18 September 2017 Events

The Print Show: the industry's practical and approachable exhibition

The Print Show will have its third outing in a new venue: the Telford International Centre. It has already gained a loyal following and Gareth Ward takes his pick of the exhibitors.

The Print Show was forced from the NEC to a new home at the Telford International Centre and has made the most of the move, filling every available square metre of space for what is its third outing.

The exhibitors include most digital press suppliers, HP included, even if not all digital presses will be on display.

It has also attracted a good number of large format inkjet suppliers, OKI to Epson, Mimaki and Roland DG. And industry firsts are included, though this is not the main aim for the show. The intention has always been to present equipment and ideas that printers can take immediate advantage of.

Most equipment will have been tried and tested, though not necessarily with the applications on show.

And in contrast to the digital print and automation present, the organisers have retained their commitment to showing the craft side of the industry with a heritage area including letterpress in action.

Add in educational content through seminars and presentations in the Business Seminar theatre, the Printers Bazaar for take away ideas and the Printers’ Arms, an on the spot boozer, to make the show a worthwhile destination.

The Print Show
Telford International Centre
11-13 October

InkTec consumables
Paul Davidson has joined InkTec to head up sales of consumables and substrates for the inkjet company as senior development manager and will be heading the company’s presence at The Print Show.

Davidson whose CV includes spells with Morgana, Encad, Colourgen and as commercial director of Landor, says: “It’s a very interesting company. From a standing start it has done well with the Jetrix, which is a wonderful printer. But there is a lot more to it than this.”

The company has its European and UK head office in Witney where it has a showroom for the machines and also runs a growing network of distributors for inks and substrates. This is where Davidson will fit in. The worldwide head office is in South Korea, a country increasingly recognised for its engineering skills and for an attention to quality says Davidson.

“I got to know UK managing director Joey Kim. InkTec is a very deliberate company that don’t want to rush into things,” he adds. While the company is best known for its printers, InkTec began as an ink manufacturer, producing third party and own brand inks and developing the printer to showcase the UV ink product. There are also water based solvent inks and latex inks that run on Mimaki and HP printers.

“And they are also manufacturing some very high quality medias,” he adds. “These are not new untested products, but products that have been successful for the last eight to ten years. There is now a latex media for the same display products, self adhesive, banners and backlit graphics sector.

“This is a competitive part of the market with a lot of low cost lookalike products variable quality products. My focus and knowledge is about getting in more application led medias into the market, to extend what we have rather than as a replacement.”

These will be sold under the InkTec brand as the company strives to increase awareness. Many will be on the stand at The Print Show in October. It will also demonstrate a Jetrix printer to attract visitors and then engage in conversations about inks and substrates.

“We need to have products for the more challenging applications where our resellers can add real value, but explaining and doing something with the product rather than just wrapping it and sending it out.”

Likewise there is opportunity Davidson believes in providing good support to the inks that it sells as well as marketing the quality. It’s not necessarily a cheap product if you can’t support it.”

Bluprint made a debut appearance at The Print Show last year and makes a return this with the AMS LED UV technology.

This can be retrofitted to an existing litho press with the loss of only one day’s production and will bring a machine up to the latest specification in being able to print and finish even unfriendly papers on the same day. the technology enables a litho printer to compete with a digital printer in terms of service, while retaining an advantage in costs and particularly for jobs that are bumping up against the limit for digital to be effective.

AMS offers three styles of LED module according to the design of the press and applications envisaged. The XD series is the LED array for smaller machines, those with low pile delivery and where space is tight. This is the most affordable of the systems in the range.

The main product is the XP for extendable profile. This can deliver a cure from a distance of 150mm from the substrate, more than enough for any sheetfed presses. The unit is water cooled for despite there being no heat transferred to the substrate in LED UV curing, heat can build in the less than perfectly efficient diodes. Optimum efficiency is achieved at set temperatures and water cooling is needed to deliver this.

There are different power spectrums to match the application. AMS quotes a life time of 30,000 hours before diodes need replacing. As the diode is only on when needed, there is no idle time and no warm up time as with a conventional lamp, which extends the life time operation. Should a diode fail, it can be replaced without having to swap out the entire unit.

The advantages go on. LED enables jobs to be passed to finishing immediately they are printed, or turned for printing on the reverse side. This reduces the turnaround time for a job as there is no need for waiting time in the process, which in turn removes stacks of work in progress from the factory and allows work to be invoiced faster.

And the business case goes further. An LED UV array will cost around $1,000/cm says Bluprint managing director Robb Harman. This can be covered by refinancing an existing press and will result in a swift ROI.

“Compare this to the £1 million it might cost for a new press which does much the same as an existing press,” he says. “The printer can get a lot more work through, so can either take on more work or else go home early.”

The installation will take two days and includes changing rollers to rollers with a surface the suits the more aggressive UV inks and switching blankets. But once in place there is no need to clean the press down every night as the inks will not go off in the ducts over night.

The cost of inks remains a barrier, currently around three times the price of a conventional set. However, the absence of spray powder or the need to apply a seal, will mitigate the cost of the inks. And as the ink is held on the surface of the paper, less ink is needed and a brighter image results.

“It does require a completely different mindset for operators,” says Harman. Those taking a trip to Telford will find out more.

Color-Logic and Vivid
Vivid has led the way with added value applications that its laminators can produce. It was the first to show that a laminator could apply a digitally printed foil, expanding the range of foils that can be applied to digitally printed jobs subsequently.

Now it is coming to The Print Show with a deal with Color-Logic still fresh. This allows the company to use the Color-Logic system to specify and then print a whole range of colours on top of foil. And Vivid believes this has huge potential in greetings cards, packaging, covers, anything where eye catching impact is needed.

The alliance comes in two forms: a single seat includes the design suite and FX viewer for a single user; a second version includes use by five users simultaneously and access to Pattern-FX offering additional effects.

The sheet is printed and laminated. Next the area for foiling is printed using black toner, which is then softened in the laminator’s heated rollers before the foil is pressed into position. This foil can now be overprinted to give 250 metallic colours using the Color-Logic software.

This covers the range of metallic PMS colours says Vivid product manager Lewis Evans. “Our Aqua Aura range of luxury foils are available in over 20 colours. By using the Color-Logic tools, you can achieve 250 different metallic colours, all from a single roll of film and with just a click of a button.”

And already the concept has sparked inquiries for the Leicester business. “People have been talking about this and calling for more information,” says Vivid market manager David Smith. It was first shown at the Duplo Festival and will be on general show in the autumn. “We will be marketing this over the next 12 months,” he says. “We want to get it out there.”

Azonprinter Matrix
Atlantic Tech Services will be bringing the range of Azonprinter inkjet machines to Telford, covering flatbed large format, direct to object inkjet and textile printing. It will be the first opportunity to see these machines in the UK since Atlantic took on distribution of the highly regarded Croatian designed machines earlier this year.

The stand will also feature the Ricoh Latex wide format roll to roll machines which managing director Keith Pratt says are selling well. “The Print Show will be the first showing of the Azon range in the UK, the first time we will demonstrate the Matrix.”

This has a unique feature, being the only flatbed printer able to print on objects and materials 200mm high. “Other printers simple cannot do that,” says Pratt. “The Azon machines are more versatile because they are able to print to almost anything.”

The Matrix is a flatbed machine with a choice of three bed sizes up to a maximum 1,200x3,300mm and able to take materials to 100kg.

It will print on stone, glass, aluminium, wood leather and ceramics as well as the more standard materials used. This versatility has been used to good effect by artists and designers, exploiting a resolution which can reach 2880dpi.

The inks, including white to create the base for four-colour prints, are cured under UV-LEDs. A clear gloss ink is also offered. They are supplied in 500ml bags.

Atlantic hopes to have customers using the machines and able to endorse the comments regarding versatility and quality at the show. “Our customers like the level of support we give them. The ongoing support is significant, because as a small company we simply have to work harder.”

Alongside the Matrix, the plan is to have a Razor for printing on grid shapes, including cylindrical objects, and the TextPro for printing garments, bags and other fabric products on a flatbed. Light coloured T-shirts can be printed at 50 per hour, dark shirts at 15/hr.

The Razor is the machine for printing promotional gifts on a flatbed to 290x800mm and up to 200mm high with UV inks. An adapter will enable cylindrical or conical objects to be printed.

“This will our first time exhibiting at The Print Show, though have been impressed when visiting before,” Pratt says. “This was the ideal opportunity to launch the Azons in the UK.”

IML RI perfect binder
Perfect Bindery Systems will be responsible for the largest pieces of equipment in Telford, a new binder that is aimed at short run production, paving the way for book of one and equally adept at binding for self cover or case bound books.

PBS represents IML, a north Italian manufacturer of bookbinding and box making equipment and supplies. Its IML RI 600 is a multi-clamp binder for automating short run production of both finished books and book blocks for case binding.

It will be working with Planatol’s Planamelt adhesive, a non PUR glue that gives the versatility and strength advantages of PUR without some of the drawbacks.

It has end papering application inline using a hot melt glue. Milling and spine preparation follow ahead of a back lining, or without the end papering, with the application of a folder. The change from one style of production to the other is achieved through the press of a single button, says PBS managing director Steve Giddins.

A barcode is used to identify a book and a measuring device used to set the pressure on clamps and positions for glueing stations. The block is squeezed to the desired final position and measurement taken. It includes setting positions for the four creasers on the cover feeder.

The finished block can either be trimmed on an associated automatic three-knife trimmer ready for casing in, or can be trimmed to the finished size on the same machine. Three edge trimming is a two step action, top and bottom are trimmed ahead of the fore edge of the book. This also reads the barcode to set knife positions and can cope with book of one production.

The first of the new binders has been installed at a digital printer in Brussels. A number of prospects have been so keen to see this machine in action that they will be visiting this business before it makes its debut at The Print Show.

The company will also be showing a semi-automated box making set up comprising a board cutter to cut the grooves needed to build the body of the box, the corner cutters, the glueing and wrapping systems to produce a neat professional constructed box suited to short volumes.

This has proved very popular over the last year as it fits a gap between highly automated production suited to high overall volumes and manual production at a time when the popularity of presentation boxes is on the increase.

IML is also responsible for a case maker, currently a semi automated unit, but which will offer the option of a sheet feeder to automate production and create every one different cases.

Color-Logic and Ricoh
Smart Print is emphasising applications that are possible with digital printing, particularly the ability to deliver metallic effects through Color-Logic software.

Color-Logic is a tool which enables a match for a PMS colour using CMYK to overprint a metallic substrate or foil. It delivers instant impact for labels, packaging, covers and point of sale. At the Print Show the emphasis will be on matching Colour-Logic with the Ricoh Pro C7100, producing business cards and wine labels.

Paul Stead, sales head, explains that the focus is on the applications that can be delivered with digital print technology. He says: “If you have work that requires a PMS colour within the gamut of a digital press, why not have that PMS as a metallic colour?”

The company aims to help customers use Color-Logic, offering support to printers wanting to use it. The software is available under licence directly from the US developer, but this comes without the support that Smart Print can offer.

“You need to be able to print a white, which the Ricoh Pro C7100 does, or a silver which we can do on the Xerox 1000. And we will help and work with the printer get it running,” he says.

This falls within the approach that the Welwyn Garden City dealer has taken. It has gathered a collection of print samples on different substrates, presenting these in a protective camera case to show what applications are possible with the technology. “We have never had an instance yet where the customer says there is nothing in here for me. There will always be something that they pick out and is of interest,” he says.

There will be more applications at the show itself and at the Ricoh Customer Experience Centre which is only a few minutes from the exhibition. Stead is working out ways for those interested to take in a visit where the full range of Ricoh technology is on display.

Smart Print will also be showing a new gamut extending software that works with any printing technology to manage the areas where colours can become saturated to the point that definition is lost. “It extends the saturation point of any print technology so that printers can consistently reproduce more colours than they think is possible on their press,” says Stead.

Epson SureColor
Epson does not face the same logistical challenges other exhibitors taking part in The Print Show face. It has its European ink manufacturing plant in the Shropshire new town so knows the local facilities.

It has led the way in garment printing for commercial and display printers and is using the Print Show to promote this capability on both direct to garment and dye sublimation machines. The SureColor SC-F2000 is the direct to garment machine and the SureColor SC-F6200 is the dye sublimation printer.

The output from both machines will be demonstrated in designs from students at Birmingham City University and fashion designer Richard Quinn. Textile printing for clothing is predicted to be among the next large markets to be transformed by digital printing.

As with books, the buyers can reduce the risk of unsold stock on the one hand and can create patterns in volumes that previously would have been uneconomic to produce. As well as machines at the entry and low volume end of the market, Epson is involved in industrial scale textile printing.

The promotional possibilities of clothing for sports and leisure wear are among the low hanging fruit for visitors to the Print Show to consider. These can also be used to print textiles for home decor, matching up with canvas prints or with wallpaper printing which printers may already be involved with.

Alongside these machines, Epson plans to show printers for photo products, the SC-P range which are aimed at high quality photographic applications.

The SureLab D700 is a six-colour photo printer that is more compact and offers opportunity for high street printers working directly with a local trade and offering more than walk up self service print kiosks.

The traditional graphic arts printers is served by the SC-S80600 and SC-S60600 large format eco solvent printers. These are effective proofing machines and capable of poster printing for indoor and outdoor signage, canvas prints, backlit panels, vehicle wraps and wallpapers.

And specialist label printers can see the ColorWorks and SurePress machines, including information from the new machine being launched at Labelexpo this month.

Phil McMullin, Epson UK sales manager, is confident the move to Telford will not be a false one. he says: “Epson has a large presence at this show and we believe we will turn heads, win hearts and change minds. We have a battery of printers, an array of applications and an army of experts on hand to help commercial printers enhance their production and develop new profitable sources of income in emerging markets.”

Canon Océ Colorado
The Print Show provides the first UK opportunity to see Canon’s Colorado large format printer. This uses what Canon calls UV Gel technology, a new style of ink that offers high quality for outdoor graphics on a wide range of substrates.

The first machine in what will certainly be a series of presses is the Colorado 1640, a 1.6m wide roll to roll printer.

It was introduced in the spring, making its debut to acclaim at Fespa in Germany. The Print Show provides the first opportunity for UK exhibition visitors to see the machine.

It is positioned between the entry level solvent and eco solvent machines and the more expensive latex machines. It comes close to the latter in terms of productivity and in turnaround times because the UV cured inks can be handled immediately they are printed.

At the resolutions required for outdoor graphics the Colorado can reach 159m2/hr; for top resolution 1800x600dpi work, output is 40m2/hr.

The gel technology uses an ink which is gelatinous in its normal state. It is heated before firing through the print heads and immediately on contact with the substrate, it reverts to the more viscous state before curing under UV light.

The fluid behaviour of the ink allows the printer to work with a wide range of materials, extended with UV to open the way to the use of heat sensitive materials. Canon can also lay down a lot of ink to improve saturation for backlit graphics.

The printer uses a two way shuttle, the print heads moving on one direction while the UV unit moves in the opposite direction on a second rail.

This reduces vibrations in the shuttle operation and keeps the curing system a constant distance from printing.

This will not be the only focus at the show, but it will be the main attraction. “Exhibiting at this year’s Print Show is an exciting opportunity for visitors to explore a hub of creative ideas.

“It also gives us the chance to network with like-minded individuals in an industry that is vibrant and dynamic,” says Duncan Smith, director of industrial and production solutions at Canon UK.


IST (UK) is among the companies introducing new technology at the Print Show. It is planning to bring its Hot Swap approach to UV curing. This will allow users to invest in lamp based UV and at a later point move to LED UV without having to scrap the entire system.

The control cabinets, power and interface is the same. Just the lamp needs to be replaced. This is a bolt on system that takes seconds to switch on a label press where the UV unit is close to the substrate to be cured. On a sheetfed press, this is only a little more complex.

The future proof approach is necessary because LEDs remain expensive, limited in output and consequently the choice of inks and coatings is more constrained. It is widely acknowledged that this will change and as LEDs with a wider selection power outputs become available. This will expand the materials that ink manufacturers can use.

By 2021, IST forecasts that the share of revenue from LED will reach 58%. Currently LED accounts for 11% of the company’s revenues, vastly outweighed by traditional UV.

“Printers are expected to supply shorter and shorter runs to tighter and tighter deadlines and this is key to the growing popularity of UV, LED-UV and LE-UV systems,” says Chris Schofield, joint managing director of IST (UK), explaining the appeal.

“It is the ability to have dry sheets off the end of the press that is key to investment in this area but there are other advantages including the lift in aesthetic finish, lower energy consumption and the elimination of spray powder.”

The technology can be supplied by press manufacturers as a new machine, or there is the retrofit route that IST(UV) has proven works with the likes of Route 1. For a limited investment (compared to buying new), a press that is up to ten years old becomes commercial viable.

Morgana A3 perfect binding

Morgana is set to break new ground at The Print Show with its Digibind 300. The PUR binder is already the mainstay of the perfect binders that Morgana sells and now becomes arguably the first perfect binder in this section of the market to bind an A3 landscape book.

The A3 landscape format has become immensely popular for stitched brochures and similar products, but has not been readily available for perfect binding.

The binder is capable of 300 books an hour (less productive machines are also available, but lack the landscape capability). It is joined also by Bindomatic thermal binders for one off production and less demanding applications. The extra functionality depends on the clamp being able to hold the book on the short edge while preparing the spine and drawing on the cover without losing control.

Its capabilities will be put to good use, marketing manager Wendy Baker explains, by laminating with a soft touch film and foiling the cover of books produced on the new binder. However, ahead of the Print Show and then Ipex, Morgana is going to Print 17 in Chicago and taking samples with it. Not all are bound to return.

There will also be a new laminator, the Laminator Pro 450 on show. This includes a high pile feeder for the first time to enable it to run longer jobs without supervision. It has an integrated compressor and pneumatic controls to deliver high quality lamination across a full working size of 450x700mm. This makes its suitable to both digital and litho printing.

The entire Morgana line up with be on show, from its latest DigiFold Pro 385 folder/creaser to the Valiani cutting table which is attracting a lot of attention says marketing manager Wendy Baker. The BM350/500 booklet maker, sourced through parent company Plockmatic and the Aurocut multifinisher.

Morgana has been to the two previous events and the experience has confirmed that the company has gained from it. “We have enjoyed two very successful events with The Print Show," says Ray Hillhouse, vice-president offline business at Morgana. “It has put itself firmly on the exhibition map for the UK’s printing industry. All of that means that Morgana need to be there.”

Gareth Ward

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Print Show Entrance

Print Show Entrance

The Print Show 2016 brings to Telford all the elements that made its first two outings a success. Plus it adds educational content in the form of seminars and presentations.

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InkTec Jetrix

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Print Show Entrance

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Matrix is introducing a deep pile feeder for the Matrix laminators able to take 1,000 SRA3 sheets without intervention. These can be laminated or have foil applied. Sales manager Richard Marlow says: "The Omni-Flow is truly revolutionary product and can be set-up in seconds, at least 5 times quicker than traditional feeders."

The company will also be showing its printable white foil which will be used to help companies print on black or dark coloured substrates by creating a white layer for overprinting.

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Epson SureColor

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Foiled postcards

Foiled postcards

Smart Print will focus on foiled print applications that are possible with Colour Logic and the Ricoh Pro C7100 that it sells. There is a big opportunity in vale added print says Paul Stead. This will be joined by software that will extend the gamut of any four colour print device.

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