Kosign 2012 – The Korean Market Shifts to UV and Textile

Lior Meron
Dec 20, 2012

The Kosign (Korea International Sign and Design Show, November 22-15 in Seoul) show is the main sign and design related exhibition in Korea. Sponsored by DGI, the biggest Korean wide format printer manufacturer, Kosign is a large event with around 12,000 attendees and 190 international exhibitors covering 14,000 square meters of show floor space. The first time I attended Kosign was in Seoul in 2002 and ever since then I have tried to attend it every year. One of my most distinct memories of that first show was the low temperature in Seoul (-10 centigrade) and the strong smell of solvent. At Kosign 2012, there was hardly any solvent in the air. Instead, new UV-based products were all over the show floor.

Many of the big players in Korea, such as DGI, Keundo, and d.gen have moved away from solvent products and are focusing on textile printers. Others, such as Dilli, Inktec, and DYSS, are focusing on UV. There was another significant transformation taking place as well. Since 2002, only a few Chinese printers have been able to launch in the Korean market. Many vendors lacked the quality levels and support infrastructure to succeed in Korea. This Kosign event marks a second “Chinese penetration,” with around half a dozen Chinese manufacturers demonstrating printers based on Epson heads. The list of Chinese original suppliers that were at the Kosign show include some of the biggest and dominant names in China, such as Gongzheng and Universal, as well as smaller companies, such as Mi-color and Bima.

A good example of a UV product release that took place at Kosign show was the Dilli NeoTitan RTR3026D UV roll-to- roll printer. This is the first mid-level roll-to-roll UV printer in the market with an accessible end-user price that InfoTrends estimates will be less than $180,000. Using Konica Minolta heads that generate a 14-picoliter drop size, the Dilli printer has a maximum rated speed of 150 square meters per hour (over 1,600 square feet per hour). The new Dilli printer attracted a lot of attention at the show and InfoTrends believes it could have a big impact on the UV roll-to-roll market via direct sales of Dilli in Asia and via Agfa OEM sales (Dilli is the manufacturer of some of Agfa’s popular wide format UV-curable Anapurna printers).

NeoTitan RTR3026D, UV roll-to-roll printer

Lior Meron is InfoTrends’ Director of Asia Pacific operations. You can contact him at lior@infotrends.com. A show review of Kosign 2012 is available to InfoTrends clients.

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