In 2010 a Chinese company exhibited a primitive "latex ink printer" at APPPEXPO Shanghai expo. Also that year we heard that latex ink was being used with Epson printheads (and not in China).
Then we heard through the grapevine that an international-oriented factory will launch a "latex ink printer".
You may have noticed that FLAAR covers a lot more than just printers this year. (plus we hope you like our new home page style).
This is because what counts is the ink. New and different ink is signficantly more important than just another new printer (which uses the same old UV-cured or solvent ink). Plus new (eco-friendly green) substrates are available (but beware of greenwashing, which means fake claims of eco-friendly that don't admit the full truth of the chemical composition of the ink or substrate).
So FLAAR is increasingly a consultant for ink companies and manufacturers of substrates. By visiting ink labs, R&D departments, test centers, and ink demo facilities we learn the reality of the new inks so that we can better assist the over 596,000 readers on this large-format site (UV-cured and solvent inks) and over 917,000 on www.wide-format-printers.org (water-based, CAD, giclee, photo, indoor POP signage, textile printing etc). printshop owners, managers, printer operators, and printing company personnel who depend on the FLAAR Reports to help plan what to purchase.
So over a million people around the world read the FLAAR Reports; this is a readership count; not a visitor count (which is several million) and not a hit count (which is millions a month). What we count is individuals. We substract duplicate visits etc to lower the count from the actual total to a one million+ accurate list. The count is software based and is independent. Plus we test the count by switching topics and watch the readership change as a result.
In 2012 we are considering visiting more factories of UV-cured inkjet printers to prepare new FLAAR Reports.
We have spent several days inspecting the Jetrix factory and Inktec facilities in Korea. In the meantime, to learn how a Jetrix UV printer functions out in the real world, we visited a customer site in Australia: this print shop, Severn Graphics, had both a Kongsberg cutter, Jetrix UV printer, and Seiko ColorPainter. We thank anitech for letting us know about this printshop.
Three years ago MEMS printheads were labeled as the most incredible technology to reach wide-format printing. But the technology failed, indeed failed so badly that it cost Raster Printers and JETRIX two entire years of potential lost revenue since they had to start all over again with entirely new (non-MEMS heads).
MEMS heads were a significant factor in the final meltdown of L&P printer company. Its little remaining technology was bought at fire sale price by WP Digital (which in turn a year or so later downsized by leaving Spuhl and went to parent company Polytype).
The utter failure of MEMS printheads were a major factor in the total shutdown of the textile printer division of Yuhan Kimberly (Kimberly Clark of Korea). MEMS printheads inability to hold up to actual use out in the real world also was a factor in the demise of the HP Scitex roll to roll printer shown with great bluff at SGIA several years ago. HP subsequently bought NUR because they used non-MEMS heads which actually functioned.
During 2011 MEMS heads are back, via MEMJET of Australia. So the question is whether any, or all, or other issues will hit the reality check. It is as if everyone was deaf to what happened to the first MEMS projects of four MILLION dollar companies.
Most industry specialists have skipped MEMJET totally since it was too many PR releases and not enough actual fact (like Foveon digital sensors several years back; like CrystalJet and the Kodak 5260). But since no one seems to have learned from past failures, FLAAR is issuing a commentary on MEMS reality check. At this level of technology, is logically not a free report, but is reasonably priced and worthwhile reading (it is also entertaining, since how else can you describe a phantom technology).
So what about MEMS printheads? What about MemJet?
All of us at FLAAR have been working preparing for all the new inks and thus the new printers that we will see at DRUPA in May 2012. Dr Hellmuth speaks German and Spanish, so his knowledge of Deutsch is obviously an advantage at DRUPA. Nicholas has attended DRUPA many times in the past.
His knowledge of Spanish will obviously help you at FESPA Barcelona and Nicholas's assistant speaks Catalan (and English and Spanish).
The first question of course is, should you attend FESPA Digital in Barcelona? Or DRUPA? Or both? What about the huge Chinese expos? How many of these manufacturers will have a booth at FESPA or DRUPA? Or do you also need to get to the China trade shows? Nicholas, and his team, are at each and every one of these printer expositions, so you can hire FLAAR Reports as your personal guide.
Download the consulting services guide to learn how you can have Dr Hellmuth to walk the aisles with you, in-person, at any of the major printer trade shows.
Wide Format Printers