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Sign Istanbul 2012

Updated 5 December, 13 Nov 2012; earlier posted 20 Sept. 2012

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and Fernanda Morales from FLAAR Reports are now attending Sign Istanbul 2012. We are working together with the expo organizers.

FLAAR Report has experience helping trade show organizers around the world. We wish trade shows and trade magazines all to prosper and increase attendance and circulation. It helps to have an independent outside assessment from a research institute such as FLAAR Reports to provide a thorough review of the organization, the venue, the exhibitor catalog: all these aspects we will gladly assist expo organizers with.

Istanbul is a great travel destination and Sign Istanbul is the #1 printer expo in this whole part of the world.

If you enjoy archaeology, architectural history, and seeing one of the world's great cities, add Sign Istanbul to your wide-format inkjet printer expo visits this year (and for 2013). Our pre-show 2012 report is already available (this is the report for attendees and exhibitors; our report for expo organizers can be ordered by Subscription or via a consulting request).


Dubai SGI, Sign and Graphics Imaging Middle East 2013


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

Dubai SGI, Sign and Graphics Imaging, the first major international sign industry event in the world each year, 20-22 January 2013.

Two of us from FLAAR were at at SGI, Sign Middle East in past years, and wow, this printer, media, ink, and cutter expo sure is impressive. Ryan Crist was an intern with FLAAR when FLAAR headed the digital imaging technology institute at Bowling Green State University many years ago. He has continued to move up in the world of large format inkjet printing and has his own consulting and service business and partners. He is lecturing on several important topics here at SGI.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Dubai expo center is very accessible; here you can see the corresponding bus stop.

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth also lectured at this sign industry event, every year for many years now. SGI 2013 is 20-22 January 2013.

DOWNLOAD, Dubai SGI Middle East 2013

Requires latest version of Flash player.DOWNLOAD, Dubai SGI Middle East 2013

SGI in Dubai is the first printer trade show of international status of the year’s calendar. Even though last year, 2012, was a "DRUPA year" the expo occupied four halls. It is not shrinking, it is holding steady and growing (only one booth dropped out that we noticed, and everyone else was here). It's a bundle of energy in the halls. I met people from all over the world every day of the three days.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
View of dowtown Dubai from the Expo Center.

For SGI Dubai, Sign Middle East 2013, both Dr Hellmuth and Ryan Crist will be organizing additional lectures and will be consultants for the expo.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth attends SGI Dubai every year as a special guest; he has experience in wide-format printing and often lectures a different trade shows around the world. This is last year’s lecture at SGI Dubai.
Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Ryan Chris collaborates from time to time with FLAAR, here he is lecturing at SGI Dubai 2012.

FLAAR also writes for ME Printer magazine in Dubai, the leading trade magazine for the Middle East.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluationsSeiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluationsSeiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Many UV roll-to-roll and flatbed printers: AGFA Jeti 3348, Gandy Digital Pred8tor, DIlli Neo Titan,to mention a few. SGI does not only exhibit wide-format printers, media, inks and equipment for wide-format printing are also exhibited at this trade show.

Dubai is a safe place to visit

I feel much safer walking through Dubai than in Atlanta. Dubai is one of the safest countries in the world to visit. Plus with shopping its great to bring your family.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluationsSeiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluationsSeiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Many textile printers exhibited at the SGI Dubai 2012 trade show: D.G.I. FabriJet for transfer paper, Mimaki JV33-160, and Mutoh Viper TX.

SGI also offers electronic signage

Although FLAAR is focused on wide-format inkjet printing workflow and applications, we are fully aware of electronic signage. FLAAR Reports is considering entering this area with our reviews, but we first wish to build further relationships with manufacturers and distributors of these technologies. But LCD and LED electronic dynamic digital signage are definitely trends we are keeping our eyes on.

SGI offers access to these trends in electronic signage, so another reason to get to Dubai later this January and experience both Sign Middle East, and experience the hospitality of the Middle East cultures.

Seiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluationsSeiko ColorPainter V-64s printer evaluations
Solvent printers are very popular in trade shows around the world; Seiko and Xenons are some of the printers in this category exhibited at last year’s SGI.

Most recently updated January 3, 2013



Another printshop switches to after-market Roland ink from Sam Ink

Posted Oct 17, 2012

Yesterday visited a large successful printing company who was using already a cheap after-market ink (stated to be made in Taiwan; the ink bottle had no other information whatsoever). Now they are using after-market ink from Sam Ink and after seeing the results will switch from the Taiwan no-brand ink over to Sam Ink (from Singapore).



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.


Another printer trade expo collapses

Posted September 23, 2012

It is sad to learn today that a major international expo has lost so many exhibitors that "collapsed" is the most polite word we can use.

We at FLAAR enjoy attending printer, photo, and 3D trade shows around the year. We are now consultants to four expositions (helping them with suggestions based on our 15 years experience).

But we are not consultants for every expo. Some expos are convinced they will survive no matter how they act.

We are now preparing analyses of each printer, photo equipment, and 3D exposition that we have attended, to document clearly what are the specific mistakes being made (each expo is different from others). We are also doing analysis of trade show booths of manufacturers and distributors, to help exhibitors create a better presence.

These crucial FLAAR Reports are available for exhibitors as well as trade show organizers who subscribe.

Plus, if you are a manufacturer, or distributor, or printshop owner or manager, we have ample experience to assist you to decide which expo to attend and which expo is optimal to exhibit at. Write FrontDesk "at" to request consulting. You can then speak in-person, or via Skype, with Nicholas Hellmuth.


20th APPPEXPO in Shanghai

Posted July 09, 2012. Updated July 13, 2012

Four from FLAAR Reports took notes on everything related to wide-format printers, inks, media and substrates, and flatbed cutters.

This is the largest wide-format inkjet printer expo in the world (has so many more printer brands than drupa 2012 there is no comparison).

This is also the largest traditional signage expo in the world (LED and LCD electronic signage). Due to the huge size (14 halls), we will focus on wide-format inkjet workflow.

Especially we are studying all the textile printers, UV-cured printers, DX5, DX6, DX7 printheaded machines, aluminum composite materials, honeycomb sandwich board materials, and lots more.

The free downloadable report is a brief introduction; the full reports will come as we digest the data and photographs taken by all four of us.


FLAAR team attended ITMA Asia in Shanghai in June

Posted May 28, 2012

Nicholas and an assistant have produced a full report on ITMA Asia textile expo in Shanghai in June.


Beijing Sign Show (March 10-13, 2012)

Updated March 12, 2012. First posted March 7, 2012

Nicholas Hellmuth as a VIP guest in BSS Beijing opening ceremony

The first day the organizers asked FLAAR to be on the stage to help cut-the-ribbon at the opening ceremony.

The second day, March 11, Dr Hellmuth was the moderator at a conference on wide-format inkjet printheads. There were knowledgeable speakers from Konica Minolta, Seiko, Xaar and Fujifilm Dimatix (Spectra).

JHF printer displayed at BSS Beijing expo, 2012 tradeshows images

Third day three of us from FLAAR Reports took about 520 photographs: every booth, probably 90% of every printer of all ink types.

Largest booth (actually three adjacent booths) was of JHF (JHF Vista and Leopard), which is a substantial factory in the greater Beijing area. Another booth at the main China Convention Center (adjacent to the Olympic park) was of Kincolor (Saven ink), another Beijing-located company.

The initial publication should be ready in a week; the in-depth analysis of the TRENDs we observed will take a month to process. Frankly I never expected to find the surprises, and learn about things not one single other source has talked about before.

Amazing what is going on discretely behind the scenes. Actually most of what we learn is provided via in-person presentations of Dr Hellmuth directly to individuals who have requested this service. We do not put this level of knowledge into a PDF: we deliver and discuss this in-person in private meetings.


An informative Peek at the drupa 2012 exhibitor list

Updated May 28, 2012. Posted May 1, 2012

From individual manufacturers (exhibitor list of drupa 2012) we can provide the first hints on what is available.

NEW Printers in drupa 2012 exhibitor list
  • efiVUTEk HS100, a remarkable and monumental printer, featuring TWO totally different curing systems: LED and mercury arc, yet coordinated cleverly.
  • efi VUTEk GS3250LX, combo belt, LED-curing
  • efi VUTEk QS2 Pro, combo belt (conveyor belt)
  • Gandy Digital, Domin8tor, dedicated flatbed
  • JETRIX 1212FK, a clever company model. We will evaluate this as soon as possible.
  • Mimaki JFX500 2131, UV-LED
  • Sun Innovations NEO UV-LED TurboSpeed

Once the drupa exhibitor list can be inspected in-person, we will list the other new printers.

ISA 2012 report flip styleRequires latest version of Adobe Flash player.
ISA 2012 report flip style Requires latest version of Adobe Flash player.
ISA 2012 report flip style Requires latest version of Adobe Flash player.
Meet Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth at Sign Africa, SGIA Las Vegas, VISCOM Italy, Reklama Moscow, Ceramic Printing Expo Italy, Glass Printing Expo Germany, KoSign Korea, Sign Istanbul

We will be updating our drupa reports every several days.


FLAAR Reports team at Chinese ceramics expo

Posted May 28, 2012

Dr Nicholas and graphic designer Alejandra were in Guangzhou to inspect the in-line ceramics printers of almost a dozen manufacturers at the Ceramics China 2012 expo.

Inside view of Hall 1, Ceramics China 2012 at Guangzhou. FLAAR images.Inside view of Hall 1, Ceramics China 2012 at Guangzhou.

Download Now

In Guangzhou so many printer company personnel and managers were hospitable to the FLAAR team (Hellmuth and photographer/graphic designer Alejandra). It is appreciated when the staff take and make the time to answer our questions: efi Cretaprint, Teckwin, King Tau (Crystal), Gongzheng were the most notable.

Several booths had zero speakers of English or European language (I can also speak Deutsch and Espanol). So for several brands we simply skip them (and concentrate on the many printer companies that facilitate our helping our million+ readers to learn about options for printing on ceramics). So in booths where the personnel speak English, such as Longier (and all the brands first mentioned) it makes a huge difference when there is easy communication (though I am trying hard to learn Mandarin).

Teckwin booth at Ceramics China expo, Guangzhou 2012Teckwin booth at Ceramics China expo, Guangzhou 2012

The other aspect which helps is when access is facilitated so we can visit end-users who actually have the printer at work out in the real world. So this week it was possible to document that the Teckwin in-line ceramics printer is doing a great job in a ceramics factory at Foshan (world center of ceramic production other than Spain and Italy).

Ceramics China 2012, Single-Pass (fixed array) in-line Inkjet Printers for CeramicsRequires latest version of Adobe Flash player.

Also have been taking notes on many manufacturers of ceramic frit ink (since most of these printers are NOT using UV-cured ink (which does not last long enough in the sun). Return every two days for more updates.

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As of June 2019, Dr Nicholas and FLAAR had 3,662 contacts in LinkedIn (and over half a million readers worldwide on the FLAAR network).

Wide Format Inkjet printers, inks, trade shows, consulting.

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