May 2014. Munich, Germany. Webmarteers Lee Smith (Category Management Director) and Simon Biltcliffe (Webmart CEO) visited FESPA Digital 2014 - the world’s leading exhibition for wide format (i.e. large graphics!) and textile print – to check out the latest innovations we could bring back to the UK. Here’s their report on some of the highlights.
The largest ever FESPA Digital show in its eight-year history attracted a record audience of 16766 unique visitors, a 30% increase over FESPA Digital 2011 in Hamburg, the previous best.
The four exhibition halls and themed content ‘hubs’ buzzed with visitors responding to FESPA’s call to ‘Dive Deeper into Digital’.
Exhibitors from around the world were there presenting the latest in digital technology from new faster presses to fully automatic cutting tables. HP, Cannon, Durst, Ricoh, Epson, EFI, Fujifilm, Zund and Roland were among the major exhibitors showcasing the very latest machines, materials, inks and technology.
HP has, in recent years, lead the way and shown the most impressive range of digital kit – and this year was no different. HP introduced its new latex 3000 press which demonstrated how new curing and ink technologies are allowing printers to benefit from latex quality at industrial production speeds. Latex Inks are ideal for wide and super-wide applications including event banners, transit signage, and other outdoor applications as well as for high-quality indoor signage. Latex Inks are pigmented, water-based inks . The water-based formulations of Latex Inks reduce the impact of printing on the environment and deliver overall durability that outperforms solvent ink with prints offering display permanence up to 3 years unlaminated outdoors and for indoor, in-window displays, up to 5 years unlaminated.
HP Scitex FB10000
HP also showcased their very impressive flatbed (rather than a machine fed by a roll of material) presses such as the HP Scitex FB10000 which has a print bed of 3.2m x 1.6m allowing print speeds of up to 625 square meters per hour and with the ability to print direct onto substrates up to 25mm thick and with the launch of the FB15000 which is an upgrade on the 10000 with automatic material feed (as opposed to having to manually feed each sheet of material), this has enabled printers to compete, in terms of both speed and cost, with litho printed display work at higher quantities than ever before.
Gone are the days where digital was only cost-effective for runs of less than 200. Now the quantity line where litho becomes the more cost effective production method is much higher. Added to the fact that each print can be different and printed direct to display board rather than having to litho print onto paper and mount to the board, and it’s beginning to give digital production a distinct advantage. It’s safe to say that flatbed digital production is fast becoming the way forward for large format Point of sale graphics.
It was also exciting to see the progress in the vehicle wrapping market. There are now almost no limits to how you can get a marketing message onto a vehicles with a massive range of vinyl finishes and effects now available. We saw a mini being wrapped with a leather effect finish next to a Porsche covered in a carbon fibre effect wrap. As well as growth in the vehicle advertising market, It is a real possibility that having your car wrapped may become a standard additional extra!
Keeping up to date with the very latest technology is something Webmart’s Category Management team prides itself in and we work tirelessly to partner and collaborate with the best suppliers who are investing in the latest technology so we can bring fresh ideas and innovation to our clients.