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FLAAR at Sign Istanbul 2016

Posted September 6, 2016

FLAAR has attended Sign Istanbul every single year for every year this decade.

We go for many reasons: first, because this is the premier signage and wide-format inkjet printer event in the junction of Europe and Asia. Second: we know most of the major distributors in Turkey and have many friends in the inkjet printer, ink, media, cutter, and laminator industries in Turkey.

There is a waiting list of FLAAR Reports review editors who all want to visit Turkey and help Dr Nicholas at Sign Istanbul. So each year we bring two of us: Dr Nicholas and an assistant Review Editor (since there are so many printers, inks, media, cutters, etc to study).

Sign Istanbul

FESPA Africa, Africa Print, Sign Africa and Africa LED

Posted Aug 26, 2016

FESPA Africa 2016 FLAAR-reports 2

September 7, 8, and 9, Johannesburg,

Dr Nicholas will be lecturing and/or on the panel for co-located events two days, and will be at the co-located trade shows all three days.

We look forward to seeing you in Johannesburg.


What can you learn by attending Tecnargilla 2016 (ceramic tile expo)?

Posted Aug. 26, 2016

opt Banner Tecnargilla 4cb7f3debc

UV printer brand PR releases claim their printers can print on ceramic tiles. WOW, so you print on ceramic tiles and find later that all the ink falls off.

Printing on ceramic tiles is dubious with UV-ink unless you have the chemicals for coating and the knowledge and equipment to heat-set after printing. Since ceramic tiles are a major product for decorating architecture, it is a good investment to attend Tecnargilla ceramic tile expo every two years.

You can hire Dr Nicholas to walk-the-floor together with you, or, if you can’t get to Italy that week, you can order the FLAAR Reports which use 2014 to prepare for 2016, plus the FLAAR Reports on the 2016 expo when it is finished.

Consulting with Dr Nicholas is also available at Glasstec, one week before Tecnargilla.


Be skeptical of printing on glass and ceramic tiles with a signage printer

Posted August 8, 2016

To-learn-how-to-print-on-glass-consider-attending-Glasstec 2

Over and over again manufacturers of UV-cured printers claim that their printers can print on GLASS and CERAMIC TILES.

Yes, you can even print on water (as the Russian printer booth team does every year). But… will the ink adhere to the glass or ceramic tiles?

If UV-cured printers can so easily handle glass and ceramic tiles, why are there entire international glass printer trade shows and ceramic printer trade shows where between 80% and 90% of the featured printers are not using UV-cured ink?

Glasstec, 20-23 September, Duesseldorf, Germany. Dr Nicholas will be here first 3 days.

You can meet Dr Hellmuth in-person at Glasstec and learn about printing on glass, both decorative glass and architectural glass. His family background is in architecture as is no surprise if you know HOK Architects (Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum), so decorating glass and ceramic tiles are an interest of his.



Consulting should be reserved and covered in advance ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Once you are signed up we will send you the FLAAR Reports in preparation.

If you wish to start with just the FLAAR Reports, you can purchase them, and then if later you also wish consulting, the purchase price of the reports can be a credit towards the consulting fee.

Tecnargilla, 26-30 September, Rimini, Italy. Dr Nicholas will be here first 3 days.

You can meet Dr Nicholas in-person at Tecnargilla. He attends this ceramic printer expo consistently, so has six years experience here.

If you wish to start with just the FLAAR Reports, you can purchase them, and then if later you also wish consulting, the purchase price of the reports can be a credit towards the consulting fee.

List of Inkjet Printers at Tecnargilla 2014

Tips on Tecnargilla Expo Venue

Tecnargilla-Inkjet-Printers-2014-as-preparation-for-2016-FLAAR-Reports Tecnargilla-Expo-Venue-2014-as-preparation-for-2016-FLAAR-Reports

FLAAR at FESPA Mexico 2016

Posted June 10, 2016

FLAAR-Reports-FESPA-Mexico-2016 2

Check our feed on Twitter, Facebook and all our printers sites about us in FESPA Mexico 2016. #FLAARatFESPAMexico

Two members from FLAAR staff will attend FESPA Mexico 2016 on late August. There will be FLAAR Reports based on what we find at the exhibition.

If you are interested in consulting write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or if you wish to order any of the upcoming FLAAR Reports.


ISA 2016, sign and inkjet printer expo

Updated May 11, 2016.
Posted April 7, 2016

Four from FLAAR Reports attended ISA 2016 in Orlando. Lots of people visited our booth there.

Write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you wish to order any of these special FLAAR Reports.

Printhead by Printhead brand

LED vs
Mercury Arc

Size, shape, structure

UV Cured PrinterTRENDs 2016

ISA 2016-UV-printhead-tabulation-Appendix-A FLAAR Reports ISA 2016-UV-Mercury-Arc-LED-Appendix-B-FLAAR Reports 2 ISA 2016-UV-structure-tabulation-Appendix C-FLAAR Reports 2 ISA 2016-UV-printers-Appendix-D FLAAR Reports 2

Which Printheads are in which brand of UV-cured printer.

Which brands, which models, of UV-cured printers have LED or Mercury curing systems. How many kinds of UV-cured printers were at ISA By brand, and by Model.  

There will also be comparable FLAAR Reports on printheads of textile printers, textile printer TRENDs, etc. We have comparable reports for textile and UV-cured printers at APPPEXPO 2016 in Shanghai and FESPA 2016 in Amsterdam.

FLAAR Printer Team 2016

Here is the FLAAR team who work on printer and signage trends around the world.

ISA 2017 will be at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The trade show is April 20, 21, and 22; April 19th has educational and networking events.


APPPEXPO 2016 opens in Shanghai

Posted Feb. 24, 2016

Five of us from FLAAR will attend APPPEXPO in Shanghai. We would not send this many people if this expo were not worth it.

For 2016, we are not attending any more expos in Guangzhou. Everything there has changed, and you can see so much more at the Shanghai expos. We enjoyed Guangzhou expos for four or five years, but everything changed last year and for 2016 it is now a local southern China expo.

APPPEXPO 2016 LED 3D traditional signage FLAAR Reports
APPPEXPO 2016 UV textile solvent latex exhibitor list preview based on 2015 set UV Flaar Reports
APPPEXPO 2016 ink media coater laminator CNC text FLAAR Reports

For full international status, the key printer, media, substrates, laminator, ink, and cutter expo is APPPEXPO 2016, March 9-12.


Why no water-based flatbed printers?

Posted January 21, 2016; updated Jan. 27th.

I was fascinated by the Durst PR releases about their Durst Water Technology last year. But then it never appeared at any other printer expo. Plus the curing unit was gigantic. But Durst has plenty of experience, so I hope another iteration is more viable.

Sepiax ink was my favorite ink when it first appeared, but nothing significant of it remains today (other than one small printer demo at one expo a year).

Epoxy ink issued tons of PR releases three or so years ago. But nothing was finished in the sense of an actual printer out in the real world.

Latex ink at least has not “evaporated” (other than the Mimaki version, which is sadly absent at 50% of the Mimaki booths at expos worldwide). The Chinese latex ink and printer disappeared already two years ago..

Missing is the “flatbed” HP Scitex or HP Latex printer. Obviously we know about this HP latex flatbed printer. But I had hoped it would be a real true actual dedicated flatbed. If it is a hybrid of a roll-to-roll HP Latex 3100, will it not face the same problem of Neolt with their pseudo flatbed UV printers?

90% of all Chinese factories stopped trying to create a flatbed by just putting tables at the front and back of a roll-to-roll printer. All these Chinese factories realized that a flatbed had to be a true actual flat BED!

Either way, since the HP latex “flatbed” printer did not appear (outside to the public) at SGIA 2015, let’s hope it appears at ISA 2016.

Dr Hellmuth will lecture (in Spanish) on ups and downs of new inks, and challenges facing development of water-based inks at GOA 2016 in Miami (Graphics of the Americas).

If you wish Dr Nicholas to lecture for your company, or for a trade show in your country, or for an Open House event, email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


SGI 2016, Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East, Dubai

Posted Dec. 20, 2015


We at FLAAR Reports have attended SGI every year for a long time, since it is helpful to learn what will happen in the printer and signage industry early in the year.

Two of us from FLAAR Reports will attend SGI, and we hope to see you here.

For more information visit


FLAAR Reports team will attend Sign Istanbul

Posted August 4, 2015

Three of us from FLAAR Reports will visit SIGGRAPH 2015 3D computer graphics and animation expo in Los Angeles next week. Once this final summer expo is over, we will review the autumn schedule of printer and signage trade shows. Sign Istanbul will be our focus for September.

We have attended two different printer and signage expos in Turkey over the past 10 years. By far the largest and most consistent is Sign Istanbul. We enjoyed the other venues but unless hosted elsewhere we will continue our focus on Sign Istanbul.

Turkey is a friendly country with a well established network of printer shops, distributors, plus manufacturers (especially of inks). We know the key people of the major distributors such as PIMMS, Fleksmedia, and the many other key companies where Europe and Asia meet.

We hope to see you at Sign Istanbul 2015, 10-13 September, visible on or

Sign Istanbul



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As of December 2014, Dr Nicholas and FLAAR had 1,308 contacts in LinkedIn (and over half a million readers worldwide on the FLAAR network).

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