Universe of print on display as Fespa Global Expo 2015 opens

The biggest Fespa yet has opened in Cologne, German, with 770 exhibitors and more visitors registering than ever before.

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Fespa 2015 Global Expo incorporates four events under one roof: Fespa 2015 addressing screen, textile and digital wide-format printing; Fespa Fabric, focused on garment printing and decoration; European Sign Expo, which explores non-printed signage and visual communications; and Printeriors, which is a new interior decor showcase and conference.

The show has this year chosen a space exploration theme to represent its underlying message of innovation and finding the technology and techniques of the future.

Fespa president Lascelle Barrow, also joint managing director of UK printer Augustus Martin, said that it was more important than ever to keep up with the latest developments in an era of change.

“As a print business owner I know the value of exhibitions like this. You’ll meet all your exhibiting suppliers, you’ll also talk to some you’ve never considered before and you’ll see new products and fresh ideas. Most importantly you should leave here with actionable plans.

“We printers need to look beyond our immediate horizons. The industry is changing, we need to look at how the products and technology will sell in the future.”

Prior to the opening of the five-day trade show, chief executive Neil Felton told PrintWeek that Fespa 2015 was the biggest and most comprehensive wide-format show ever.

“It’s the largest in terms of size and largest in terms of number of visitors and the most comprehensive in terms of education with 107 sessions. There’s something for everyone and what we want people to do is look outside their own zone and see the galaxy of what’s out there,” he said.

“We’ve seen a massive growth since 2005 when we took management of the show in-house. We’re very passionate about the industry. We’re now in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and China and all of them are growing.”

The second Fespa Brazil in March saw a 10% growth in exhibitors on the previous show, including many from the UK, as well as 14,000 visitors. In addition to being South America’s biggest country, Brazil is the world’s third largest print manufacturer.

Fespa Brazil director Ismael Guarnelli said: “Brazil is a growing market for print: it grew 7% in 2014. Textiles is growing, there is more digital print and commercial print is stable. Another area that we are very close to is ceramic tiles, that’s growing a lot in Brazil, about 10% a year. We have some great opportunities for companies, including those from Britain to grow their business.”

Mimaki unveils high-value, low-cost dye-sub printer

Mimaki has launched a new mid-range, 1.8m-wide dye-sublimation printer at Fespa targeted at users looking for low-cost production of high-value applications.

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The TS300P-1800 is available in four- or six-colour configurations, offering a top speed in one-pass draft mode of 115m2/hr CMYK or 38m2/hr in four pass standard mode. Speeds in the equivalent six-colour modes are 65m2/hr (two-pass) and 20m2/hr (eight-pass).

The TS300P-1800 sits between the TS500 flagship sublimation printer and the TS34 in Mimaki’s portfolio.

“One of the big advantages over the TS34 is you can fire at a higher head gap with excellent precision and so avoid any problems with wet cockling, which can be a big issue in dye-sub when you’re printing on thin transfer papers,” said Mimaki Europe general marketing manager EMEA Mike Horsten.

It offers a maximum head gap of 7mm and features a powerful platen vacuum to keep cockling to a minimum.

It uses drop-on-demand piezo heads, understood to be from Panasonic, offering variable drop sizes from 5pl to 25pl and a maximum resolution of 1,440dpi.

According to Horsten, the TS300 is perfectly suited to multi-machine industrial users wanting to run multiple printers from one RIP as well as entry-level users already in vinyl production looking to take their first steps into “professional” textile.

It runs the new Sb410 inkset, which Horsten said “will be at a very attractive price point”, designed to go head-to-head with third-party inks, but at the highest quality. The ink is available in two-litre packs, for unattended operation, which can be also changed on the fly.

It also comes with a heater as standard and can handle rolls up to 40kg and 250mm in diameter.

The TS300 is available for immediate order, with shipping expected to begin in mid-July. Pricing is around €25,000 (£18,000).

As well as a wide-range of established print engines, other new kit on the firm’s Fespa stand will include the recently launched A2-format CFL-605RT low cost flatbed cutter.

“Everything on the stand will be our latest technology and we’ll be focusing on how our technology can help customers target new applications and new markets,” said Horsten.