Show highlights: The Print Show 2022
Published: 14 September 2022 | No comments yet
The HP Latex 700W will be among the printers demonstrated by new exhibitor Perfect Colours
With around 80 exhibitors confirmed at the time of going to press, the Print Show will present a complete cross-section of the industry’s suppliers and products, with some first UK appearances and some exclusive product launches. Here is a selection
Whether it’s presses or software, substrates or finishing equipment, there’ll be a bit of everything at The Print Show, so whatever you’re after you’ll probably find it. Here’s an alphabetical list of exhibitors who had provided preview information as of late July. MIS developer Accura sees the show as a pivotal event in restoring confidence in the market after the problems of the last couple of years.
Managing director Trevor Cocks, who has exhibited previously, comments, ‘The Print Show 2022 will be massively important as we hope it will help restore and rebuild confidence in the state of the printing industry, whilst also providing a meeting place for counterparts, and enable visitors ‘touch and feel’ new technologies for the first time in two years.’
To be showcased on Accura’s stand is Accura online, its e-commerce and web-to-print platform that Mr Cocks says features improved hosting performance, reliability and flexibility. This also brings a variety of new B2C features for consumer-facing portals, such as additional payment systems and voucher code support. Also on show will be the latest version of Accura SQL which brings benefits in scalability and robustness, plus an open API for integration with other systems.
‘Accura SQL will pave the way for the next generation of Accura MIS including mobile, and responsive browser applications,’ Mr Cocks says.
Amaya will be showing its garment decoration equipment, with live demonstrations of a range products. A UK first will be Polyprint’s new NG series of DtG printers that bridge the gap between entry level and mass production, combining fulfillment speed production with high-definition quality. All Polyprint Texjet DTG printers are DtF-compatible, adding flexibility for hard-to print positions and non-cotton fabrics.
For diversification, Amaya says embroidery is a proven profit opportunity, and it will show the Melco EMT16X modular embroidery machine for efficient and uninterrupted production. Also showing for the first time at a trade show is the Uninet Icolor 540 A4 white toner printer which gives businesses a lower entry point to the heat transfer market, opening up more applications. From Roland will be the SG3-540 Print & Cut machine for in house garment transfer production, banner and signage work, the LEF 12i entry-level UV printer for hard substrate printing, and the GS-24 plotter for basic vinyl cutting. The Oki white toner printers will be on show in combination with Forever transfer paper. A variety of papers caters for applications from full colour transfers to single colour, all with no ‘weeding’.
Another returning previous exhibitor is finishing specialist Ashgate Automation, which will present its Fastbind range of binders and Kas booklet-makers and creasers. The range reflects the rapidly-growing popularity of PUR binding, which managing director Lewis Price says is ‘one of the most profitable products that printers can offer.’ Ashgate will demonstrate the Kasfold KT 640 compact booklet-making system, which can produce books up to 320 x 320mm as well as A4 (both landscape and portrait) and A5 and supports run lengths from low bespoke ranges up to larger digital and even litho work.
Also on show will be the manual Neo, which Mr Price says has an attractive price for PUR binding while also supporting EVA hot melt, and is able to handle both soft- and hardcover books at up to three books per minute. This complements the Pureva Smart PUR and EVA semi-automated binder which suits longer runs thanks to automation and overall speed, while maintaining consistency. Duplo’s stand looks set to be busy with a wide range of finishing equipment on display. One highlight will be the new DC 648 multifinisher which slits, cuts and creases and is said to offer speed and quality plus overall productivity through automation. This will be complemented by the PFI Di-Cut 310 rotary die-cutter which allows users to die cut, kiss cut, crease, perforate, slit, hole punch and cut round corners in one process.
Other products on the stand will include the DC-618 multi-finisher which has the ability to process up six slits, 30 cuts and 20 creases per sheet in a single pass, and the PFI Blade B2 digital cutting table that can cut, kiss cut, crease and perforate substrates including paper, laminates, boards, adhesives and synthetic stocks. The popular DBM-150 booklet-maker and Bagel iLam Pro Laminator, now available in the UK exclusively through Duplo will also appear, as will the embellishment and packaging capabilities of the recently launched DDC-8000 B2 format DuSense digital UV spot coater and DC-20K B2 cutting system.
‘We will be showing live demonstrations of automation in action and our staff will be on hand to show how Duplo embellishment can substantially increase profit and add value to end users’ products,’ said Duplo managing director Martyn Train.
E-Productivity Software (EPS) will be making its first appearance at a UK commercial print trade show since its divergence from EFI and will feature its range of MIS, data capture and analysis tools that are designed to support revenue growth and drive operating and production efficiencies. The company will specifically showcase its print management solutions PrintSmith Vision and Midmarket Print Suite. The former is aimed at franchises, smaller commercial printers, print on-demand and inplant facilities; the latter is a browser-based solution built around the Pace MIS that provides certified end to-end workflows and integrates with other EPS and third-party applications. It is designed to allow mid-sized and large printers to run their businesses in an integrated manner, from order acquisition through to shipping.
Also to be demonstrated are the MarketDirect Storefront web-to-print, fulfilment and document procurement solution, including software to create 3D box designs, alongside MarketDirect Cross Media multi-channel marketing and communications software. EPS will also feature its iQuote, Auto-Count 4D and PrintFlow estimating, data collection and scheduling offerings, which work with any MIS/ERP. Hybrid Services, UK and Ireland exclusive distributor for Mimaki’s range of roll-fed, desktop, flatbed and print and-cut devices, will have a prominent stand just inside the entrance to Hall 17 at the NEC, aiming to attract visitors’ attention as soon as they arrive. While the company hadn’t at the time of writing specified which machines would be presented on its stand, recent Mimaki introductions include 330 series of wide-format printers and CG-AR cutting plotters, both of which were announced earlier in 2022. The 330 series printers, developed for signage, graphics and textile applications, build on the foundations laid by the company’s 100 and 300 Plus Series, and offer 1.6m eco-solvent and dye sublimation transfer models.
The CG-AR Series cutting plotter series comes in three different sizes, with Mimaki saying they go ‘above and beyond currently available entry-level options.’ ‘Commercial printers looking to incorporate a wide-format workflow into their business will find plenty of inspiration, applications and technology from Mimaki on the Hybrid stand, and we look forward to meeting them at the show,’ said Duncan Jefferies, head of marketing and business development. Another long-term supporter of the show is Intec, which will display a selection of its finishing and embellishment offerings. Highlights on the company’s stand will include the ColorCut FB9000, its flagship automatic digital die-cutter, which will be shown running unattended. Visitors will be able to see both the type and quality of work the machine can produce in this mode.
Also due to appear on Intec’s stand in September is the popular ColorCut automatic sheet cutter, alongside the ColorCut LC600 automatic label kiss-cutting machine. Visitors will also be able to see a number of Intec’s large-format flatbed cutters, while it will also display and demonstrate the ColorFlare line of desktop and professional-level foiling and lamination machines. The Print Show 2022 will also be the first major industry event where Intec will exhibit under the Plockmatic Group umbrella, having been acquired in July by the group that also owns fellow exhibitor Morgana Systems.
‘Being the only UK event for the industry, it is important that we are there,’ said Terri Winstanley, product and marketing manager at Intec. ‘It ensures that we are able to engage with customers and industry professionals alike and to see what everyone has to offer.’
Konica Minolta will be one of the few digital press vendors to appear at the show in its own right, reflecting increased activity in and support for the UK market. It will be the company’s fourth appearance at the show, however, and while no official announcement has been made, we expect to see the debut of a new complement to the AccurioPress line of cut-sheet toner presses, the Accurio Shine, a digital embellishment/spot coater that will allow users to add value to ‘standard’ CMYK digital (or litho) print.
No further details were at the time of writing but it seems likely that the technology will have been derived at least in part from the French-made MGI line of digital embellishment presses in which Konica Minolta owns a significant share. On the press side, recent introductions from KM have included the 100ppm AccurioPrint 2100, a mono press, and the AccurioPress C7100, a 100ppm colour model introduced in June 2021, which completed the revamp of the company’s colour line that began with the C14000 in late 2018.
These are complemented by a range of DFEs, including EFI Fiery-based models, workflow and inline quality control and finishing options. More finishing kit will be on display from Morgana, which will premiere the BM4000 series of booklet-makers. Described as ‘a new kind of booklet-maker’, these can produce both A4 landscape and 297 x 297mm booklets with either corner or edge stapling as standard, plus an option for SquareBack finishing.
Designed to work with low-to-mid volume digital production presses, the BM4000 range can staple and fold booklets of 35 or 50 sheets, depending on model, including long SRA3 sheets up 660mm for A4 landscape products, such as photo books. The minimum booklet format is A6. Stalin options are corner for A4 portrait and edge for either orientation A4. Booklets of up 200 pages can be produced, depending on model. Morgana will also feature the recently introduced Uchida Aero DieCut, a compact cutting and creasing unit that uses regular forms together with a patented moving roller system that provides the pressure to cut or score sheets.
Also on display will be the AutoCreaser and DigiFold Pro XL, a long-sheet version of the creasing, folding and perforating unit that supports sheets up to 1300mm in length, and the new 50cm AutoCreaser Pro XW.
Another UK first will be the Valiani Integra flatbed cutting table. Industry body Picon, which represents industry suppliers, will also be at the show, providing a meeting point for existing and potential members, but not through a conventional exhibition stand. Instead, the organisation will run a lounge for its members to relax or do business. Those interested in joining, or existing members wanting to catch up on the latest goings on from within the association, including information on the grants it can offer them to help them recruit young people or train staff, can also drop by.
‘I know that printers like shows like this where they can research developments and compare and contrast competing products easily, and in a time-efficient way. Suppliers have not halted their research and development during the pandemic, so this is a great platform to signpost new trends, new products and new ways of thinking,’ noted Picon chief executive Bettine Pellant.
A show first-timer will be large format solutions provider Perfect Colours, which will focus primarily on HP offerings, with a sustainability slant. For general signage and display work, the 1.6m HP Latex 700W includes white ink and is able to print at up to 31sqm/hr for ‘outdoor’ (distance viewing) applications. Also to be demonstrated is the HP DesignJet Z9+, also a1.6m unit, but this one is a plotter/printer able to provide professional photo quality prints. It can run at up to 14.1sqm/hr and supports a range of media. Perfect Colours will also display the HP PageWide 5200XL Pro, a large format multi-function printer for lower quality poster, CAD or GIS applications at up to 400sqm/hr.
In addition, Perfect Colours will show how customers can save on materials and inks by using Print Factory workflow software, with specialists on hand to explain the benefits of the product. Premier was an early sign-up for this year’s show, having appeared at every previous edition. The company’s primary aim at The Print Show 2022 is to network face-to-face with printers, designers and paper buyers. This will see its team of knowledgeable experts help identify and provide solutions with products from its extensive portfolio of paper and other substrates.
The company will also raise awareness of its Carbon Capture programme and speak with visitors about how its environmental initiatives can help them to achieve their key CSR objectives. According to Solopress, a benefit of attending The Print Show for an online trade printer is the opportunity to meet customers face-to-face.
‘With existing customers, it’s great to be able to put a face to a name, and of course there’s the opportunity to build new relationships with people who might not have used Solopress before,’ said Glen Eckett, head of marketing. ‘The Print Show cancellations in 2020 and 2021 have meant that it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to engage in this way. Last time we did in 2019, we discovered an appetite among our trade customers for an exclusive service to cater more closely to their needs as print buyers and resellers.
‘As a result, we launched Solopro in November 2020 to offer a more personal and bespoke experience for these businesses. It’s great to be able to come back to the Print Show where Solopro was conceived and give it its first public outing since launch,’ he concluded.
Flatbed laser cutter/engraver specialist Trotec will deliver live ‘print and cut’ demonstrations of its flagship Speedy 400 laser system. This features the recently-launched Vision Design & Position lid camera and is powered by Trotec’s Ruby design and job management software. Visitors to the stand will also get to see the Q500 mid-range laser cutter in action, processing clear acrylic to produce a flame polished edge and engraved detailing. Trotec says its Q-series lasers are built to deliver reliable cutting and engraving results. The company will also be hosting the Engraving booth in the show’s Diversification Zone, featuring a selection of laser-cut and engraved product samples; Trotec experts will be on hand there to explain how to take advantage of the opportunities that laser processing offers.
Very Displays services the display and printing industry with portable display products that address four main application categories: Event & Exhibitions, Outdoor Solutions, Retail & PoS and Fabric Display Solutions. The firm has more than 50 years’ experience and says it has selected a mix of the most efficient and effective products, complemented by specialist in-house product designs and its own print facilities to provide a complete solution for trade customers. At this year’s show the firm will feature its best-sellers, plus the introduction of the new and exclusive Slim R Banner, in addition to live product demonstrations and unbranded literature, another new introduction. Web-to-print developer Vpress kept hard at work through the pandemic and now has a number of updates and innovations to present as a result. These start with a rewrite of the home page preview that is designed to improve customer experience, allowing personalised site layout and content, with promotions, login alerts, notifications and information panels. Embedded personalisation allows Vpress Coreprint technologies such as the Dynamic Editor to be integrated within customer websites, while integration into MIS platforms such as those from Tharstern or PrintIQ continues to be developed for more seamless automation.
Job submission file checking enables colour/mono splits to be established and used for accurate dynamic pricing, while the dynamic proof view presents a live interactive proof or new or saved jobs without needing to open the Editor module. Vpress is also partnering with various other exhibitors around the show to demonstrate the creation and printing of a personalised label.