Category: Decorative Printing

ISS 2019 Event Ushers in New DTG Printing Solutions

Ron Gilboa
Jan 28, 2019

With over 400 exhibitors, a range of educational sessions, and many hands-on demonstrations, this year’s Imprinted Sportswear Show (ISS) was held at the Long Beach Convention Center from January 18 – 20, 2019. As always, the event’s attendees came eager to learn about the latest innovations in technologies, materials, and processes. Navigating the show floor during the exhibition, visitors were exposed to new direct-to-garment (DTG) printing solutions, a range of shop management solutions, and continued innovations that improved the material handling process.

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Colors and Inspirations from Première Vision 2019

Ron Gilboa
Jan 23, 2019

For the best part of forty years the Première Vision exhibition has been the inspiration for the fashion industry with shows in Paris, New York, and Istanbul. For those of you who follow our technology trends in digital printing and imaging, this is not a place to feast your eyes on printing equipment, rather a place where brands, fabric designers, and manufacturers come together to choose the materials for their next season’s collections and be inspired by the color catalogs and textures that are the foundation of the fashion and décor industries.  With over 170 exhibitors, this show draws on the rich New York fashion community, as well as major national brands, as they plan their spring and summer collections.

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China’s Suzhou Ruifa Looks to Disrupt the Printhead Manufacturing Segment

Ron Gilboa
Dec 20, 2018

For decades, precise deposition of materials was achieved by utilizing a range of technologies that  produce range of products from graphics arts, decorative, functional, and a host of other applications. Today, several key inkjet technologies drive markets and applications. These are enabled in part by a new generation of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) deposition / jetting devices, whether continuous inkjet (CIJ), piezoelectric drop on demand, or thermal inkjet drop on demand (TIJ). These technologies have been – for most part – the domain of a handful of companies that had the intellectual property and made the investment in silicone-based printhead manufacturing for several quite some time.

While the main suppliers of existing inkjet heads are almost all clustered in Japan, Western Europe, and the USA, a new competitor is now launching in China. After a significant investment in technology and resources, China’s Suzhou Ruifa Printing Technology Co. has announced its entrance as a supplier of thermal inkjet printheads. The company’s new printhead, SUREJet T7680, is a 41mm/1.6” wide thermal head, with 7680 nozzles. According to Suzhou Ruifa, SUREJet T7680 has two meter per second print speed and is capable of 1800×1200 DPI print resolution.

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Highlights from JAPANTEX 2018

Masato Atoda and Colin McMahon
Dec 11, 2018

JAPANTEX 2018 was held over three days, November 20 – 22, at the Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Center. The event, which is currently in its 37th year, serves as an annual exhibition of interior fabrics. Around 8,700 visitors, as well as exhibitors from 277 companies, attended the event, which this year focused on a combination theme of Japanese style and interior beauty, mixed with all the professionalism one can expect at this type of event.

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Big News from Adobe MAX 2018 for the Printing World

Ryan McAbee
Oct 31, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, creative professionals ascended en masse to Los Angeles Convention
Center for Adobe’s annual gathering known as Adobe MAX. The event was part learning, networking, and entertaining and attended by over 14,000 creatives. Although Adobe grew up with the digitization of the printing industry and Creative Cloud and PDF are mainstays, many in our industry may have missed some of the bigger news from MAX. In fear of being the 1,574th article written about the conference (apparently 1,573 were written for the 2017 event), here’s what matters to the print community.

HP SmartStream D4D

The most interesting announcement at MAX for print came from HP’s release of SmartStream Design for Designers (D4D). Read more »

What Epson’s new DTG Solution Means for Polyester Printing

Catherine Cresswell and Colin McMahon
Oct 30, 2018

During SGIA 2018, Epson (who was on hand as an exhibitor) unveiled its new direct-to-garment (DTG) pretreatment solution for polyester garments. The solution will work with its current DTG products – namely the SureColor F2000 and F2100. According to Epson, part of the appeal of this new pretreatment solution is its adaptability. Users will not have to change their standard DTG workflow to accommodate the product but will reap the rewards of an expanded range of garment lineup options – including activewear, imitation silk and leather, and sports apparel.

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Nintendo Labo Shows Potential for New Sustainable Corrugated Cardboard Applications

Colin McMahon
Oct 25, 2018

Consumer electronics specialist Nintendo has been enjoying positive growth. Its newest video game console, the Nintendo Switch, is proving quite popular among consumers who are seeking an innovative gaming experience at home and on the go. With its numbers back in the green, the Japanese video game manufacturer has returned to doing what it does best—taking creative risks. One of its most recent products, Nintendo Labo, exemplifies the company’s desire to push the envelope.

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SGIA 2018 Marks an End of Industry Segmentation

Ryan McAbee

A bustling crowd of roughly 24,000 attendees packed the Las Vegas Convention Center from October 18 to October 20, 2018. The reason? The SGIA Expo – to be clear, the last SGIA Expo. Those who came to the event got the chance to learn tips to improve their businesses, catch a glimpse of new and upcoming technologies, and share insights among their fellow industry peers. With 600 exhibitors in attendance, there was no shortage of activity, conversation, and presentations.

SGIA Expo Opening Day

SGIA Expo 2018 Opening Crowd

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Digital Print, Expanding Horizons in Woodworking

Ron Gilboa
Sep 20, 2018

The biannual International Woodworking Fair, which took place August 21-25 in Atlanta, GA, held its inaugural Digital Printing Symposium, which was created in partnership between IWF, the organizers of the show, Surface & Panel Magazine, and Keypoint intelligence. While this symposium is new, digital printing has actually been part of the woodworking industry for some time. That said, the need to short-run cost-effective decorative surfaces, as well as ongoing development in digital inkjet printing sector, is creating a perfect storm for the technology to meet woodworking’s market needs.

Inaugural IWF Digital Print Symposium

Inaugural IWF Digital Print Symposium

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HP Announces the Latex R1000 – The Latest Addition to The Latex R Series

Steve Urmano and India Tatro
Jul 12, 2018

On July 9th HP announced an expansion to its newly released R Series of latex printers, the R1000 Printer. Like the previously released R2000, the R1000 is designed for printing on a number of both rigid and flexible substrates including foamboards, PVC cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminum, wood, and glass. Like the R2000, which Keypoint Intelligence reported on when it was first announced, the R1000 is designed for a variety of applications within the sign & display and decorative printing industry segments.

HP Latex R1000 Printer

R1000 Key Specifications

While the HP Latex R2000 focuses on larger PSPs, HP explained in it’s latest press release that the R1000 is designed to be an ideal solution for smaller companies:

“The current portfolio includes the HP Latex R2000 Printer, designed for large-signage printer service providers (PSP’s) who require workflow efficiency and sustained production. With the debut of the HP Latex R1000 Printer, HP is adding depth to offer maximum value in one device. Designed for growing businesses with investment and space constraints, the versatile printer offers a single set of inks for a wide range of flexible and rigid media including applications for retail, outdoor signage, window graphics, events and exhibitions, and decorations.

The new printer comes with three liter-ink cartridges, compared to the larger model with five liters, and is designed to accommodate materials up to 1.64 meters/64 inches wide and up to 5 cm/2-inches thick while the R2000 prints up to 2.5-meters/98-inches wide and up to 5-cm/2-inches thick.”

Additional specifications for the R1000 have been released on HP’s website. Most notable are the smaller footprint (the R1000 measures in at 166 x 143 x 69 in), and productivity of up to 57 m² per hour (614 ft² per hour). The R1000 will also feature the HP Latex White Ink and Overcoat that are used on the R2000.

HP Latex R Series Print Samples (Taken at Print4All 2018)

Analyst Comments

While Latex grew very quickly in the Roll to Roll product segment drastically offsetting solvent sales mainly in NA and EMEA markets over the past several years, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on the impact it will have in the UV Hybrid arena. There are several market conditions that need to be overcome. HP has done well in the low end of the market due to both price point and marketing strength. The UV Hybrid and Roll Markets have already grown double digits the last several years and have already drastically offset and penetrated the solvent arena and this is a very crowded vendor space.

There is a very wide range of low-priced Chinese machines on the market priced below $100K. The Latex R1000 & R2000 1.6 – 3.2 M Wide Format Hybrids come in on the higher end of the price spectrum in a market that has become flooded with lower cost LED UV Hybrids & Flatbeds. In the US, Mimaki, Mutoh, CET, Vanguard, and others have been servicing this segment, so pricing and product performance will be a key issue for market entry.

Time will tell if HP’s marketing machine will be able to overcome these hurdles. However, Keypoint Intelligence sees the potential in Latex with the higher performance R ink-set. It appears to have a whiter white, and lay flatter than UV inks which tend to have a thicker ink deposition. The battle for the durables continues with the domination of ink technology playing a key role.

 

 

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