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Digital Textile Congress 2014

Venue: University of Ghent, Belgium
Date: 4th-5th September 2014

This conference intends to bring forward the best research, latest developments on digital technologies, including hardware, software, digital inks, printed materials and their related applications.

IndusPRINT 2014 - South Asia

Venue: Bangalore
Date: 11th October 2014

IndusPrint 2014 is the first conference in India, which is specifically focused towards industrial inkjet and printing technology.

Inkjet India 2015 - Digital Textile Printing Conference

Venue: New Delhi
Date: 26th February 2015

Inkjet Forum India is all set to organise its 5th edition of this flagship conference on Digital Textile Printing in Delhi.

Inkjet India Technical Workshop Series 2015

Venue: tba
Date: tba

This technical workshop series will provide an indepth understanding of inkjet printing technology and will provide the delegates a comprehensive educational experience.

Inkjet Forum Asia 2015 - Digital Textile Printing Conference

Venue: Asia
Date: tba

We will go International with our very first ‘Inkjet Forum Asia’ conference on Digital Textile Printing in South East Asia. The details for the same will be announced shortly.

Inkjet India 2016 - Digital Textile Printing Conference

Venue: tba
Date: February 2016

Feature: Inkjet Design Trends
In its 6th year, Inkjet Forum India will organize its its flagship ‘Inkjet India’ series conference enlighten the stakeholders of this area about the flourishing trends of Digital Textile Printing.

IndusPRINT 2016 - Industrial Print Conference

Venue: tba
Date: October 2016

After the 1st event in Bangalore,IndusPRINT 2016 will provide the best networking opportunities for the stakeholders involved in this field of industrial inkjet and printing technology.

4th International Inkjet Conference 26th February 2014 | Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel | Delhi
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Source: http://www.printweek.in/

Fespa has reported increased number of visitors and exhibitors at the recently concluded Fespa Digital 2014 in Munich, Germany. In its listing of the most successful shows, the year 2014 tops the chart with 16,851 unique visitors; a 30% increase over Fespa Digital 2012 and Fespa Digital 2011, and 536 exhibitors; a 48% increase over Fespa 2011.

An interesting infographic for India is the number of Indian print firms winning at the Fespa Digital Awards. This year four India print firms won titles at the awards; Marvel Graphic Studio won the gold and the silver for the fine art print of the year category, Keetronics (I) won the bronze in the functional print of the year category, Pramukh Embroidery claimed the bronze in the garment decoration of the year category, and Perfect Packaging won the bronze for special effects print of the year category.

The award-winning works will reach a global audience during the Fespa global tour scheduled for Mexico (21-23 August 2014), China (19-21 November 2014), Eurasia (4-7 December 2014) and Brazil (18-21 March 2015).

A regular name at the Fespa digital awards is Marvel Graphic Studio, which won one gold, one silver and three bronze last year at Fespa. In 2013, 13 print firms from India had won titles at this global platform, namely, Tarun Printing Works, Spectrum Scan, Shakti Keypads, Varsha Transprint, Gautam Paper Udhyog, Santi Arts, Unique Labels, Protolab Electro Technologies, Image Care, Prayag Advertisers, and Ahash Printers.

Fespa statistics show positive signs for the digital industry, with 12. 07% visitors expressing interest in digital print equipment with a collective audience budget of €2.2 billion.

Event News Posted 2014-08-01T05:40:33-07:00

Having acquired the distributorship of California-based Anajet recently, the manufacturers of direct-to-garment machines, Mumbai-based Sunstar Graphics will make its maiden showcase of Anajet’s solutions at Screen Print India, which is slated for 18 to 21 September in Goa.

The company will exercise live demonstrations of Anajet mP5i and mP10i digital apparel printers targeting garment manufacturers. According to Ajit Lalwani, director at Sunstar, the potential markets are Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Tirupur and Bengaluru.

“This year we aim to sell about eight Anajet machines post exhibition. These are high production machines with automated features for hat printing, foil application, canvas printing and can print on additional extended media like wood, glass, plastic printing using our inkjet coating,” added Lalwani.

Equipped with Ricoh print heads and closed-loop ink delivery system, the high-end model Anajet mPower mP10i can print a typical 12X10-inch light shirt graphic in about 40 seconds, including 20 seconds of over head time.

Besides Sunstar, New Delhi-based Printing And Accessory Solutions (PAS) also represents Anajet in India.

Digital Textile Printing Posted 2014-08-01T05:34:24-07:00

The possibilities of 3D printing will benefit soldiers and transfrom many facets of the Army. The U.S. Army reseachers are currently exploring the frontiers of this exciting technology. The Army has deployed mobile laboratories packing with 3D printers and manufacturing tools for soldiers to operate in remote outposts in Afghanistan. The Army researchers are also investigating ways to use 3D printing to produce food for soldiers, and investing in regenerative medicine and 3-D bioprinting aiming to print skin cells to help injured soldiers recover from the wounds of war. On the other side, they also plans to use 3D printing to print more effective weapons.

According to the latest issue of Army Technology, one day, soldiers will wear field clothing and armor systems made with help of 3D printing. Researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center which develops field and ombat clothing, chem-bio protection, body-armor systems, gloves, hats, helmet covers, is now experimenting making garments using new textiles and 3D printing.

They wok with 2-D design program, but are excited about the possibilities that 3D printing could offer.

"It could improve flexibility," said Annette LaFleur, Design, Pattern and Prototype team leader. "You could incorporate hard and soft materials together into one design. So, maybe you have some sort of clothing or protective item that has rigid areas that move into soft areas, where your body needs to flex. That could be really exciting because that is hard to accomplish with a regular textile."

3D printing would reduce the number of seams necessary to make a garment, making it more comfortable to wear. "Seams can cause a hot spot with rubbing," LaFleur said. "Seams can cause discomfort in high heat and humidity, especially when you layer with body armor. Reducing seams on chem-bio gear would be huge."

The technology could also be used to make custom clothing or equipment for each soldier. Advances in 3D printing would allow for incorporating ballistics materials into clothing and make it less expensive.

"We could create something that is a totally perfect fit and reduce weight, maybe reduce bulk. A lot of the neat textiles that are being 3-D printed, even out of these synthetics, have a 3-D structure to them," LaFleur said. "That makes you think about spacer-type materials where you have air flow, which is so important if our Soldiers are going to be somewhere hot again, whether it is jungle or desert."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

3D Printing Posted 2014-08-01T05:02:45-07:00

Start-up printer Evolution Labels is the first to install Rapid’s new Aussie-made XL220 digital label press, making it the fledgling company’s first machine.

Evolution owner Scott Fredman sold his Brookvale-based blank thermal labels business to a larger competitor last August and says he is now excited to make his first foray into the digital labels market with a new business.

The on-demand, short run, trade-friendly Sydney enterprise acquired the first XL220 inline digital label printer, diecutter and rewinder in March, and has spent the past few months training up on the machine and developing his new business concept.

“I think Evolution is going to be fantastic support to the trade, because we will be fast, cheap and high quality,” Fredman says.

“We are now ready to roll and the XL220 is central to our vision for on-demand short run, full colour labels printed on time, with minimum fuss and delivered to trade label printers anywhere.”

Fredman is undeterred by starting over and developing the new business, which is also based in Brookvale.

Similar to the beginning of his blank label business 20 years ago, he says this time around again it has been about seeing an overpriced niche in the market and offering that service at the ‘right price.’

“Twenty years ago I was doing hot foil stamping with a Rapid machine, when customers began asking if I could do blank labels,” he says.

“I started making those on the Rapid, and had a few angry calls saying I was going to ruin the market with the prices I was charging.

“Rapid then built a small rotary diecutter, I think I bought their second machine, to grow that business. Over the years the whole market came down to a proper price and it got difficult for me as a small operator in Brookvale to compete with the big boys.

“I thought, I’ll take my money and run, start something new. Before, the blank label business sort of found me, and took me along for the ride.

“This time around, I am seeing a need in the market for short-run digital labels, at the right price. I now have the machine to deliver that – let’s see if I am right or wrong.”

Fredman says the XL220’s short run prowess with various finishing and converting options will suit Evolution’s vision to serve the trade.

The XL220 produces full colour labels on a variety of inkjet-receptive stocks, in colour and with resolution up to 1600 x 1600dpi using the Australian-developed Memjet printheads and inks. The web width is 220mm, travelling at up to 18m per minute.

Fredman says he is keen to talk to printers and brand owners and start building relationships as Evolution enters the marketplace.

By targeting small niches like florists, who traditionally use black stickers with gold foil when wrapping up a bunch of flowers, and offering them short runs of full-colour custom labels at a good price, he says he is already winning over a customer base.

“It is nice to be optimistic about a business venture, and I am pleasantly surprised with the response I have been getting so far,” he says.

“If you are going to launch a product in a small run and do not want to go to the expense of getting 50,000 or 100,000 labels made, this is perfect.

“If a customer orders a couple of thousand labels, puts them out into the market – comes back and says now we’d like 100,000, I will then recommend a particular label manufacturer for that job.”

With a digital artwork file he says he can print samples in as little as five minutes on the XL220, and back this up with fast turnaround once the order is confirmed.

“Setting up the machine takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and ordering the knife – if I don’t already have it – a couple of days. So we can have the job ready in the shortest time possible,” he says.

Rapid general manager Nick Mansell says Fredman is a long-time customer and he is looking forward to seeing evolution grow.

“We have known and done business with Scott for more than 20 years and he has provided trade label printers with fast, high quality, simple and low cost solutions with his previous business, now sold,” he says.

“With the XL220 he has created Evolution Labels which, as the name implies, takes short run label printing to the next level as a trade service.”

First: Nick Mansell and Scott Fredman with the XL220.

Courtesy: www.proprint.com.au

Labels and Packaging Posted 2014-08-01T04:01:04-07:00

It’s a regular staple of the tabloid press, a shock-horror headline stating that consumers are paying more for their desktop printer ink than they’d pay for vintage champagne.

While not, perhaps, in the £3,000-per-litre range cited by the tabloids, recent comments by Landa Digital Printing founder and chairman Benny Landa about anticipated ink revenues when his Nanography presses start shipping caused a similar hubbub in the industry. In an interview with Israeli finance paper Globes he said ink revenues on Landa presses would reach $25m (£14.7m) per machine over five years.

Landa vice-president of marketing Ila Bialystok subsequently clarified the remarks, but the price still looks peppy. A basic analysis results in Landa appearing to be twice the $0.005/A4 consumable cost per page cited by Kodak for its latest Prosper 6000 press. 

“I would not expect the Landa machines to have a cost edge on other types of inkjet (in the foreseeable future), it will come down to the features of the press,” says Infotrends director Ralf Schlözer.

The challenge facing printers when it comes to high-speed or high-speed sheetfed inkjet presses is this: a basic analysis simply won’t do. It is an incredibly complex area when comparing rival systems.

And there’s a bigger picture beyond the sort of ink price that’s enough to turn someone to drink. 

Ian Browning-Smith, chief operating officer at book group CPI UK, says the company’s capex investments are increasingly about the whole supply chain. “It’s not just about the ink costs in isolation. We are looking at the buying behaviour of customers and the whole supply chain. When you look at it like that the model completely changes. 

“For the print aspect, we could be trading off makeready time, waste, labour and printing plates involved in litho printing against high ink costs on an inkjet system that doesn’t have those set-up charges. Each product has a different break point.”

Unlike an all-inclusive digital print click charge, there are complexities with inkjet that need to be looked into closely, says Browning-Smith. “The other really important factor is coverage on the page. If it’s high coverage than that can kill the economics of doing it inkjet.”

As Browning-Smith points out, while some jobs, such as textbooks, are relatively predictable, illustrated colour books are an entirely different kettle of fish. 

“If you don’t have visibility of the final files, and you’ve estimated for 10% and then it comes in at 20%, then you could effectively end up doing the job for nothing,” he warns. “No one has created a safe model for working this out – it’s a real technical challenge.”

And of course, nine times out of 10 print companies will be tied into the press manufacturer for ink, so it’s vital to get those sums right. Not every printer will have the buying clout of a large group like CPI, which has multiple HP T-series inkjet webs across its European platform, along with cut-sheet digital devices, sheetfed litho, and specialist Timson book presses.  

In all cases it’s important to make the most of the tools available. Canon, which claims market leadership in high-speed inkjet kit in EMEA, has sophisticated tools for calculating ink consumption. 

“We have a tool for ink estimation. We can do a pre-calculation on the job before it’s printed, and counting is also available on the press, so you can get a post-job calculation. Our experience of units in the field is that this is very exact down to picolitre consumption,” explains Reinhold Frech, director of European sales and marketing at its commercial printing group. 

“Our ink price is only for the ink. Other components are covered by the user [click] charge. We think it is very fair pricing.” 

What about third-party inks? These are pretty commonplace in wide-format inkjet, but not for high-speed production systems. Could that change? Chris Rogers, vice-president at ink manufacturer Collins Inkjet, thinks it will. “We are getting calls every day from people saying ‘can you supply ink for this thing, it’s way overpriced’,” he states. 

“High-priced ink limits how much the people you’re selling it to are able to use it. We’ve been trying to tell manufacturers that’s not the smart thing to do for a long time.

“By pricing at a lower margin eventually you’re going to make more money by growing the use of the technology through ink pricing.”

Rogers says that the expanding use of inkjet printing in a host of different industrial applications is also resulting in a new type of equipment purchaser, with more clout than the average printing company. 

“Some of the people buying inkjet now are so big, they seek out the ink manufacturers before they even look at printheads or printers. Some customers have it written into their contracts that they can source ink elsewhere, if needed. It is possible to buy a machine and not get tied in.”

However, it’s also true that in the world of complex multi-colour print there are advantages to the end-user of having a system where the equipment, heads, fluids and inks have all been tailored to work together optimally by the kit supplier. 

“Our complete set is fully integrated, tested and certified,” says Canon’s Frech. “I would say there is more risk to the customer than benefits, with third-party options.”

Ultimately the TCO and ROI has to stand up to scrutiny, now and on future products. Woe betide any manufacturer whose ink pricing results in a magenta mist before the customer’s eyes. As CPI’s Browning-Smith notes: “We are talking to several manufacturers about breakthrough inkjet technologies and we are very clear with them about different pricing models that will work. And what won’t.” 

Courtesy: http://www.printweek.com/

Business and Technology Posted 2014-07-30T06:26:27-07:00

Since it was founded in 1977, new technologies and searching for the optimum way to deliver print have been at the heart of QRT Graphique’s development strategy. The company, which is located on a 10,000 m2 site in the suburbs of Alès, has become one of the major players in the adhesive labels market by increasing investment and developing an unsurpassed know-how that is recognised throughout France.

Every year, QRT Graphique prints tens of millions of labels for its clients – covering the agri-food, Chemical and cosmetics industries – on a dozen production lines that include flexo, typo, offset and screen. However, the print managers had closely been monitoring digital printing as a potential growth driver mainly for short runs.

“For several years, we had been following the evolution of digital presses – in particular those from Domino – waiting for the one that would be a perfect match for our production requirements in terms of productivity,” recalls Christophe Quirantès. “At the start of 2013, we went to see the N610i in Domino’s demonstration centre in Cambridge, England. We ran printing tests on various materials. The results were conclusive, both in terms of the quality printing and the speed of execution.”

QRT Graphique also reviewed other devices, but Christophe is confident they made the right choice: “We knew we could deliver larger runs with the innovative technology developed by Domino compared to the standard digital presses offered by other manufacturers.”

A few months later, the N610i digital press with four colours + white became the first to be installed in France. Says Christophe: “The choice to include white was motivated by the need to print on transparent synthetic gold and silver substrates, whereby white is essential to give correct colour matching. This allows us to get good opacity and it brings out the colours giving the label a vibrant appearance.”

Where short runs of 50 to 10,000 labels were previously associated with digital production, this has now extended to runs of thousands of copies. “With the piezo ink jet technology, we are now looking to replace our rotary typos because the N610i is just as efficient on medium run lengths. We have already printed a run of 400,000 labels in production,” he continues.

Christophe believes that Domino’s piezo ink jet technology is the future for his sector. Furthermore, the QRT printshop can rely on the service and expert advice from Domino to ensure its digital press is always running smoothly and providing valuable input into the development of new products for its customers.

A dramatic reduction in lead times
With digital, the pre-press process is eliminated, which translates into substantially reduced production lead times. And that’s without taking into account the ease and speed of switching from one job to another; all you have to do is send the files to the press to start printing.

Christophe says: “With Domino’s N610i, the labels are already printed by the time we would have finished plating up on the typography press.” The result is that, combined with the productivity of the N610i, which runs at 50 m/min in high definition, digital printing is proving unbeatable when it comes to execution speed. And, that doesn’t include the savings made on waste that is produced during plating up in flexo.

“Since we’re running at a constant speed, it’s easier to organise our production planning and plan ahead,” emphasised Christophe, whose print shop produces around 20 million m2 adhesive labels a year.

A wider market reach
Its first investment in digital allows QRT Graphique to position itself in new markets. For example, with medium size runs of multi-reference labels, the company can now produce the same label, but with different visuals, barcodes or Datamatrix codes. This could not previously have been achieved with flexo printing.

Christophe Quirantès unveils another strength of Domino’s N610i digital ink jet press: “We are attracting new customers, as UV inks produce a screen-printed likeness. It gives the impression of being thicker to the touch, and provides increased abrasion resistance compared to traditional printing. There are a number of sectors where these qualities are extremely important, for example with the transportation of products in boxes and ensuring that the labels are not damaged on arrival.”

The proof is in the product
QRT Graphique’s introduction of digital has even led to modification of the company’s sales policy. Now, when sales personnel visit a prospective customer, they do not spend a lot of time talking about the quality of the new press, and rather ask for a test file and return a printed copy of the label within 48 hours. “This technology is enabling us to get our message across to prospective customers, as they can have their own product in their hands extremely quickly,” adds Christophe Quirantès. “We are bringing something new to the market and differentiating ourselves, which is essential with nearly 300 labels manufacturers in France.”

After an initial expansion drive in 2011, which included acquisition of a print shop and establishment of a sales office in Paris, QRT Graphique is preparing for the next stage. The N610i’s productivity and print quality allows the company to conquer new markets across France during this expansion period, and stand its ground against the competition.

Courtesy: www.whattheythink.com

Labels and Packaging Posted 2014-07-30T06:02:29-07:00

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