After a nearly three-year hiatus, Sign & Digital is returning to Birmingham’s NEC on 22 – 24 March 2022. Here is a guide to what you can expect to see at the signmaking, display solutions and digital printing show. We will be updating this page as more exhibitors confirm their attendance and provide details, so make sure to bookmark it and check back regularly to help you plan for your own visit.

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eProductivity Software (EPS) will make its UK debut as a standalone business after splitting from EFI at the beginning of the year. It will present the latest versions of its Midmarket Print Suite and MarketDirect customer engagement platform at the show. The former is a scalable but modular MIS/ERP offering built around certified end-to-end workflows for the commercial print and display graphics markets. MarketDirect combines e-commerce, marketing, fulfilment and personalisation tools into one solution to enable businesses to sell, market, procure and fulfil online.

Epson will be showcasing several of its SureColor printers. This will include the SureColor SC-V7000 UV flatbed printer, which will be getting its first public outing in the UK, the SureColor SC-R5000L, which is the company’s first resin ink large format printer, and the SureColor SC-S80600L, which Epson says can create everything from simple signage to high-end displays and décor.

Alongside this trio will be the Epson SureColor SC-F500 dye-sublimation printer, showing how ‘fast work’ can be made of applications such phone covers, mugs, mouse mats, t-shirts or cushions, and the SureColor SC-F2100, with heat press, which offers a complete DTG package for designing and printing durable t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothes, tote bags and other cotton items.

Hybrid Services, Mimaki’s exclusive distributor for the UK and Ireland, is heading to the Second City with what it is calling ‘a raft of new product launches’ from the Japanese manufacturer. This will include models from the Mimaki 100 Series – which incorporates solvent, UV and dye sublimation inks in a 1.6m wide entry level platform – alongside the launch of the Mimaki UJF MkIIe Series of flatbed LED UV printers.

‘Mimaki continuously innovates, and Sign & Digital UK provides us the opportunity to give a number of important new products their launch to our UK and Irish customers,’ states Duncan Jefferies, Hybrid’s head of marketing and business development.

InkTec will be showcasing the Jetrix LXi8 flatbed and the Jetrix LXiR320 roll-to-roll LED UV large format printers. The LXi8 has a 2 x 3.2m flatbed and can operate at speeds of over 206sqm/hr. It can accommodate rigid media up to 3200 x 2030mm and 100mm thick. The LXiR320 can produce 3.2m edge-to-edge graphics at speeds of up to 110sqm/h and up to 2160dpi resolution. 

Josero is set to showcase an array of different technologies, and will also be welcoming a diverse group of partners to its stand. The tech will include the Ricoh Latex L5160e , the BubbleFree Applicator Table and a Mimaki UJV100 1.6m LED roll to roll UV printer.

The partners will comprise Print Factory , Vism and Keencut who will all be demonstrating their own products on the Josero stand, as well as Soyang, who will be supplying products to be used with all the equipment on display.

Managing director Sarah Winterbottom commented, ‘We are very excited to be attending Sign & Digital again at long last – exhibitions are back ! Josero have a line up of exciting new things for you to see and we look forward to seeing you all there.’

RA Smarts textile printing specialist Alex Mighall told Digital Printer that his company is ‘incredibly excited’ to be returning to Sign & Digital this year in the specialist Textile Tech area, saying, ‘We’ll be showcasing the entry level Mimaki TS100-1600 dye sublimation printer, alongside with the more industrial HP Stitch S500.’

Roland DG will be displaying its new VersaStudio BN-20A, the Versa UV series’ LEF2-300, LEC2-640 and LEC2-330S-B200 and the CAMM-1 GR2-640 vinyl cutter. The VersaStudio BN-20A is a compact 480mm print-and-cut width eco-solvent device suitable for stickers, labels and heat transfers for garment printing. The VersaUV LEC2640 is a 1.6m UV printer/cutter which supports white and clear inks as options and can produce packaging mock-ups as well as signage. The VersaUV LEF2-300 is a benchtop UV printer with a print bed area of 800 x 300mm and able to accommodate items 100mm deep for customisation and personalisation work.

SwissQprint will be holding live demonstrations of its new Generation 4 flatbed. The Swiss manufacturer says that these new printers ‘redefine standards in terms of quality and productivity as well as usability and efficiency’ and that the demonstrations will prove this. The company’s stand will also feature what it is calling ‘inspiring applications ideas, including dazzling neon prints’ and neon inks.

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SwissQPrint will highlight what can be achieved with neon inks

Erskine Stewart, general manager of SwissQprint UK, commented, ‘We are going to highlight the scope that the new fluorescent colours open up.’ He explained that, using just two inks, four striking colour variants are possible – yellow, pink, green and orange – as well as ‘countless possibilities.’

The Magic Touch will be using the event to highlight ‘the growing number of new and unique applications’ made possible by their various image transfer solutions. The company has recently introduced its Direct-to-Film (DtF) digital transfer process which it believes is ‘set to have a major impact on the decoration industry both in the short and long term.’
This new technology is available via several different printer models that offer production capabilities of up to 15sqm/hr. The transfers can be applied to almost any garment, of any colour, on almost any material or fabric composition. The DtF transfers are durable, stretchable and claimed to be very cost-effective.

Trotec Laser plans to demonstrate the benefits of laser cutting and engraving to the signage and display industries. Specifically it will display the Speedy 400 Run on Ruby, the latest iteration of its flatbed laser. With a working area of 1016 x 610mm and CO2 laser power up to 120 watts, the Speedy 400 features a built-in touch screen with the all-new Ruby laser software included.

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The Magic Touch is pioneering direct-to-film technology

Also on stand will be the Q500 mid-range laser, making its first UK show appearance. With a working area of 1300 x 900mm, and 100 watt DC laser power, the Q500 is a mid-range option for cutting materials up to 15mm thick. The Speedy 300 Flexx dual-source laser completes the Trotec line-up.

Vivid Laminating Technologies will be showing off the VeloBlade Nexus, its flagship cutting system for the wide-format market. In addition to the Nexus, the Leicestershire-based business, will be demonstrating a new polishing tool which has been developed in Germany and new software for both the VeloBlade Volta and the Nexus.

Specifically this is the new Zip Core Packaging Suite, a CAD/CAM packaging software that has been created to optimise ‘every aspect of packaging design from start to finish.’ It is available in two bundles, Zip Core Design and Zip Core Design Pro, both of which are compatible with both desktop and cloud solutions and integrated with Adobe Illustrator.

Sales and product manager Lewis Evans said that Vivid is very excited to be launching the new product. ‘Our software will provide businesses with a wide range of tools that speed up and automate the everyday jobs of packaging designers, graphic designers and salespeople involved in the creation and production of packaging,’ he said. ‘This will result in jobs being produced at a much faster rate. There are endless packaging templates to choose from within our library of designs, giving the customer the opportunity to create an infinite choice of projects with absolute simplicity.’

Zünd UK says that it will be returning to Birmingham with ‘a clear focus on creating efficiency from order to delivery with intelligent workflows.’ At Sign and Digital the company will be presenting its latest workflow solutions for automatically generating production files and data used for production monitoring and analytics. It will also be showing software solutions for making the journey quicker and easier through automation, for instance by linking order data with the print and cut data.

Zünd is also premiering Zünd Connect, a web-based monitoring tool that gathers key performance and availability data of integrated cutting systems for calculating overall system effectiveness (OEE).