Lessons for India from Fespa: The Noel D'cunha Sunday Column

If this year’s Ipex brought fears that the days of the big European shows were drawing to a close, then it’s safe to say that Fespa Digital in Munich was a welcome fillip. Fespa highlights

07 Jun 2014 | By Noel D'Cunha

Fespa Digital has been hailed a double record breaker by the organiser after the Munich event smashed the attendance and exhibitor figures of the 2011 Hamburg iteration.
Almost 17,000 unique visitors attended Fespa Digital across its four days, beating the Hamburg figure by 30%. The event, along with co-located European Sign Expo, also attracted 536, compared to Hamburg’s tally of 370.
Myriad exhibitors mirrored this sentiment.
“The show’s been fantastic. There have been some signs of recovery in the European market so we were anticipating exactly what we saw. The traffic was good and it was not only existing customers, a lot of new customers also came to invest,” states EFI senior vice-president, worldwide sales and marketing Frank Mallozzi.
Canon was one such company, launching its Océ Arizona 6100 series flatbed press at the show.
“Fespa Digital has been a great success for Canon and has surpassed all expectations, both in terms of sales made and leads generated. The global launch of the 6100 series has, in particular, received tremendous interest,” says Pierre-Olivier Esteban, marketing director of technical document systems and display graphic systems, Canon Europe.
All this and Fespa Digital is not even the main event in the portfolio: with the ‘big Fespa’ taking place next May in Cologne.
Mimaki unveils new flagships
Mimaki used Fespa Digital as the launchpad for a host of new printers, including a brace of “next generation” high-end wide-format printers, which the firm said feature a number of eco-solvent firsts.
The new roll-to-roll JV300 machines are available in two widths, 1.3m and 1.6m, and feature new printheads and also an enhanced Mimaki SS21 inkset with light black, orange and new formulation white.
Both models are equipped with two staggered 4-35pl variable drop-on-demand piezo Epson heads, capable of 360-1,440dpi. At top speed, the 1.6m version is capable of 105sqm/hr in “super draft” mode, down to 15.4sqm in the highest quality eight-pass mode.
The eight-channel JV300s can be factory configured to either run eco-solvent or dye-sub inks – although the firm predicted that around 70% will be specified solvent. The models also feature Mimaki’s Nozzle Recovery System (NRS), the first time it’s been used on a solvent machine.
The Tx500-1800DS direct sublimation printer for the textile and soft signage industries and the JFX200-2513 entry-level UV inkjet flatbed, also made their European debuts at Fespa Digital.
Mutoh unveils raft of new models for Fespa
Mutoh’s booth was bristling with new kit, including its first LED UV printers and a new compact roll-to-roll model. 
The firm brought three new devices to the show, including the ValueJet 426UF, a desktop A3-plus format LED UV printer for printing onto three-dimensional objects up to 70mm thick. Mutoh’s newly developed LED UV technology is also used in the ValueJet 1626UH, a hybrid device capable of printing onto rigid media or roll-to-roll substrates up to 1,650mm wide. Both devices use the firm’s new VOC-free inks, and the LED UV technology opens up the potential for printing onto a wider range of heat-sensitive media.
Sun unveils new soft signage ink
Sun Chemical (B2-446) launched the latest addition to its Streamline ink range at Fespa  Digital 2014. Streamline TX is a direct print sublimation textile ink specifically designed for the polyester and synthetic soft signage market.
According to the manufacturer Streamline TX inks provide bright, strong colours and dense blacks and have excellent “show through” properties because of their penetration into the fabric, which is particularly beneficial to flag printers. 
Also on the stand was Sun Chemical’s solvent-based Streamline ESL HPQ, Ultima HPQ and Optima HPQ inks.
Zünd demonstrates time-saving features and productivity boosts
Digital cutting system manufacturer Zünd showcased its full range of cutters, with its primary focus on increasing productivity and efficiency.
The G3 M-2500 tandem cutting system, which allows loading and unloading of materials and cutting and processing to take place simultaneously, is one of its big draws. 
Other highlights include the firm’s EOT-250 oscillating tool and its automatic sheet feeder.
The cutting systems on display were all powered by the Zünd Cut Center digital workflow suite.
Fespa debut for new entry-level Gandy range
Gandy Digital launched its new Sl8te Hybrid and True Flatbed UV inkjet printers at Fespa Digital.
The firm said these models offer a more affordable price point than with its existing range.
A Sl8te Hybrid model was demonstrated on the Gandy booth. It is available in four widths – 1.6m, 2.2m, 2.6m and 3.2m – and can operate in flatbed or roll-to-roll mode. 
The Sl8te True Flatbed comes in two formats: 1.6x2.6m and 2.6mx3m. A roll-to-roll attachment is available as an option. 
Both versions can handle substrates up to 70mm thick, and print at 25 sqm/hour.
The latest version of Gandy’s Domin8tor was also on the show. 
Avery launches lower cost films
Avery Dennison has launched a new self-adhesive film range and 13 new Supreme Wrapping Film colours. The MPI 3010 digital imaging film is an “economy” version of the MPI 3000 monomeric film. At 80 instead of 90 microns, the film is designed for applications of up to two years. It is 10%-15% cheaper than the 3000.
Included in the 13 new Supreme films are four new Conform Chrome films designed for accenting on vehicles. These are available in black, blue, silver and gold.
The total number of Supreme films now available is 82, with 15 to 20 more to be added later this year.
First sale of the new Durst Rho 312R
Durst sold the first Rho 312R 3.2m roll-to-roll printer, which was launched at Fespa, to German company Onlineprinters.
Durst described the 240 sqm/hr Rho 312R, one of four new machines the firm launched at Fespa Digital, as the most productive printer in its class.
Alongside the Rho 312R, the company also presented the new features in its Rho P10 HS series. With double the printheads and LED pre-curing as well as conventional UV drying, the new additions are twice as fast as the previous models.
The Durst Rho P10 200/250 HS can reach output speeds of up to 400 sqm/hr. Also new was the Rhotex HS textile system, which prints materials up to 3.2m wide at speeds of up to 430 sqm/hr using water-based dispersion inks.
Hollanders unveils entry-level textile printer
Hollanders launched a new entry-level textile printer, the ColorBooster 250, at the show. 
The modular device can be fitted with different features as a user’s requirements change. 
It prints materials from 0.5m to 2.5m in width, in up to eight colours, with a range of resolutions up to 1,080x720dpi. A wide range of ink types is available, including dye-sub, reactive, acid and pigment. 
A carpet edition with heavy-duty load and unload was also available, and Hollanders’ own booth was carpeted with a bespoke printed carpet. It is also has information and a video presentation on the recently-launched ColorBooster DS double-sided textile printer.
Kornit debuts dual direct-to-garment suites
Digital textile specialist Kornit Digital launched two new software packages for direct to garment printing at Fespa.
The QuickP Plus 2.0 workflow and QuickP Designer 2.0 file preparation systems are aimed at small to mid-sized t-shirt and garment printers, particularly online businesses.
The QuickP Plus 2.0 consists of an ordering system with job tracking, an image and font library which printers can also add to, inventory management and a creator system, automating population of variable data fields. 
The QuickP Designer 2.0 allows users to manage colour without using Photoshop and to save pre-defined set-ups. Also shown on the Kornit stand were the fashion, sport and promotional apparel Avalanche Hexa printer, the commercial Breeze, and the high-speed Storm II.
Bordeaux premieres custom inks
Inkjet ink and coatings manufacturer Bordeaux Digital PrintInk launched its new custom-made inks for the latest Roland DG and Epson wide-format printers at Fespa.
The Fuse Eco PR4 is designed for Roland’s SolJet Pro 4 printer. It is compatible with Roland’s Eco-Sol Max2 ink and supports Roland’s SolJet Pro 4 XR-640, XF-640 and VersaCamm VSi printers.
The firm has also launched a 700ml cartridge with a dedicated chip for Epson SureColor S-series printers. 
European launch for Matan’s Barak 8QW
Matan Digital Printers showcased the Barak 8QW super-wide hybrid UV printer for the first time in Europe at Fespa Digital.
The white ink enabled printer features Matan’s patented eight-colour PDS technology and a range of other features. It was first unveiled in the US late last year and is available in 3m- or 5m-wide configurations.
The Israeli firm has launched its new removable Vacuum Plate System at Fespa, which it launched in March. This can be attached to the Barak 8QW or iQ and 8Q models to enable the machine to print on sheets and boards up to 1.5x3m.
Another option for the Barak 8QW is the Inline Finishing system for trimming and sheeting.
New Delhi-based Negi Sign Systems & Supplies is the Indian distributor for Matan Digital Printers’ systems.
KIP highlights low cost output
KIP highlighted the low cost of operation of its C7800 large-format printer as a key selling point for the device. 
The LED toner C7800 operates at a constant print speed and can output five A0 posters per minute. It can produce a 5m-long banner in 50 seconds, and has a maximum print output length of 39m. The print width is 914mm.
The device can print onto 15 different types of media including blue-back and glossy paper of up to 160gsm. The output is completely dry immediately after printing, and is UV resistant for at least a year.A range of inline finishing options is available, including an automatic folder for technical drawings, a cutter, and a stacker.
Caldera unveils its fastest RIP
A new high-speed RIP from Caldera (B2-114) had its worldwide launch at Fespa.
The C4 platform promises to be four times faster than previous iterations. It features a new set of unique algorithms, multiple CPUs, multicore 64-bit architecture and Intel’s latest chip technology.
The platform is aimed at users of high-speed inkjet machines, including those printing textiles. It promises to replace multiple PCs ripping high-speed jobs on one printer.
DGI in double textile launch
DGI used Fespa to launch two new textile printers, a FG-3206 soft signage and home textile printer and a new FD-1904 direct-to-apparel printer.
DGI took three FG-3206 orders at Fespa, one from a Turkish printer, two for a UK firm who will officially sign for the machine, said Lee, when visiting DGIs factory in Korea next month.
The six-colour FG-3206 has a print width of 3.2m and resolution of 1,440 dpi, the eight colour FD-1904, 1.9m and 1,200dpi.
Fujifilm unveils two new machines
Fujifilm has debuted its first hybrid solvent-UV printer, the Vybrant F1600, as well as the latest addition to the Inca Onset family of UV flatbed printers.

Featuring a 14pl drop size and 400m2/hr maximum print speed, the Onset R40i is Inca’s new mid-range model, fitting between the high-quality Q40i, with its 9pl drop and 305sqm/hr print speed, and the Onset S40i, which has a 27pl drop and 560m2/hr output.
Fujifilm also demonstrated the 1.6m-wide Vybrant F1600 at Fespa, which is its first hybrid solvent-UV printer, based on the Mimaki JV400-160SUV, but featuring Fujifilm’s own ink system.
The four-colour, roll-to-roll printer uses Fujifilm’s new FUZE ink, its first to combine a UV-curable component with a water-based solvent.

Canon launches “industrial” Arizona
Canon has launched a new flagship high-volume flatbed UV Océ Arizona wide-format printer at Fespa that will enable it to target the industrial market for the first time.
Pierre-Olivier Esteban, marketing director of Display Graphic Systems, Canon Europe, said that the 6100 series represents the first Arizona capable of challenging the dominance of the likes of Durst and EFI Vutek in the industrial space.  

The155m2/hr machine features Océ VariaDot technology with new unnamed 6-42pl greyscale heads.

There are currently two products in the range, the six-colour (CMYK, light cyan and light magenta) Arizona 6160 XTS and the seven-colour 6170 XTS, which was on show at Fespa and features the addition of a single white channel.

Both twin-beam machines feature a 2,500x3,050mm vacuum table with two independent zones for simultaneous loading/unloading and printing of boards up to 50.8mm thick.
The 6100 series is already running in Canada, with commercial shipping scheduled for September.

Screen records Trupress Jet3200UV HS first at Fespa

Screen sold its first Screen Truepress Jet 3200UV HS, launched at the show to Welsh printer Lexon Group with Screen president Brian Filler commenting: “It’s fair to say there will be more announcements.”

Vice-president of sales at Screen Europe Bui Burke added: “There are a lot of people who started with a small machine, got a slightly bigger one and are now at the point where they’re looking for this.”
Esko in cutting tables double debut
Esko showed its super-wide C Series and entry-level V Series Kongsberg cutting tables for the first time in Europe at Fespa Digital.

The 100m/min 3.2x3.2m Kongsberg C64 was launched last year, while the entry-level V Series had its initial launch in Asia in 2011 and is now being rolled out worldwide. The C Series, which also includes the 3.2x1.6m Kongsberg C60, features a composite carbon traverse beam instead of aluminium, enabling full production speed on much larger sheets without any loss of accuracy.

Meanwhile the circa V Series features two models, the 1,750x1,620mm max sheet size V20 and the 1,750x3,420mm max sheet size V24, and is an entry-level product for the packaging and sign and display markets. Deliveries will begin in Europe in June.
Esko will also showcase the i-cut Layout+ nesting and layout preparation module, which has been re-developed as a 64-bit application, as well as its ArtiosCAD, Studio, Automation Engine and Colour Engine software.
Agfa unveils next gen Anapurna
Agfa Graphics unveiled its next-generation Anapurna platform at Fespa Digital as well as a new primer option for its Jeti Titan S and HS 3.2m-wide flatbed printers. According to Agfa, the new Anapurna ‘i’ series is up to 75% faster than its predecessor as a result of all new hardware and software components, including carriage, printheads, drivers and screening software.

In addition to the speed upgrade, Agfa will show two new features on the Anapurna 3200i RTR. These include a dual-roll option, enabling simultaneous production on two rolls of the same media type up to 1.5m wide each.

Agfa also demonstrated a new primer option for the Jeti Titan S and HS printers, which is said to improve ink adhesion on low-cost exterior display materials, such as fluted polypropylene, to extend the durability of the prints.
Agfa’s Asanti workflow software – launched last year – also took “centre stage” on the Belgian firm’s stand.

Epson launches SureColor range
Epson (B2-310) unveiled a new family of four-colour SureColor large-format modular printers, which includes models with built-in scanners aimed at commercial printers and copyshops.

The range is made up of three models, the 44in SureColor SC-T7200, 36in SC-T5200 and 24in SC-T3200.

However, the larger T7200 and T5200 are available in standard configuration, or ‘D’ models with a dual-roll option or ‘MFP’ with an optional 36in-wide colour scanner. All the models feature Epson’s PrecisionCore printheads.
The dual-roll SureColor SC-T7200D and a SC-T5200D MFP dual-roll with scanner, which can scan an A1 original in just under 40 seconds, were both on the firm’s stand.
EFI’s UltraDrop wins first sale
EFI unveiled a new UltraDrop 7pl printhead technology for its Vutek GS presses 

The UltraDrop technology is based on the latest Seiko four-level grey-scale heads offering a native 7pl drop size. All GS machines installed after Fespa will feature the new heads.

EFI has also used the show as European springboard for its 42.3m2/hr H1625 LED hybrid printer. The entry-level LED machine features CMYK plus twin white channels with variable drop technology.

Another European debut has been handed to the 3.2m-wide roll-to-roll Vutek GS3250LXr Pro with Superflex UV ink.

HP racks up sales and first 15000
HP made the first sale of its new HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press at Fespa.

The press was launched earlier last month at Interpack 2014, and has been sold to UK POS printer Image Factory which aims to ramp up production of the corrugated and solid POS and display graphics it currently prints on an HP Scitex 10000.

Meanwhile, HP has also announced Berlin-based Sprintout was one of the beta sites for the Latex 360 printer, which was launched as part of the three-strong, low-volume Latex 300 series in April. HP sold two 360s to UK-based vehicle graphics printer RGVA at Fespa, along with a Latex 3000.

ther show sales include a Scitex FB10000 to UK-based Print & Display, an Indigo 7600 to Strasbourg-based DS Impression Grand Format, and a Scitex FB700 to Digital Printer Center in Qatar.