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Worth Attending, indeed FIVE of us at FLAAR will be there

Posted April 4, 2014

Every year we send our team of evaluators to the major trade shows around the world. After 15 years experience attending printer and signage trade shows, we know which expos are worth the effort (and which expos are no longer worth visiting: we really enjoyed VISCOM Madrid, but stopped going already six years ago).

I went to VISCOM Milano every single year: but stopped going in 2012 (because most Italian colleagues said it was no longer worth attending (FESPA Digital in Europe had a wider range of products)).

APPPEXPO in Shanghai we have attended every year. First I went by myself. It was so large that next year I returned with an assistant. Every year I added more staff since the expo kept growing (now we send at least five of us to APPPPEXPO, this July 3-6, 2014.

There are plenty of nice hotels across the street. There are hundreds of restaurants all around. Shanghai is a remarkable city (and definitely less crime than Atlanta expo area!). People in China are friendly and the staff in the booths speak better English than in any expo in two other countries (to be polite I will not name the other countries, but in both there was no interest in speaking English or even Spanish or German or any other major international language).

So Shanghai is a great place to visit. We hope to see you here this July. To get an attendee pass, sign up and register here:


Trends in New Inks & Technologies for Wide-Format Inkjet BEYOND CONVENTIONAL PRINTING

Posted April 2, 2014

The Printing & Publishing Group (Dubai) has invited Dr Nicholas Hellmuth (FLAAR Reports) to present the Keynote speech for their seminar on Beyond Conventional Printing.

April 9 (Wednesday morning), 2014, Le Meridien (Wasl Ballroom) Airport Road.

Also you can learn about 3D Printing Serices from Mr Richard Sanders and get fresh information on Digital Printing (Mr Phil Walsh, Kodak, UK). Contact Ms Roxanne Tandoc, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SGI-Sign-Graphic-Imaging-Dubai-Middle-East-2014-uv-cured-printers-textile-inks-media-flatbed-cutters-prepare-for-exhibitor-list-2015 PRINT2
Invitation English
SGIA-2013-exhibitor-list-uv-cured-printers-textile-printers-inks-media-flatbed-cutters PRINT2
Invitation Arabic


Graphics of the Americas printer expo is back in Miami

Posted Feb. 11, 2014

Two of us from FLAAR will again be at GOA in Florida. We have attended almost every year for a decade.

Miami is a better city for bi-lingual, Spanish-English. We hope to see you at Graphics of the Americas. We will be there all three days in late February (27 Feb through March 1st)


ISA Sign Expo 2014, in Orlando, April 24-26

Posted December 13, 2013

Now that the last major international sign expo is successfully finished for 2013, we can concentrate on preparing for 2014.

Sign Expo 2014, also known as ISA, will be in friendly Orlando, Florida, which is easy to reach from anywhere and everywhere in the world.

At least four of us will need to be here, since ISA is a significant expo for learning the trends, and it is precisely the trends in inks, printers, printheads, media, cutters, laminators and coaters that FLAAR researches.

We also provide consulting for print shop owners, managers, printer operators; we provide consulting for distributors from other countries who come to ISA to figure out what products are reliable. Plus clients come to us to ask what printers, inks, or materials their companies should consider (especially for industrial products and especially for atypical materials).

So we hope to see you at ISA 2014 in Orlando, a great place also to bring your family or your travel companion, since there is lots of family style entertainment here. is their web site, definitely worth visiting.


SGI, Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East 2014, Dubai

Updated January 6, 2014. Originally posted Dec.4, 2013

SGI Dubai 2013: Wide Format Printers, Inks, media and substrates, laminators and coaters

SGI Dubai (Sign Middle East Dubai) opened Jan 7th and will run through January 9th. Nicholas Hellmuth and Pablo Martinez arrived in Dubai after two days of flights; over 11 hours delays in airports due to winter weather in USA, plus Ryan Crist, who has worked with FLAAR on international projects in the past.

In previous years we tried to cover this expo with just one person, but since SGI Dubai is the first major printer expo of the year, we really need three people.

Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East 2014 is the largest printer trade show in this part of the world. SGI Middle East really covers the entire Middle East (in part because Dubai is such a popular travel destination for shopping).

Lots and lots of Chinese branded printers; more than any other expo outside of China, and many many brands of Chinese media, but almost no booths of Chinese ink manufacturers; whatever Chinese ink may be present is mostly rebranded with local names.

FLAAR will make a list of every UV-cured printer, every textile printer, each T-shirt printer, all solvent printer brands, any water-based, plus latex (which most ink chemists consider very different from true water-based).

SGI, Sign Middle East, Dubai, is capably organized by International Expo Consults, associated with Falak Holding.

Their web site is



Sign Istanbul is definitely worth visiting

Updated December 2013, posted Oct 10, 2013

We have enjoyed visiting Istanbul, exploring this remarkable city, and attending Sign Istanbul for many years. So two of us from FLAAR flew to Sign Istanbul in late November. We appreciate the expo organizers for providing the tickets and hotel so that we could study this expo.

Because there are so many expos around the world it is not realistic to attend all. But we find Sign Istanbul worth attending since it is international, relatively large, and thus offers a full range of signage and wide-format inkjet printer products.

Our free report is now available; just click on the front cover and it will download.

The web site is

Consider SGIA printer & signage expo this autumn

Updated Oct 2, 2013. Posted April 10, 2013

The exhibitor list for SGIA 2013 in Orlando is anticipated to be a good selection of all aspects of the wide-format inkjet printer work flow. Plus SGIA still has screen printing, especially for T-shirts.

The FLAAR team looks forward to seeing you there in Orlando.

We will also be at Sign Istanbul in Turkey later this year.

SignAfrica printer expo reports in preparation.

Updated Oct. 2, 2 013. previously edition August 20, 2013. First posted July 25, 2013

FLAAR has assisted at SignAfrica for many many years. We also write articles for PracticalPublishing, the leading trade magazine of this part of the world.

We enjoy the hospitality of the distributors, print shop owners, and expo organizers here in Johannesburg. The day before the expo opened we did another site-visit case study in a major printing company: over a dozen grand-format printers. We inspected their new 5-meter roll-to-roll UV-cured printer.

August 21-23, I was in the expo center to be taking notes on inks, media, cutters, coaters, printers, and the entire workflow of wide-format inkjet printing. Plus we are gradually moving into covering LED signage as well, though clearly our main priority is inkjet printers and applications.

FLAAR arrived in South Africa already two days before the expo opened, and stayed the entire three days of the expo.

We recommend SignAfrica, so hope to see you here in 2013. Next year this will be branded as FESPA Africa, so more reasons to attend (as an attendee) or exhibit (if you are a manufacturer or distributor).

APPPEXPO 2013, more international than every before

Updated July 25, 2013. Originally posted July 10, 2013

More major international brands of UV-cured printers are at APPPEXPO which was successfully held in Shanghai: Durst, Inca and Swissqprint, joined EFI Vutek, HP and brands already present.

Mimaki, Mutoh, Epson, Roland are present for eco-solvent. Plus a relatively new brand from Korea has a strong presence with four new models. This brand has never shown at this size in any expo in USA, Europe, or UK.

Five of us from FLAAR Reports flew to Shanghai already two days before the expo opened. We will be issuing lists of every textile ink, every textile printer, every UV cured printer (found 24 brands of Chinese printers alone, with a dozen brands from other countries). Plus a list of all after-market inks, all media and substrates. Back with more information when our reports are issued during August.

FLAAR Reports for Shanghai sign & Printer expo in July

Updated July 25, 2013. Originally posted May 9, 2013

We have posted a new series of FLAAR Reports on "what to expect at Shanghai APPPEXPO 2013 in July."

Below are front covers of these reports. During August these reports will be updated and replaced with additional information from the 2013 event in Shanghai.

FLAAR attended the last days of China glass expo

Updated July 25, 2013. Originally posted May 3, 2013

FLAAR Reports covers glass printing technology and inks around the world. We visited the China glass expo in Beijing, flying there from PacPrint and Visual Impact in Australia.

If you wish to Subscribe to the wide-format inkjet printing on glass TRENDs report which Hellmuth will research and publish, please contact FrontDesk "at"

FLAAR at printer expos in Australia

Updated July 25, 2013. Originally posted April 18, 2013

In 2013 Visual Impact will be in Melbourne and co-located with pacprint. FLAAR attended in order to update our list of distributors, since ink, media, cutter, coater, laminator, and printer manufacturers ask us to recommend distributors in major areas around the world.

After these two expos in Australia Dr Nicholas flew to Guangzhou to attend Ceramics China expo. FLAAR then did research at ShanghaiTEX.

FLAAR attended ShanghaiTEX

Updated July 25, 2013. Originally posted May 3, 2013

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and Maria Renee Ayau (Technical Writer for textile printers) attended ShanghaiTEX all days.

If you wish to Subscribe to the textile TRENDs report which Hellmuth and Ayau will research and publish, please contact FrontDesk "at"

ISA 2013 Sign Expo in Las Vegas

Updated April 5, 2013. Posted March 5, 2013.

A healthy exhibitor list for ISA 2013 makes this printer and signage expo a success.

People from all around the world are here: naturally North America but also Mexico, Central America and South America.

Plus Australia, Turkey and dozens of other countries. This is a frankly remarkly international expo.

Still one more day, so be sure to visit.

Our FLAAR Report will be issued tomorrow but will be significantly updated next week. Will cover inks, media, laminators, cutters, printers of all kinds (textile, UV-cured, eco-solvent, RIP software, etc).

The most complete Chinese signage expo: Inkjet + LED + entire signage workflow

Updated March 5, 2013. Posted Feb 18, 2013

Signage products in China are worth coming directly to China to experience. Here the market prices are quite low that fit any budget and often matching the quality of European or American brands (after all, the same factories now make the media, substrates, and even printers of brands in USA, Europe, and even Japan).

Year after year we can see the increase in exhibitors at the fair, as everyone wants to be present in such a great market. That is why if you are interested in expanding the market in your country or increase your workflow APPPEXPO trade show is one of the worldwide trade shows you should attend. We look forward to a healthy exhibitors list at APPPEXPO 2013 in Shanghai thus July 10-13.

FLAAR also provides assistance and consulting services for distributors and print shop owners from around the world who prefer to have a personal guided visit to pertinent booths at APPPEXPO with Dr Nicholas Hellmuth.

Now that Epson has cut-off the world supply of DX5 printheads, the repercussions in the Chinese printer industry needs to be understood (another reason to attend APPPEXPO in Shanghai this July; what if Epson also cuts off supply of DX7 heads!). Or, what if the Chinese can defuse the software blockage that Epson has started to build inside their printheads (to keep even Mimaki from using them?!).

Plus we at FLAAR Reports are interested in evaluating Chinese inks, substrates, printers and cutters and we enjoy interacting with the capable and hard-working wide-format company people of China.

This expo in Shanghai is larger than every expo in USA all year long all put together.

This July expo in Shanghai is larger than every European expo all put together.

What distinguishes the Shanghai expo is that:

  • The manufacturers exhibit (not just local Chinese city distributors). This is important, since to attract people from USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America (including Brazil), Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia) they want to meet the actual manufacturers.
  • There is a full gamut of manufacturers, at least most of the brand names.
  • Four day period (for a really large expo, three days are not enough).

If you wish consulting services with Dr Nicholas at this July expo, be sure to reserve time now, well in advance, by writing FrontDesk "at"


Updated May 3, 2013. Originally posted March 5, 2013.

Two years ago Graphispag in Barcelona was multiple times larger than I expected. Actually Graphispag was significantly larger in 2011 than any wide-format printer expo in the identical city, in the identical expo center in 2012.

This year I did not anticipate it will be anywhere near as large as 2011, but it would be nice to be surprised. Unfortunately VISCOM Madrid has collapsed (and is unsure whether it will be held in 2013). If Graphispag is successful this is all the more documentation that some organizers bungle their dis-organization; and other expo organizers are simply better (Graphispag).

But sadly Graphispag 2013 was so much smaller than 2011 that I did not even fly over to beautiful Barcelona to visit. VISCOM Madrid now has decided to open its doors in 2013, but it is too small to see or learn enough to make the cost to attend worthwhile. We may attend VISCOM Duesseldorf.

Graphics of the Americas 2013, Feb. 21-23

Most recently updated Feb 23, 2013. Posted Jan 15, 2013

Graphics of Americas, Graficas de las Americas 2013 Orlando

We hope to see you at GoA 2013 in sunny temperate Orlando, to escape winter blizzards elsewhere in the world.

FLAAR evaluated UV-cured printers, textile printers, flatbed cutters, after-market inks, and diverse other products of the wide-format workflow.


UV-printers, Inks, Textile Printers & Substrates D-PES 2013 is opening in China next week

Posted Feb. 19, 2013

D-PES 2013, Guangzhou

There are a dozen Chinese signage expos. I have enjoyed attending several. But two of these expos are distinctive (D-PES in February; and the even larger APPPEXPO in July).

FLAAR Reports attends D-PES because we can study UV-cured printers, textile printers, all printers with DX printheads, inks, media & substrates, laminators, coaters, and flatbed cutters.



Ceramic printing reports in preparation based on TECNARGILLA expo

Posted October 15, 2012

September was so busy (Photokina digital camera equipment expo in Germany), then TECNARGILLA ceramic printer and ceramic ink expo in Rimini, and then Reklama Moscow, that we are only now finishing our initial FLAAR Reports on all of what we discovered.


After-market latex ink for all models of HP latex printers

Posted Oct 17, 2012

FLAAR does second inspection of a printshop switching from HP latex into to latex ink from Sam Ink. The printshop owner have lots and lots and lots of HP latex printers, and one by one are switching them to after-market latex ink.

Caldera VisualRip+, Caldera GrandRip+ evaluations

The owners are content with the ink and all-smiles about the money they save. They can get much more business, especially during a recession, if their print costs are lower.

Caldera VisualRip+, Caldera GrandRip+ evaluations Caldera VisualRip+, Caldera GrandRip+ evaluations

After-market third-party latex ink is now in its second generation from Sam Ink in Singapore. FLAAR Reports recently inspected a print shop in Los Angeles, California, who is happy using Sam Ink for their HP Designjet latex ink printers: HP Designjet L65500 and HP Designjet L26500

You can see this original quality ink at SGIA in the booth of Sam Ink with an HP latex ink printer.

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