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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





Updated August 17, 2015
Posted June 25, 2015

FESPA Africa 2015 FLAAR Reports wide-format-printers inks media laminators cutters toner

This is the most important signage and printer trade show for southern Africa and attracts people from many countries. Whereas most countries have competing expos, for this part of the world FESPA AFRICA has no competition (especially since this expo is co-located with three other equipment focused trade shows).

Thus I especially like this annual event in Johannesburg because you can see a lot more in addition to the main brands of wide-format inkjet.

We were present at FESPA AFRICA July 22nd through 24th and now we have ready a free report that you can acquire by subscribing tou our newsletter.




Seiko II announces it is transferring printer division to OKI Data

Posted June 15, 2015

Transferring your WIDE-format printer division to a nice, well-known, and capable SMALL-format company, and one that is not inkjet, is a challenge.

The other unanswered question (and also a previously unasked question) is what happens with Seiko printhead technology?

We discuss all this in a special FLAAR Report, TRENDs level, about solvent printers at FESPA 2015 in Cologne, since the memo from Seiko II came out a few days after this expo.

You can order a copy by asking FrontDesk "at" to invoice you for this report.

100% of all web sites merely repeat the same identical PR release by SII. Why does no one in the industry ask the pertinent questions? These we ask in our report on solvent printer brands. Plus we list crucial aspects of all this, to judge what is really going on, and what will happen to the nice ColorPainter series (out in the real world, where PR releases tend to vary from unrealistic to wishful thinking).

Seiko II and OKI Data are both respected companies. Thus this situation is rather unexpected.




Is it worth the cost to fly to Germany for FESPA 2015?

Posted May 12, 2015

Many print shop owners, managers, and printer operators plus distributors and manufacturers have told us they decide which trade show to visit based on which expos are recommended by FLAAR Reports. This decision is made because people in the world of printers and signage do not want to waste airplane costs, hotel expenses, restaurant meals, and many days time unless an expo is worth attending.

So the reason is straightforward: why spend the money (and take the time away from your business (and your family)) if an expo is not worthwhile?

After over 15 years of attending printer, signage, fine art giclee, glass, ceramic and 3D expos around the world, we have learned several keys to making decisions of which are worth attending a second time.

  • Are all printer types (all ink types) exhibited: UV, solvent, true water-based, latex, textiles.
  • Are all printhead types exhibited: MEMS and normal printheads of all brands?
  • Are there lots and lots of after-market ink booths and many exhibitors of media and printable substrates?
  • What about laminators, coaters, cutters, RIP software, and color management systems?

For these reasons we will fly three of us to attend FESPA in Cologne. We also attend FESPA Africa and at least every several years attend FESPA Mexico.

We also attend SGI (Sign Middle East), GOA, ISA, and SGIA in the USA, and we fly six of us to attend APPPEXPO in Shanghai since this is now the largest printer expo in the world. We have attended Sign Istanbul in past years and will decide this summer whether to attend this autumn.




Lots and lots of UV-cured printers, ISA 2015

Updated April 8, 2015
Posted April 6, 2015

Aisles were filled with giant containers and you can't easily see all printers. But what we did see shows that ISA is definitely THE place in North America to experience UV-cured printers.

We mention all the textile printers here on our site, as that site is for water-based printers.

In the realm of UV-cured printers, PrinterEvolution has a brand new model as a prototype. This monumental printer is for the real estate sign market, and comparable One-Off signage jobs: fast, fast, fast (one pass technology, Spectra printheads).

EFI VUTEk has impressive booth. Lots of Chinese brands of UV-cured printers as well, plus from Korea. So ISA is turning out to be very large, very impressive this year.



ISA Sign Expo 2015


Tips, Assistance, Information on what technologies are innovative

Posted February 20, 2015

And equally important, which inks and which printers failed over the last three years (in other words, be wary of PR claims about inks and printers which were a great idea, but did not function out in the real world).

Consulting-end-users-all-printers-2015-FLAAR-Reports-Nicholas-Hellmuth PRINT

FLAAR offers consulting, in-person, at your company anywhere in the world.

Consulting-with-FLAAR-Reports-Dr-Nicholas-Hellmuth-expos-2015-2016-printers-inks-substrates-software-cutters-laminators-coaters PRINT

And/or, you can meet with Dr Nicholas in-person at GOA in Miami, D-PES in Guangzhou, APPPEXPO in Shanghai, ISA 2015, FESPA 2015 in Cologne (plus communicate by telephone and/or Skype).

2015 New-Technologies-in-Wide-Format-Printing TRENDs predicted-horizontal-1

If you sign up for consulting (at an expo, or by phone or at your headquarters) we will send at no cost the recent FLAAR Report by Dr Nicholas on what innovations can really be expected for 2015.



Giant printer, ink, textile & signage expo in mid-March (2015)

Updated Feb. 24, 2015. Previously updated Feb. 19, Feb. 3, Jan. 28, 2015. First posted Jan. 22, 2015

Istanbul City as a Destination for Sign Istanbul 2014

March was a significant month in the world of international signage & printer expos. Here are three of the previews for APPPEXPO 2015 in English, Spanish and most recently Russian versions, which has over 400% more wide-format inkjet printer brands than even Drupa (which will not be until 2016 anyway).

Expos which were popular for offset printers ten years ago are downsizing and often splattering their (lack of) focus. APPPEXPO more successful because it is nicely focused (on printers, inks, media, cutters, laminators, other workflow products plus LED and dynamic digital signage).

APPPEXPO used to be in July every year; for 2015 it was in mid-March (11-14). And, in a new location within the impressive city of Shanghai.

China is a remarkable experience for people of all ages and backgrounds. So it is worth coming to APPPEXPO for many reasons. Six of the FLAAR team were there.


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After-market Ink

Factory Visits Demo Room Visits


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