, we gain the opportunity to have direct contact with customers and visitors alike. It provides us a chance to interact and renew our relationship with them. Moreover, we are able to keep track of the latest happenings in the market.”

As media partner of the event the magazine would be wrapping up the show proceedings through visitor interactions, exhibitor interviews and general observations.

With the three day event focused on product launches, marketing initiatives and building up customer relationship, the magazine will give special focus to bring out the major happenings through a ‘Show Daily’.

The ‘Daily’ will fetch important launches and interviews that are set to happen on the show and will be distributed to visitors, who will be attending the show. Apart from that the magazine is issuing a special supplement on SGI 2013 that carries with it major exhibitor details along with details of products that they would be exhibiting at the event.

EFI’s Total Approach to Middle East Markets

James Mellor says, with a new distributor and a stand full of new products at SGI, EFI is sending a strong message that the company is committed to the Middle East

James Mellor, EFI’s Regional Sales Development Manager for Middle East and Africa has been involved with ink and paper industry for the last thirty years. Mellor’s mission is to expand the market coverage for VUTEk and Rastek printers across Middle East and Africa. ME Printer recently had the opportunity to catch up with him in Dubai, and find out more about EFI’s plan for the upcoming SGI exhibition as well as the restructuring of their Middle East operation.  With the recent appointment of Eco Tek as their regional distributor, the company is expanding its operation in the Middle East. Eco Tek is a new company established by Abdullah Ghalayini, a veteran in wide format printing industry.

“We have been already working with Emirates Photomarketing and now that EcoTek has joined EFI (as yet another distributor for the region) our network has expanded. This is definitely good news for our customers, who now have more access to our network of distributors,” comments Mellor. Abdullah Ghalayini who had been operating from 1992 to 2007 as a VUTEk agent is upbeat about the new arrangement with EFI. He says that the broad range of VUTEk for a myriad of applications offers a wide variety of choices to the customers and printers who are looking to diversify.  “I and my partners have very good experience offering wide format printers and services to countries across Middle East and Africa including   UAE, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. So, we are pretty well spread in the area. We understand that in order to expand your business, the product you offer has to be high quality and you have to be able to offer top notch services. So that’s our priority, to be closer to our client and provide them the service,” explains Ghalayini.

Looking for growth in emerging markets

With the European and North American markets in doldrums, EFI is concentrating on emerging market such as Asia and the Middle East. “For EFI, Middle East is an important market. VUTEk is a very strong brand in the Middle East and we have a wide customer base. We know that the economy in Europe is taking a strain, so growth areas such as the Far East, ME, Eastern Africa are holding the key for successful future,” comments Mellor and adds,” I think that there’s a lot of respect from our customer base as well. They always felt that they would get the right kind of service from us. But our strength is not limited to state-of-the-art wide format presses. The digital printing market is driven by our history, which is software. So we have an enormous user base for our software as well. Our servers and software are embedded in print engines from Konica Minolta, Canon, Sharp, Xerox and others. We are a household name for many commercial printers as well. EFI’s name is synonymous with RIP and MIS solutions, which is widely used in print houses all over the world. We are also one of the biggest manufacturers of UV inks for wide format printers. It’s time for customers to switch to UV because of the quality and opportunities it offers. Something that solvent technology can never match.  At the same time it’s more environment-friendly.”

Regarding why EFI so far hasn’t embraced the latex technology, Mellor says, “We don’t believe that latex offers any significant benefit when compared to traditional UV. Our UV products are greener than latex. With latex there are limitations in range of substrates that can be used, as many of them have to be specially coated. From the production point of view the speed of the machines using latex technology leaves much to be desired.  Latex inks have a great vibrancy of colour but from eco-friendly point of view, they contain more solvent than our UV inks. They consume huge amount of power for burning out the chemicals produced during the process.”

Mellor believes wide format printing is a good solution for commercial printers who want to diversify and find new revenue streams. “A lot of traditional printers are pondering whether to move in to wide format arena or not. A typical commercial printer already has the knowledge in terms of preparing the files. On the other hand many of them are doing campaigns for companies using their fleet of web or sheetfed presses. Adding wide format to the mix gives them more leverage to offer their customers a whole package of diverse printed products.”

The dilemma is solved?

Mellor claims EFI’s new generation of printers has solved the dilemma of speed versus quality to a great extent.  “We have always maintained the high quality in our machines and strived to improve on the quality front. Using technology like grayscale print heads, we can offer good quality at higher speeds. With our new printers you can maintain a resolution of a 1000 dpi, while printing at 280 plus sq.m per hour.  Our printers are very flexible and can offer you different printing modes based on your requirements.”

“The trend nowadays is to print white. White ink technology is what EFI had for a very long time. The problem is that white has always been a secondary or an add-on process, which slows the entire printing process. Mellor argues that on EFI’s new range of machines printing white doesn’t slow down the printer. “You can print white at the same speed as other colours. We can lay down multiple layers of ink at the same time, so that we can have a combination of CMYK and white+ CMYK that gives you a sandwich effect.

You can see both sides if you are printing on glass in one go. This is unique to EFI. These are all processes that are maintaining the quality standard, and allowing us to print faster. We don’t even slow down when using different media. It doesn’t matter if you are printing on glass or any other material.”

Efi @ SGI

EFI is participating in SGI with full force showcasing new products such as QS 3 pro, the 3.2 m hybrid roll to roll flatbed printer, which was launched last month. It will be put on display for the first time in the Middle East.
Other printer on display is the 3.2 m R3225, roll to roll machine. This printer was premiered at drupa.  Last but not least EFI will also show the popular entry level Rastek X652 flat bed roll. “We have already booked 200 square meters of exhibition space. SGI is a perfect platform for us to show our commitment to the Middle East market,” concludes Mellor.

OKI to Launch New White Toner Printers 

Through its channel partners the company will be showcasing the C711WT and C920WT A4 and A3 white toner printers, and would demonstrate to  businesses  the opportunity to print a range of promotional materials

OKI, a global B2B brand, creates in-house printed communication products, applications and services, which include multifunctional printer devices and SIDM printers and faxes. At SGI 2013, OKI Middle East, India and Africa will be participating through channel partners and will not be having a direct stand. John Ross, GM of OKI Middle East, India and Africa opine that SGI is a vertical focused event that helps to pull in the relevant crowd.

Detailing about their plans for SGI he said, “This year we are showcasing white toner products at SGI 2013. OKI is the first company to introduce white toner printers to the market. Until now, the only white print products available have been based on inkjet, dye sublimation or transfer-film ready technologies. These have typically been expensive, targeted at specific niche markets and only available from specialist print houses.”

John added, “At SGI, our channel partners will be showcasing the C711WT and C920WT A4 and A3 white toner products. Based on existing proven OKI technology, they offer the opportunity for businesses to print a range of promotional materials, which previously would only have been possible using costly, specialist white printing devices.”

OKI sees SGI as a venue to seal their brand image and as an opportunity to broaden their visibility angle. John observed that the industry is becoming more consolidated and that there is more focus towards digital printing.

Fujifilm Investing Big Time in The Middle East

With an expanded distribution network and an extensive range of wide format printers and consumables, the company is bringing new products to the region

For Fujifilm the Sign and Graphic Imaging (SGI) exhibition in Dubai will be an important event, as they will be announcing details of significant investments to be made by them in the graphic print market of Middle East. Enis Kraiem, Regional Sales Manager of Fujifilm Graphic System Division of the company commented to ME Printer, “Fujifilm’s products are already well known in this region. Its Sericol screen inks have been widely bought throughout the Middle East for 35 years, and the company’s wide format inkjet printers have won a large share of sales since their 2006 launch.  But while some parts of the world stagnate in the current downturn, Fujifilm believes the Middle East is a cause for optimism. The company is expanding its distribution channel in a number of countries in the region to provide additional sales and technical support.”

He adds, “We expect the demand for graphic print to continue to grow strongly in many Middle East countries. Keeping pace, our team in the Middle East has grown from just three people to 25 today. And as a demonstration of our confidence in the region we are expanding our distribution network for our range of wide format inkjet printers and consumables.”

The distributors include Al Aoun Trading Group (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain), Fototek SARL (Lebanon), Middle East Graphics (Lebanon), System Middle East LLC (Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Yemen) and Techno Blue WLL (Qatar).

In for the long run

Kraiem believes that Fujifilm’s reputation as a global leader in image technology and local knowledge will appeal to potential buyers: “We warmly welcome them to the Fujifilm family. Together, I believe, we offer customers an assurance of global leadership in graphic print technology combined with local service and support. ”

The company has in the region an estimated one-third of the installed wide format base. Fujifilm plans to bring its complete wide format portfolio and expertise to its Dubai-headquartered operation. The move has seen early signs of success – in 2012 Caravan Industries bought an Onset S20, a 310 m2 per hour workhorse, the first sale of its kind in the Middle East.

Committed to wide format

As well as top-of-the-table performers like Onset S20 and Onset S40, Fujifilm sells a broad range of wide format printers. The company’s focus at the SGI exhibition is its family of Acuity high resolution inkjet printers.

Acuity models are designed as a one-stop shop for printing POP and POS, banners, posters, illuminated or rigid signs on a wide range on media. Acuity’s variable ink drop size technology produces near-photographic quality, offering excellent transitions, smooth tones, fine line detail, bold solid colours and legible type down to 6 pt.

The latest addition to the range is Acuity Advance Select. This model adds new features to improve production efficiency and versatility, and to extend the range of applications for buyers. Most notable are the eight independent ink channels. In addition to the standard CMYK ink set, the Acuity Advance Select includes additional white and clear ink channels. As a result the machine, like Acuity LED 1600, can print varnish effects in a single pass.

In-house design

Acuity LED 1600 is a hybrid printer that Fujifilm believes to be equally functional at home in an office or a print shop. All of the key components were developed by Fujifilm. In its heart lie high-precision Dimatix Q-class printheads, a proprietary LED UV-curing lamp system and a newly-formulated, six-colour, Uvijet ink set.

For an entry-level machine, Acuity LED 1600 produces high quality print using multi-pulse jetting which delivers droplets of different sizes according to the definition needed by the image. The results are smooth changes in tone and solid spot colours. The technique achieves great accuracy by combining droplets at the nozzle rather than on the way to the substrate, where they can be disturbed by air movement above the media. The machine uses a fraction of the energy of a conventional UV printer, eliminating much of the waste that escapes as heat. All Acuity machines use Fujifilm’s Uvijet ink, which combines adhesion and durability with widely noted coverage and mileage.

Another product featured is the Jet Press 720, a four-colour, B2 sheet-fed inkjet press. Jet Press promises an entirely zero make-ready performance, which eliminates waste and makes it a good fit for short-run applications. The machine can print 2,700 sheets per hour at 1,200 dpi, and is designed to produce high quality magazines,    and brochures.

“Fujifilm’s broad understanding of print processes is reflected in its XMF workflow software. This is a purpose-designed system offering a scalable workflow capability which combines the latest Adobe APPE RIP with XMF’s PDF creation tools and integrated imposition. Its cross-media architecture makes XMF a good choice for printers or pre-press houses with multiple presses and a need to support a combination of offset and digital print within one workflow. ”

“For SGI we’ve chosen a selection of our Uvijet inkjet range that we think is the most suitable for the Middle East, taking into account limitations on size and space,” said Fujifilm’s Kraiem. “Regulations about the use of solvents are going to become tighter, so it’s important that customers know what the best UV alternatives are.”

Al Shabak Introduces Products From MACtac 

The sign and print media division of Al Shabak General Trading will be introducing latest products from MACtac at SGI 2013.

The company, based in Dubai, UAE, provides a wide range of products and services to sign makers, digital imaging bureaus and graphic houses in UAE and GCC countries. Govind Unni, Sales Manager of the sign and print media division in the company says to ME Printer, “Since 1997, we have introduced many innovative products in the marketplace for digital printing.  As a solution provider, we offer high end products from MACtac which is by far the No.1 brand in Europe in self-adhesive media. To complement our product portfolio, we have added two more European brands namely   REGULUS from Germany and Endutex from Spain – both are pioneers in their respective fields. In early 2013, we plan to set up MACtac Performance Academy in Dubai, which will be dedicated to the hundreds of applicators in the Sign Industry in UAE, Oman and Bahrain. An official announcement on this will be made by the visiting MACtac team during the exhibition.”


Regarding their plans for SGI 2013, he said, “At the SGI we will be showcasing some of the latest products from MACtac,  including the eco-friendly non-PVC products,  which are 100% PVC free, chlorine free and without plasticizers for use  on any solvent, eco solvent or latex printers. You will also be introduced to the new range of MACtac products for interior design, which include specialty wall covering media (Deco Satin, Deco Ivory) and structured laminates (PERMAfun).”

ALTECH Vouches For Digital Short Run Presses

In its 4th consecutive year at SGI, the master distributor of Sharp offers products and services from its wide product portfolio, which includes digital copiers, multi-functional devices and solar panels

ALTECH International is the master distributor of Sharp and provides products that include digital copiers, multi-functional devices and solar panels. Philip Johnny, GM, Sales and Marketing of Sharp Africa opine that the year 2013 will revive the business scenario of Dubai and that there will be more interest from the market. He says, “We have been in the show for the past four years and we see it growing and been organized better year after year. This year, we will be showcasing short run digital presses.” Philip observes that SGI is more of an awareness creation opportunity for them rather than a place to seal deals. “As a B2B company, we do not expect any deals, but we aspire to create awareness about our products and services.” Regarding the future trends, he said, “Short run digital space is growing at a fast pace and this will continue due to innovations happening in this sector.’

Emirates Computers Optimistic on Market Upturn

Major focus of the company will be on exhibiting the different applications that can be done on the Roland range of products, and the official launch of Roland SOLJET PRO4 XR-640

Emirates Computer Co. distributes Roland products in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan and Iran. This year the company, at SGI, would be officially launching the SOLJET PRO4 XR-640 from Roland. M Karthik, Sales Manager of Emirates Computer explained, “Our stand will feature the Roland VERSACAMM VS series as well as the VERSASTUDIO print & cut machines and the VERSAART RE series of printers. We will also showcase our UV range with the desktop VERSAUV LEF-12 as well as the VERSAUV LEJ-640. More than the machines, the focus at this year will be on the various applications that can be done using the complete range of Roland products.”

Karthik believes that SGI 2013 is an ideal event in the business calendar that will provide the required impetus to steer market growth and progress. He said, “The last two quarters of 2012 saw a slight upturn in the market conditions, especially in the core sectors of the economy. SGI 2013 will help to further push it higher and maintain the momentum. It will also help us to open up new markets in the region.”

Honaz Looking For Growth Post-Recession

With the easing of recession, the company is confident  that its range of diverse products including Xaar printheads, wide format printers, Piezo inkjet coding, marking printers and digital industrial inkjet printers will attracts buyers

Honaz FZCo based in UAE are exclusive distributors in the Middle East for Xaar printheads, Roadrunner wide format printers, Maplejet high resolution piezo inkjet coding and marking printers and Copytrax digital industrial inkjet printers. Hamed Shakourbin, Managing Director of Honaz opined that the market is getting out of the economic crisis and companies are now interested in investing in new technologies. “Considering this, marketing will be an important factor to increase the sales of any company in GCC at this period of time.”

Hamed views SGI as an effective method for advertising the company’s products. “We have been attending SGI for the past 8 years and have provided a wide range of graphic products to the market during this period.” Hamed says that the prosperity of a show depends on the technologies presented in that show. “SGI has been able to grow as it could reflect the technological developments of the industry over the years.”

For SGI 2013, the company would be showing different types of Xaar print heads, including printheads developed for UV printing, wide format machines, DVD printers as well as DVD writers. Hamid says, “The size and quality of the stand will be the same as of previous year and we hope to gain good results out of the show.”

Multisystem Technology Favours Green Media Solutions

Multisystem technology offers digital printing solutions to customers in over 25 countries.

Their solutions and services include a wide range of media/substrate for indoor and outdoor printing, digital wall coverings, printable curtains, LFP inks and industrial printing solutions. Khaldoon Aldway of Multisystem Technology said that during SGI 2013 they would be exhibiting ConVerd, “A hundred per cent recyclable paper alternative from traditional foam and styrene board to PVC vinyl material. These substrates have outstanding price range compared to their counterparts. Their bright white surface enables wide gamut and great colour-pop.”

Other products include Blox-Lite, which is a 100% opaque green alternative to PVC vinyl banner that is printable on both sides, EnviroScape Mural Plus, which is a PVC free wall or window product and the RISO GOCCOPRO 100 digital screen maker. Another new entrant will be Anajet Digital Apparel printers that can produce digital colours on a wide variety of garments, textiles and decorative items.

Blue Rhine Views Trend For 3D Signage

Anand V Joseph, General Manager of Blue Rhine hopes that during SGI 2013 they could add new customers from the GCC and African region. “We are the media partner of AGFA and we believe that through this partnership we can highlight our range of print media and rigid substrates compatibility.” Talking about the market post-recession, he said, “There has definitely been a revival in the recent past and I expect it to continue at a steady pace as print houses and sign makers are showing signs of improvement.”

The company, which has been participating in SGI since 1999 will be showing a range of LEDs, which will cover numerous applications for signage and light boxes and some products from Austria, Korea and China. Anand said, “These products have been very successful in terms of their efficiency, brightness and period of life. We are excited to formally launch our Profil range of extrusions. These aluminium extrusions are a successful range of tension systems that are used with printed graphics. We have already implemented them in Dubai airport terminal lightboxes and non illuminated graphic systems. These extrusions ensure that our customers can get consistent finishes, save time in fabrication and use them in various combinations to achieve best results.”

Anand said, “A significant trend is the growing preference for 3D illuminated signage. Even the new legislation in Abu Dhabi is very specific that all retail and business establishments should have only 3D letter signage. The growth and prevalence of LEDs in light boxes and signage is continuously growing, and we are not far from the demise of traditional illumination methods of neon and fluorescent lights as LEDs become more economically viable. ”

Giffin to Showcase New Durst Wide Format Printer

With 50 machines already installed in the region, the company believes UV and other environmentally friendly technologies such as VOC free inks, disperse, dye-sub and water based inks are replacing solvent inks

Giffin Graphics will be exhibiting at SGI with new products and lots of enthusiasm. The company will showcase for the first time a new 2 meter wide printer from Durst Rho P10 series. The new printer had its worldwide premiere in Drupa 2012. Elias Bekhaazi, Giffin’s Manager for Digital Graphic Systems Division says SGI is a perfect platform to showcase Durst’s new printer. “We have been participating in SGI since 2001. The show has been very good for us because it attracts decision makers from all over the region and beyond including Pakistan, Iran and India as well as African countries. The quality and quantity of the visitors is even better than Fespa,” comments Bekhaazi and adds, “The new Durst Rho P10 200 hybrid printer is designed to suit a wide range of applications. There is also a 3.2 meter version, the P10 320R. The new machines are suitable for printing indoor and outdoor signage to POP material, packaging and backlit luxury goods. The new series takes in benefit from the latest Durst Quadro Array.

Bekhaazi maintains that UV technology is gaining momentum in the region and people are more and more interested to use UV instead of solvent. Giffin has already installed 50 Durst machines across the region including one in Reprotronics in UAE and multiple installments for Saudi customers. I believe solvent technology will be replaced by UV and other environmentally friendly technology such as  VOC free inks, disperse, dye-sub, water based inks and others.

Other than the new Durst printer, Giffin will be launching new consumables and finishing products for the signage industry. “Our new products include Mitsubishi’s SHINKOLITE Acrylic sheet light guiding and diffusion plates compatible with LED light sources. We are also showcasing ATP self adhesive media, Berger Fabric – a Premium Quality German Textile media, Natura which has wide range portfolio of innovative Digital printing media, Mireco 3D media sheet which is known for high quality clear and distinct 3D effect, and also we have new product for  handling & post finishing solution from Spanish manufacturer Matic.”

Magic Touch to Launch OKI And Epson Printers

In addition to a new OKI printer, which the company claims will change printing on dark fabrics, they will also display Epson printers equipped with Sawgrass-Sujblijet ink cartridges

Magic Touch offers solutions in transfer media, heat press machines and other equipments and accessories required for printing. Part of SGI for the 11th year, the company views the show as a launching pad for their products. Rifki Hussain, General Manger of the company views, “Over the years, we were part of SGI and that has made a lot of difference in our sales. As the show covers the entire MENA region, it has helped us to create a prospective client base in the region. SGI is the perfect platform to start the New Year.”

He added, “Our experience is positive and we have seen tremendous client filtering happening over the years. Prospective client interaction has given a long term boost to sales and we could focus more on the requirements of customers, who really look forward for diversification and updates within the industry.”

Regarding their plans for SGI 2013, Rifki said, “As regional licensed distributor for The Magic Touch Germany, we will be launching the New OKI laser printer with white toner for the first time in the region. The machine will change printing aspects on dark fabrics and non fabrics to a great extent. In addition, we will also be showing the Epson printers with sawgrass-sublijet inks from UK. “

Regarding the trends in the market, he observed, “Too many players have emerged, which has diminished the quality drastically and the market is now more attracted towards low pricing. But I believe in the long run, quality will always stand apart.” He added, “We hope the coming year will be more fruitful for us, and we expect to increase our volume of business by 35%. We are expecting good turnover and hope to provide sales and support with utmost customer satisfaction and without compromising on quality.”

Masonlite Sees Future for 3D Signage Market

The products on display include Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machines, Alusign Modular Sign System, Royal Sovereign cold laminating machine, LaserPro engraving and cutting machine, CNC routers and engravers.

Masonlite Dubai provides a wide range of products and services to the signage industry including neon signs, traffic signs, interior displays, hoardings, vehicle graphics and the like. Sunil Purushothaman, Sales Director of the company thinks that 2013 will be beneficial to the business, especially as an opportunity to get out of the grips of the recession. “We expect to generate some business. We plan to introduce the latest technology in laser engraving machines, CNC routers, LED lighting, LCD screens etc. We are hopeful of closing some leads during the show and generate some good business.”

He observed, “The future of sign business seems to be bright and we hope to explore and reach out to new markets in Africa like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Gabon, Namibia etc.”

The company has been participating in SGI, since inception. This year, Masonlite will be exhibiting Yueming Laser machine, EZ CNC Router, FN LCD media players, LED lighting, displays, GZ large format solvent printer and new eco-solvent printer. “We have always seen the sign and graphic imaging as a platform to introduce the latest products and to introduce new marketing possibilities. Serving deals is a necessity but it is more important to reach out to a wider audience and spread awareness about the developing technology.”

Indicating towards the future trends, he said, “The sign industry is moving towards a go green environment. Large format solvent and eco-solvent printers are dying out and the demand for 3 D signage is evolving (bearing in mind factors like power consumption and environment). We see a future for laser machines, CNC routers and channel letters.


EPM Perceives Market For UV Digital

Emirates Photo Marketing, which is the distributor of brands such as Kodak, EFI, HP, SEAL, Direct Colour Systems, PolyPrint and Smart Visuals expects to achieve healthy sales and get highly responsive business leads

Emirates Photo Marketing has more than 30 years of experience in distributing and supporting substrates and solutions for the digital printing market of Middle East. The company is the distributor for brands like Kodak, EFI, HP, SEAL, Direct Color Systems, PolyPrint and Smart Visuals. Based in Ajman, EPM has its branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Gopinath Umapathy, Marketing Manager of the company said that they will be showing profitable and economical solutions during SGI. “At the show we will be exhibiting SEAL laminating machine 62 Pro S model and substrates, Direct Color System 1024HS small format UV printer, PolyPrint TexJet Plus direct to garment printer, Kodak, Noritsu D 502 Photo Printer, Noritsu D502 Photo Printer, Noritsu LED Lighting System and Smart Visual Media. We are expecting a promising number of machine sales during the show, as we are showcasing high quality machines that are reasonably priced, especially to the Middle East market. Moreover the leads and additional database will be a great opportunity for the company to extend its reach.”

Regarding the developments in the market, Gopinath observed, “Though the market is coming back, customers have become smarter after recession. We need to devise more aggressive sales strategies and build stronger relationships with our customers, without sacrificing on the quality and price of the product.”

The company, which has been participating for more than 14 years in SGI views that the show has grown, in terms of exhibitors, products and quality visitors. “SGI has always been a great way to secure deals and showcase our products. The show is a great tool to re-introduce our company as a solution provider that provides quality and profitable products for all digital printing companies in the Middle East,” commented Gopinath.

He added, “As far as market trends are concerned, there is a clear drift towards UV digital printing and other niche printing applications. We have seen a lot of banner printing companies diverting their business to UV direct printing and also focusing on niche market, as this seems to be a more profitable business.”

ADS Advertising to Exhibit Finishing Solutions

The products on display include Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machines, Alusign Modular Sign System, Royal Sovereign cold laminating machine, LaserPro engraving and cutting machine

ADS advertising materials specialize in providing products and services to the sign and graphic imaging industry. Based in UAE, the company has been participating in SGI since the year 2007. This year, they will be exhibiting various brands, including Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machines from USA, Alusign Modular Sign System, Royal Sovereign cold laminating machine, LaserPro engraving and cutting machine, CNC routers and engravers, Graphic cutting plotters, IPI brand engraving sheet from USA etc. Nova Joseph, PR Manager of the company, talking to ME Printer said, “We expect a marginal growth, in terms of sales, at the 2013 show. We have the latest products in line of inventory and ensure that our customers get the maximum output from equipments and products that they have invested in.”

Nova opines that the show is growing year after year, “SGI gives equal opportunities to all participants, small or medium, and to achieve good results from it. SGI is an excellent platform to meet and greet customers from various cultures and provides an opportunity to start a new business relationship. We are still enjoying the benefits of the relationship that we have built since our first participation at SGI 2007.”

Talking about the future trends, she said, “We are in a realistic market where all of us know the demand and concern of the customers. Definitely the industry is heading towards quality conscious and innovative products and services. We expect that 2013 would be beneficial for us and will exceed our expectations.”

Heliozid Océ Sees Rise in ‘Digital’ Influence

They will exhibit the AZ 480 GT flatbed plotter from the Arizona family, which comes with eight independent ink channels, white ink, roll to roll and varnish for spot options

Heliozid Océ Emirates offers wide format printing for Outdoor advertising, Graphic Arts as well as the AEC industry. The company is the exclusive distributor for the Arizona brand of UV printers manufactured by Océ. Rakesh Soman, Director- Sales and Marketing of the company, is expecting record attendance from professionals of related industries during SGI 2013. He said, “SGI is a chance to increase your reach, brand recognition and sales. The show caters to the entire Middle East region, where most of the economies are growing at a health rate. This year, there is also a marked improvement in the UAE economy and a willingness to consider new investments. So, the overall picture looks very promising.”

Rakesh adds, “We have been participating in SGI for the past two years and have seen an increase in international visitors and an improvement in the professionalism of those visiting the show.”

The company would be exhibiting the 8 channel AZ 480 GT flatbed plotter (with roll to roll, white ink and varnish options) from the Arizona family. The flatbed can print on various substrates including glass, wood, acrylics and plastics. It includes eight independent ink channels with support for new applications, and prints at a speed of up to 24.5 meters per hour over a broad range of media and applications.

Rakesh comments that SGI is a platform where visitors can see the latest trends and products. “It’s a forum for serious discussion and in the past we have closed major deals at SGI,” he said. Talking about the trends in the market, he said, “Display graphic printing is becoming more and more digital. Recently there have also been major improvements in colour and flat bed printing.”

System ME Expands Its Product Portfolio

The company, which represents Mutoh, Hexis and Fujifilm in the region is planning to expand its product base, and at SGI they will be exhibiting latest range of Mutoh LFP’s

System Middle East in Dubai represents major brands like Mutoh and Hexis and has been recently appointed to market Fujifilm UV flatbed and LED based printers in UAE and neighbouring countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan. Khaled Gamal, General Manager of the company detailed, “We are looking forward to expand further with the introduction of new products that will complement our existing range.”

The company, which has been participating in SGI since the year 2005 as a Mutoh distributor would be exhibiting the latest range of Mutoh LFP’s. These include 1.6 and 2.6 m width machines with printing speed of up to 36m2/hr and speed up to 48m2/hr.

Khaled observed, “SGI is not like GITEX but it rather has a wider horizon, which opens new channels as well as creates awareness to existing market about the latest developments in the market.”

Optimistic about the future, Khaled said, “We expect a growth of more than 40% in our business next year. Regarding future trends, digital will capture the market. Whether its short run or customized advertising, people are now turning away from conventional methods of printing. It does not mean that offset or screen printing business is at stake, but the investment rate in this sector has reduced and people are investing more in digital and the LFP sector.”

Magic Trading Offers Personalized Solutions

Their main focus at SGI would be garment heat transfer machines, sublimation transfer machines and substrates

Magic Trading Company based in UAE provides personalized printing solutions, supplies printing machines, consumables, distributes heat transfer and sublimation machines and printed materials to customers across the Middle East. Sina Haghi, General Manager of the company believes that through SGI they would be able to update their existing and potential clients about their new products and offerings.

He added, “During the past four years, the market has definitely shown some growth and it has naturally leveraged the performance of the show. Magic Trading has been participating in the show for over 10 years now, and during these years we have seen the show expanding in size. A major change that I have noticed over the years is that from last year the organizers have tried to group similar business under a cluster. This helps visitors in finding and comparing similar businesses.”

Sina Hagi mentioned that their main focus at the show will be on garment heat transfer, sublimation transfer machines and substrates. “Like any other industry, the sign and graphic industry has also gone through technology improvements. Digital printing on many different substrates has revolutionized the industry; however it still has limitations and is expensive. As digital printing technology is improving and the production cost is decreasing, digital technology is gaining market share rapidly.”

Sina hopes, with the market condition improving, they can service more clients as well as increase their market share.

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