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Throughout the year I attend many UK and international trade shows in the printing sector and beyond. As always, from an exhibitor's perspective, the question is how to measure their value. In today's increasingly complex marketing world, footfall alone is no longer a sufficient measure. The same can be said about magazine circulation numbers and page counts.
Vinyls are a cheap and effective way to transform a business, according to signage specialist, Admiral Signs London. They can be installed onto glass or any glossy painted surface for an instant face lift and are available in a variety of forms including metallic, frosted, reflective, colour change and even glow in the dark.
Large format printer and pre-press specialist, Datumpress, has been bought out in its 21st year, by its two longest serving employees. Scott Pearce and Mark Gamble, who joined the firm in 1988, have bought the business from its retiring founder, Alan Willis.
Print companies are urged to invest in the future of the sector by working with schools and colleges to deliver a new qualification.
Working closely with suppliers, Colourgen and Epson, value-added reseller, DCP Systems, has established a centre of excellence for fine art and photography printing. The facility will run from the company's Sheffield showroom, which already enables customers in the North to view the latest wide format printing technology.
Users of Mutoh wide format inkjet printing equipment can now specify biofriendly inks from EFI-Inkware's BioWare range. The agreement includes Mubio inks, which are a low viscosity version of the BioWare inks, recognised by the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for Environment program.
Thousands of customers have already used FotoInsight's printing service to transfer digital photos onto canvas. Now the on-line service is rolling out to Mediterranean countries, including France, Spain and Italy.
Media buyers believe the general public is poorly informed about the environmental impact of paper. That's the key finding of a survey commissioned by the National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM) targeted at professional purchasers of communications media.
Live Event Branding is a new company specialising in fabric branding for a variety of events and venues. Products include flags, banners, flagpoles, lamp post banners, pop up banners and tents, café barriers, crowd surf barriers, pitch banners and house builder/forecourt poles and signage.
Robert Horne Group is conducting a series of vehicle wrapping training days around the UK designed to provide practical detail on vinyl application. The one day course covers different techniques, with hints and tips on wrapping and practical hands-on experience using test panels and an actual car.
During visits to members to try and find common requirements for PBIF Membership, we have discovered the majority of those visited to date are happy with the current offering, including the combination of magazine and web site.
UK and Ireland supplier of DTG direct to product ink jet printing machines, Your Embroidery Services, has expanded its technical support service by appointing a dedicated print product technician. Vince Carr will offer enhanced customer support as well as training new technicians within the company's development program.
Two new flatbed UV printers from HP's commercial and industrial portfolio have been installed at the Perfect Colours showroom. To promote the equipment, Perfect Colours has created a website dedicated to the new additions, where users can download product information and register to attend a full demonstration.
Kodak's Graphic Communications Group (GCG) has strengthened its sales force in the UK with a series of appointments designed to boost the company's expertise in digital printing both electrophotographic and inkjet.
Measuring 3.2 by six metres, the new Zünd flat-bed cutter installed at ESP Technologies Group is claimed to be the biggest in the UK. The company, which specialises in branding applications as well as wide and superwide display print selected the machine to automate many of its finishing processes, including cutting and routing.
The sheer variety of technologies under the wide format umbrella (print & cut, print only, aqueous, solvent and UV, plus print & cut UV following the launch of Roland's VersaUV LEC-300) means there is virtually no limit to the variety of products wide format printers can offer both core and new, adjacent markets. However, crucial to success in the dynamic world of wide format is workflow: conducting the orchestra of the shop floor.
All too often screen printing is considered the poor performer of print technologies. This is often the case in graphics applications, particularly point of sale (POS), however, operating a culture of excellence could change the perception of this process. The aim has to be to delight the client with a product offering that exceeds their expectations.
One of the most talked about companies in the digital flatbed market is Inca Digital, a company that has led the way with machines such as the Eagle, Columbia and Spyder. The introduction of their latest machine last year, the Inca Onset, proves that once again Inca know what they are doing when it comes to new technology.
3M Scotchcal IJ8624 and 8624ES graphic film for textured surfaces is a conformable cast film designed to give clean photographic quality images on moderately textured flat or curved surfaces. Bricks, breeze-block, tiles and poured cement can now have full-coloured graphics applied. The film is said to offer excellent adhesion when applied using the appropriate 3M tool.
Drytac Europe's new range of magnetic substrates, magnet-receptive primers and printable magnet-compatible materials is said to be the latest trend for displaying graphics in retail outlets, exhibitions and other short-term applications. They can be combined to create innovative changeable graphic environments or simply used as individual components in a range of display applications.
Kaye-Dee has entered the digital printing world with its Kimoto Freejet 320 which offers an extended CMYKRB colour space and resolution up to 5,760dpi. The system uses a solvent based pre-coating spray and mild solvent ink. This combination is formulated to create a scratch and abrasive resistant layer allowing a wide field of applications including plastic, metal, wood, foam, acrylic, marble and stone.
The evolution of the show, which incorporates and builds on Digital Print World (DPW), is in step with the rapid integration of complementary production techniques and processes to maximise added-value services. Most printers are equipped with the machinery to tackle any job, so quantity is no longer an issue. Instead, the emphasis is on the printed product: its price, quality and turnaround speed.
Two new additions to the imagePRESS family will be presented by Canon: the imagePRESS C6000VP, which extends Canon's high volume digital production colour range and the imagePRESS C1+ device, claimed to be the first colour device with clear toner for the light production market.
Marking, coding and signage specialist, Identify, will exhibit various systems for marking rigid and semi rigid materials. This will include a range of A3 and A4 printers which will be printing directly to various substrates, none of which require pre-treatment. The finished print is designed to offer solvent resistance, making it ideal for short run full colour imaging on presentation items such as signs, badges and folders.
Thermal lamination specialist, D&K, will showcase a range of solutions targeting print and graphics presentation needs.
Specialist finishing manufacturer, Caslon, will highlight its full range of foiling, thermography and card cutting print finishing solutions for the short to medium run market.
Alongside a range of wide format inkjet and toner-based digital presses, Fujifilm will reveal how version 2.0 of its XMF workflow can improve short run printing, irrespective of the printing process.
Encore Machinery will launch a range of high speed PitStop creasers. Ideal for high volume digital and offset users, the new double-headed PitStop operates at 11,000sph with the ability to crease and perforate in one pass. The PitStop FM Speed can be fitted with a punching tool for Wiro binding or two and four hole drilling. These machines handle sheet sizes up to 50 by 70cm and stocks up to 600gsm with a perforating and micro-perforating tool.
The Robert Horne Group claims to offer a complete range of wide format digital solutions for the graphic display sector including print hardware, software and consumables, supported by an in-house team of advisers and technicians who can offer objective advice, backed by demonstration facilities throughout the UK.
Xerox reseller, Xeretec will be promoting Xerox's New Business of Printing philosophy, working with visitors to make more profit out of digital print. The focus will be on having the right business model, the right workflow and the right print technology. From small office desktop printers to large scale, large volume digital colour presses and wide format printers, Xeretec can supply all Xerox equipment.
Roland DG will share a stand with its principal distributor to the commercial print market, The Paper Company (PaperCo). The stand will feature an array of wide format printing technologies including inkjet printers and printer/cutters from Roland. Together the companies aim to help printers open up new revenue streams, with experts on hand from both companies to discuss the ROI figures that commercial printers can expect to see from their wide format investment.
The environment is important, its just taken a step back given current economic conditions. The importance of green at any cost is perhaps changing to a stronger and more pragmatic call to be green while being efficient, effective and securing a sustainable business.