During a very hectic three day schedule at the recently concluded FESPA Middle East 2024, ME Printer managed to get down on the lively show floor for an exclusive, first-hand feedback from some of the top exhibitors participating in FESPA’s maiden venture in the MENA region.
Michael Boyle, Senior Vice President – HP Large Format Print Worldwide
What are the current trends in wide format printing?
We’re seeing growth across the world, particularly over a number of segments. Coming out of COVID, we think the industry is in good shape, and the Middle East, in particular, is showing good growth. Retail is back, back to a strength that we have seen, and obviously there are a lot more exhibitions. Decorations are a growing segment, not only from a commercial aspect but also from domestic consumption as well. The extension of this also goes into textiles, where domestic consumption is improving.
How important is the Middle East market for HP?
Speaking about the Middle East market, Saudi is obviously the major market, besides the UAE. Regional partners play a very important role in helping us in our growth. The investments that we make together really drive a good outcome. Saudi Arabia is where we expect some additional growth in the coming years.
Looking at HP’s future?
Overall, we see double-digit growth, particularly in our low-volume segment. Once again, we are starting to gain a strong position in the Middle East with our latest technologies. Water-based inks, the technology and versatility, and white ink are some of the few applications which our customers are taking advantage of.
Can you elaborate on the latest technological advancements Epson is showcasing at FESPA Middle East?
We are showcasing our latest advancements in signage as well as textile. In our stand we have V7000 UV flatbed printer that offers endless possibilities. Besides applications on stained glass, we are also displaying 8610 for car wraps, our well-known loved machine.
We’re also showing the R5010 resin printer, ideal for an expanded portfolio to include wallpaper and textile printing, besides direct to textile printers.
How do Epson’s current product lines respond to the latest trends in the printing and graphics industry?
There are more customized applications in digital, personalized t-shirts, etc. Customers choose the fabric and the design.
What are Epson’s initiatives towards sustainability in printing technologies?
We are working with partners with more sustainable materials and are looking at partners to work at multiple levels in sustainability.
Another initiative is that we are opening an innovation centre in Dubai.
Danna Drion, General Manager Marketing & PM EMEA, Mimaki Europe B.V.
What innovative solutions is Mimaki presenting at FESPA Middle East, and what are their key features?
Let’s take one step back. If we look at the Middle East market, we saw in the last fiscal, that there’s a tremendous 134% growth in the regional market, which is huge. That was one of the main reasons why we chose to participate in the FESPA show.
Working closely together with our partners who are all around us and our distributor, we also want to step into the Middle East. Looking at the market trends, cost efficiency is important, and so is sustainability. The products that we are offering here are all about being cost efficient, especially if you look at our high volume 330 and 100 production printer series. We also have a new 210 3M Performance Guarantee ink.
So basically, it is a combination of machine and material. We just cannot have a good machine. It also has to have good materials. Our 210 ink is very cost effective and performs well. We also have UV and the more popular solvent printers in the market, but we have to maintain a balance between their individual benefits.
How do you plan to meet the needs of your target audience? And does Mimaki plan a market expansion?
By producing the machinery and innovations that the customer demands, for which we have lengthy conversations with them. Mimaki is known for innovation with a very strong R&D team.
Showcasing new solutions and applications is how we plan to enter new markets.
Talking about Mimaki and Sustainability?
We want to encourage our audience to see how beautiful nature is. We believe that sustainability is not a marketing word, but a process of educating people and working as a chain. We need to do it together, with our customers and our partners. We are also planning to achieve our ESG goals by 2027.
Takuto Hasegawa, Roland DG Corporation
What are the key products and technologies being showcased by Roland DG at FESPA Middle East?
This month we have already launched four new models worldwide, of which three of them are here at FESPA Middle East, ready for their regional launch. MO-240 is our UV flatbed printer which comes with three exciting features. It gives improved image quality with specially formulated UV inks that can reproduce high-quality designs and small texts and its additional Red and Orange inks ensure accurate colour matching. Another feature is its high-speed productivity with staggered printheads, making it twice as fast as previous models. Finally it is versatile and flexible to print on a wide variety of substrates.
Our second new product on display is BD-8, which is our most compact and affordable desktop UV flatbed printer. Ideal for a beginner, the printer is equipped with a simple-design and user-friendly utility software.
Also on display at FESPA Middle East is BY-20 Direct-to-Film (DTF) printer. Based on our top-selling BN series, BY-20 is very reliable and durable.
Besides printers, we are also showcasing digitally printed wallpapers with unique three-dimensional embossing, our new business product. Talking about the wallpaper industry, only 5% of printing has been digitized. So we see a lot of potential.
What are Roland DG’s expectations from FESPA Middle East in terms of business in the region?
The Middle East market is very important. The market is growing, especially in Dubai. Saudi is another important market that is growing rapidly.
From the company’s viewpoint, how is the printing industry evolving and how is the company adapting to these changes?
We’re always trying to adapt with new clients, new technology, and so on in the sign and graphics industry. While we continue doing this, we’re also seeking for new partnerships. Last year, we had a new joint venture in Europe, DG DIMENSE. With their very unique inks combining with our technology, maybe we can come out with a special solution.
How does Roland DG ensure an optimal user experience with its new products?
We now have a software called Roland DG Connect, a machine monitoring app, that helps you gain a detailed understanding of your entire print production. The cloud-based software helps users see the status of ink levels, monitor printheads for manual cleaning frequency, and review the days and weeks print production.
What are Roland DG’s post FESPA Middle East plans for leveraging the connections and insights gained?
Having more partnerships in the region is what we are looking forward to. We already have long-term partners in the Middle East including Emirates Computers in Dubai and ZOOFiTECH in Saudi Arabia.