22 April 2019 Events

Fespa spreads appeal as inkjet broadens horizons

There will be textiles a-plenty, 3D printers, direct to garment and corrugated alongside the traditional core of display graphics at this year's Fespa in Munich.

Fespa is responding to the changing demands of its members and others with a stake in the large format display sector by catering for greater professionalism across display and textile print, by introducing new areas where its exhibitors are active and where printers could be.

The Colour Lab is a focus on colour management systems and technology following feedback that this is of increasing importance. End users want consistency across all aspects of a campaign from poster to package and regardless of where anything is printed.

Display printers have previously concentrated on one-off or limited production runs without profiling substrate or press and instead using unsophisticated means to measure and adjust colour that can be wasteful.

The Trend Theatre at the event, which kicks off on 14 May in Munich, offers sessions on a diverse range of topics, from 3D printing, to corrugated packaging, to printed electronics and naturally to textiles, decor and direct to garment.

These will be prominent in the technologies that exhibitors are bringing to the event, and will be supported by dedicated seas of the show. Thus Printeriors will look at both external and internal displays and PrintMakeWear will be a sample factory for producing fast turnaround fashion. This is the second year that this area has been at Fespa and is now twice the size of its debut appearance.

Textile printing, whether for direct to garment appeal, design fashion, interior fabrics or dye sublimation for soft signage, will be everywhere, reflecting the rocketing interest in these materials and opportunities.

Most interest will be diverted towards the new HP machine, its first dye sublimation printer to date. It seems there will be three models in the Stitch S series, from lightweight to industrial strength machines. The developer claims that the technology addresses the issues of consistency and predictability that can afflict existing dye sublimation printers.

This is thanks to an inbuilt spectrophotometer the use of industry standard dyes in thermal print heads, and a matched set of dye sub papers.The entry level Stitch S300 is designed for those new to textile printing with the S1000 as the current flagship model.

HP is not the only company with new rollfed printers, nor with dye sublimation print. SwissQPrint, known for the engineering elegance of its flatbed machines, will introduce Karibu, its first rollfed machine. It is saying nothing about the capabilities and specifications of the device, suffice to say it will not be an entry level unit.

The focus at Fujifilm will be on the Acuity Ultra, a supersede printer available in 5 meter and 3.2 metre wide versions. It was seen for the first time a year ago, notching several installations across Europe since. Now there is a new low film weight ink, the Uvijet GS to go with the printer and its 3.5pl droplet size from the latest Samba heads. It can run with three separate rolls giving a throughput to 236m2/hr.

The company will also have the latest flatbed Acuity, sold by Canon as the Arizona 1300 LED as an mid performance flatbed machine that comes with choices in the number of colours and in bed size. Canon will be demonstrating this printing a textured effect through its Touchstone software.

Durst is promising additions to its P5 LED UV flatbed range that was launched early last year. It is not specific about the updates, though at the SGIA show in the US in October, Durst showed the P5 250 HS, the current flagship of the range, along with the Rho 512R with a new LED sensitive ink. The company is also inviting Fespa visitors to its new headquarters in Brixen, around three hours' drive away.

Mimaki’s TS55-1800 will be the main machine for textile printing on the company’s largest stand yet at Fespa. This is needed to demonstrate a full range from entry level print and cut eco solvent printers, though the textile machines and the smaller format UV flatbeds for printing promotional products. It also plans to show the 3DUJ-553, a polymer based 3D printer able to print 10 million different colours using CMYK, white and clear inks. It takes 3D printing into full mock up and prototyping for packaging and other applications.

By Gareth Ward

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Fespa returns to Munich for the show next month. A number of majors launches is planned, including that of HP's first dye sublimation printer.

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