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Printing on Glass, Sign Africa Expo 2011.

consulting Asia trade shows

August 4, 2011. Updated August 31, 2011

How to survive with a printing shop when LED and LCD take over signage:

What YOU can still print to stay in business (and prosper)

This lecture was presented by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, at Sign Africa, in the last week of August, in Johannesburg.

Nicholas also spoke at the Sign Africa expo on innovative new inks, including from Jetbest, Sepiax, and Hongsam.

Dr Hellmuth is discussing with IPEX Middle East to possibly speak at their new expo in mid-November. IPEX Middle East replaces SIM. This is in Abu Dhabi.

FLAAR Reports takes pleasure in announcing that Nicholas will be speaking at the Sign Africa Expo Conference about "Printing on Glass: Discussion of workflow and many kinds of ink that work on glass".

Nicholas did a customer site-visit inspection of a VUTEk GS3200 while in Johannesburg, and is now preparing a FLAAR Report on the resulting evaluation.

While at the expo we will also work on flatbed XY cutters, especially since Kongsberg presence is growing as a result of new partnerships. We will bring high-res photographs of tropical plants and animals and reptiles of Guatemala to print and then cut on various materials and various cutters to compare them.

China Sign Expo got new name, D-PES

Nicholas, Pablo, and Jose are all in China for two simultaneous sign expos: in Dongguan (D-PES) and in Guangzhou (Sign China Expo), one hour away.

Dr Hellmuth was asked to be on the stage for opening day ceremony, to help set off the traditional Chinese explosive "fireworks." Twelve industry leaders from around the world were on the stagefor this opening event.

consulting Asia trade showsThe FLAAR Reports team is making lists of all UV-curing printers; all textile printers; all after-market inks; all media and substrates; and all printers using Epson DX5 or comparable printheads. Plus we make lists of all manufacturers of solvent, mild-solvent, and eco-solvent printers.

There are no latex and no resin ink printers yet exhibited.One latex may be at Guangzhou; we get there in two days: Dongguan is so large it is keeping us busy.

The category "all printers using Epson DX5 or comparable printheads" is a completely new category for our industry, and FLAAR Reports is proud to have noticed, recognized, and be the first to report on this category.

Sign & Textile expo in Brazil is larger than anything in USA or Canada

July 26, 2011

The July event last week in Brazil has the same number of attendees as SGIA + ISA combined (if you count unique attendees). The space occupied by Brazil expo is comparable or possibly larger than either SGIA or ISA, but has ten times more digital wide format inkjet products than GraphExpo (which is mainly office copiers and other printers).

Curiously the nickname of this Brazil event is Serigrafia (screen-printing) but as with SGIA, FESPA and everywhere else, silk screen-printing has been taken over by wide-format inkjet.

I spent four days here: flew two of us here. I wish I had flown four of us here because there is more at this Brazil expo than two of us can handle.

Lots to see and most important, this Brazil expo is the best attended print trade show (per square meter) IN THE WORLD (other than DRUPA). The expo was packed solid with people day after day after day. VISCOM Italy and Photokina in Germany look packed because of all the thousands of students: the people here in Brazil were people in the industry.

Admittedly it helps when the expo is in a huge country and especially when held in a giant city (with a population of almost 20 MILLION) and only a short plane ride from millions more in Rio de Janeiro.

FESPA Digital in Germany, successful despite Iceland volcanic eruption

May 25, 2011, updated May 30th

Inks Exhibitor list FESPA 2011 FESPA Digital 2011 Hamburg

Six of us flew to FESPA digital three days before expo opened, so missed airport closings caused by Iceland volcanic eruption.

By arriving early, we were able to get a first edition report out the day before the trade show opened; then the team finished the second edition by the first day of the expo, and here it is.

This lists all UV-cured printers, all textile printers, all printers for special inks, all media, all inks (every company at the show). The next edition will have updated list of RIP software and will include the several ink and media brands that were not visible the first days. This version is a pure list.

The next report on FESPA (by end of this week) will add scores more photos, and commentary on pros and cons of various technologies. Then in June we will issue the TRENDs version, which can be purchased if you contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mystery printer has potential to replace UV-cured flatbeds

We are in touch with the manufacturer of a new printer which will gradually replace most flatbed UV-cured flatbed printers. We have seen the printer and will report more on it over the summer.

There is another printer, another ink (more than the "mystery printer") that could possibly replace latex ink. We have spent several days inspecting this printer and have been in the R&D labs of the ink manufacturer.

We have also been in the R&D ink labs of a TWO different companies, each with a latex ink better than that exhibited the last three years. These TWO different latex inks have better color gamut than current latex ink, and require only HALF the curing heat needed by latex printers available today.

Another ink company, with an even more futuristic ink, has also contacted FLAAR. So if you are a printer manufacturer, master distributor, or substantial print shop, perhaps you too might wish to receive services and knowledge from the FLAAR team.

ISA 2011 Check-off Sheets

At the request of people attending ISA, we have prepared Comparative Reference Sheets, available for all attendees. There is no cost for these to attendees at ISA.

We apologize that due to the expense of preparing these we did not do one on solvent printers or traditional CAD and photo printers; these are so well known a check-off sheet is not as needed.

If possible, we will try to do a check-off sheet for them the first day, but in the meantime, enjoy a historical first. The first sign expo in the world (that we know of) to have these aids for all attendees.

We experimented at the Dubai show and originated this concept last year but here at ISA is the first time, by coincidence, the show organizer asked us to complete them.

ISA 2011 UV Printers ScoreChart 11x17 Floor Plan Comparative Reference Sheets ISA 2011 Textile Printers ScoreChart Comparative Reference Sheets ISA 2011 CNC XY cutters ScoreChart Comparative Reference Sheets ISA 2011 media ScoreChart Comparative _Reference Sheets ISA 2011 UV Printers ScoreChart Comparative Reference Sheets ISA 2011 Ink ScoreChart
Enjoy a historical first. The first sign expo in the world (that we know of) to have these aids for all attendees. We experimented at the Dubai show and originated this concept last year but here at ISA is the first time, by coincidence, the show organizer asked us to complete them.

FLAAR recently attended IMI Europe conference on UV-cured inks, in early June at Barcelona June 6-7, 2011

May 31, 2011

If you are a manufacturer, distributor, or end-user of UV-cured printers, you should seriously consider attending to IMI Europe, Theory of ink jet technology.

I have attended comparable conferences, both in Europe (twice) and in USA (at least three or four times), plus I have lectured on textile printers at an IMI textile conference a decade ago. I find the conferences are educational and worth the time and effort to get there.

Besides, Barcelona is a great place to visit. In addition to the information you will learn, the networking opportunities are great because most attendees are from the industry. There are also two other courses/events in addition to the UV one. We will report on all three.

Technical Writer and Graphic Designer Silvia Herrera was attended for FLAAR, since she lives in Barcelona. To learn more you can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Where to find Nicholas and his team at FESPA Digital 2011 in Hamburg

May 12, 2011

Nicholas will be in the booths of Jetrix (Inktec), Seiko, MTEX (DigiDelta booth), EFI VUTEk, Sam Ink, ATInks, Hongsam, Drytac, Grapo, EskoArtwork Kongsberg, Jetrix, Sepiax; taking notes in each booth.

Naturally we will also be in other booths; plus Maria Renee will be doing study of all textile printers at FESPA. Silvia will be studying textile printers also. Both will also be taking notes on UV-cured printers. Pablo continues to study RIP software, media, cutters and other topics. We may send another staff member as well.

FLAAR is available for private consulting, on the floor, or in the evening, or before doors open for breakfast meeting. We do not have a booth since that ties us down; we prefer to be out and around the taking notes in all the halls.

Upcoming trade shows and lectures

Nicholas and three from FLAAR will be at FESPA Hamburg. Three from FLAAR will be at APPPEXPO Shanghai in July; two from FLAAR will be at the Brazil expo this summer. FLAAR will be visiting Reklama Moscow, VISCOM Germany, VISCOM Milano Italy, VISCOM Madrid, and possibly first day of VISCOM Paris. Dr Hellmuth will speak at Pira toner conference in Santa Monica in June. FLAAR may have a booth at SGIA

ISA sign expo

The annual ISA event is 28, 29, 30 April. This is a significant international wide-format inkjet printer trade show.

FLAAR has a booth, row 2100, (though Nicholas is usually out on the floor gathering information). We highly recommend visiting a trade show in general and ISA in particular.

Consulting Services in Australia

For any distributor or print shop owner, manager or printer operator in Australia, who would like an opporunity for consulting services in Australia, Dr Nicholas Hellmuth will be there for several days this spring.

Visual Impact Expo, Sydney, Australia, and PrintEx11, co-located with Visual Impact, both 4 to 6 May is the opportunity.

If you wish or need Dr Hellmuth to visit your printshop, or visit your company (if you wish help in deciding which printer or other part of the workflow to consider), contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and ask for the consulting brochure.

First sign expo for Europe this year: graphispag, Barcelona

FLAAR RGraphispageports is out already on this first expo ofWestern Europe for year 2011. We cover the UV-cured printers, textile printers (including two from MTEX) and cutters (such as Kongsberg, in two booths).

This Spanish expo is much larger than any recent VISCOM Madrid and well worth the long trip here. Two of us from FLAAR are attending, since ironically one of our employees moved to Spain last year. She wished to keep with the FLAAR family so she works from her home-office and helps us in European projects. We also have staff in Ukraine and several assistants in Slovenia.

The Dongguan news item needs

New 5-meter roll-to-roll printer from China

A company that has never before produced any UV-cured printer has announced they will launch a 3.2 and 5m roll-to-roll printer next month. FLAAR Reports comments that with all the new inks coming out, that 5-meter UV printers may have already reached their peak market share.

GoA and FESPA Americas were well worth attending

Consulting UV-cured textiles eco-solvent latex inks giclee inkjet printers trade show exposition exhibitor listNicholas plus Jennifer lectured on four different subjects, and had meetings until through 9 pm every single night with company managers flying in for consulting sessions.

Our FLAAR Reports is in preparation and should be ready by the coming week.

We saw great products everywhere, especially from

  • Gans Ink & Supply Co (yes, they are now doing wide-format).
  • Color Logic
  • Yupo
  • Huntsman ("Textile Effects")
  • DigiFab
  • Kongsberg, EskoArtwork

We also checked on after-market inks such as

  • AT Inks
  • Sam*Ink

and several other third-party ink booths that we noticed

Gerber Cat UV

Managers from two different color management spectrophotometer manufacturers came by the FLAAR booth to check on our interest in considering to evaluate this new equipment in the future.

Introduction to PP Polypropolyne

Introduction_to_polypropolyneEvery month there is more interest in substrates that are more eco-friendly. PP and PE are presently the substrates that are most talked about as appropriate printing materials. Each of these materials has several really good features, and each material has one or two quirks or issues (as with every other substrate, ink type, or printer: many things work really well, but nothing in life is perfect). Fortunately advances in chemistry really help make PP a substrate to seriously consider this year.

What will count in 2011 and 2012 is whether a product is more eco-friendly than former favorite kinds of billboard, banner, and truck wrap material. I predict that PP will become increasingly popular as we enter 2011.

Thus we appreciate that Obeikan OTF has hosted a visit to fly FLAAR to evaluate their factory’s production of PP as a technical textile: meaning material strong enough for truckside advertising, building wrap, outdoor banners, and billboards. The Obeikan PP product is called PP Smart standard and is compatible with solvent and UV printers. So we are now in Saudi Arabia at Obeikan OTF to do research for a new FLAAR Report. We will write about the breakthrough for PP as a technical textile after several months of development by chemical engineers and production engineers.

2011 is the year that FLAAR Reports will continue to evaluate printers, but we have already begun a long-range expansion into evaluating after-market inks, media, substrates, laminators, coaters (Drytac), and high-quality flatbed cutters (Kongsberg).

As additional companies invite us to inspect their inks, media, substrates, and printers, we will issue even more FLAAR evaluation reports every month during 2011. Dr Hellmuth will be in China twice during February alone.

FLAAR is doing test printing on PP and Cybertex on a Durst Rho, on a VUTEk, an HP latex printer, and on a Jeti. The results will be published by February.


Sepiax demo room, 2010

Nicholas visits Sepiax resin ink, in their new demo room and offices in Klagenfurt, Austria. This is the second time that FLAAR has gone to study the remarkable chemistry of resin ink.


Sepiax Water-based resin ink Sepiax water based resin ink first evaluation

Nicholas Hellmuth has been asked to be a member of the judging team of EDP

Agustin Torres, Chairman of EDP, has asked Dr Nicholas Hellmuth to join their judging team for the EDP awards. We at FLAAR have noticed the EDP awards especially for 2010. Since FLAAR has established a presence in Europe over the recent years, and since we are especially interested in Eastern Europe, we have accepted the nomination.

Nicholas will work with the EDP committee and associates to be sure our over 430,000 readers on this large-format-review web site and the over one million readers of the other FLAAR digital imaging review web sites are familiar with the EDP, with their members, and their award program: see their EDP Association web site for the trade magazines that are part of this group. Our liaison is through Chris Cooke, Publishing Director, St John Patrick Publishers Ltd.

Being asked to join this awards committee for the European world area follows, coincidentally, the Dubai SGI sign expo requesting Dr Hellmuth to head its jury to select the best advertising campaigns in Dubai U.A.E. and the best booth design for SGI 2011.

Also this same first month of January 2011, FLAAR was asked to join the committee of one of the leading and established sign expos in North America. Plus last week one of the two largest sign expos in China asked FLAAR Reports to cooperate with them.


First posted April 26, 2011.