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  • + Success of Pilot Careers Program Drives Expansion

    Higher apprentice numbers and a growing awareness of industry career opportunities are just some of the positive outcome..

    04 February 2020


    Higher apprentice numbers and a growing awareness of industry career opportunities are just some of the positive outcomes of a pioneering program led by Visual Connections and the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA), with the Australian Schools Industry Partnership (AusSIP) in 2019. And, with the initiative set to expand from 2020, the future is looking bright.

    Sign & Display apprenticeships in NSW were up 21.28% in 2019, with ten additional apprentices signing up for TAFE training. This lift in numbers is just one outcome of a partnership between Visual Connections, ASGA and the education liaison team at AusSIP.

    Peter Harper, CEO of Visual Connections, says the partnership – which falls under Visual Connections’ Academy initiatives – has now been piloted for a full year in New South Wales, with a focus on the sign and display industry, with very positive results.

    “It’s no secret that attracting young people, training them, and retaining them, is a major challenge across the entire sector,” Harper said today. “Visual Connections is committed to supporting the future sustainability of the industry, and one of our key areas of focus is attracting young people to the industry and ensuring they have access to the training they need to build their careers.”

    For Michael Punch, General Manager of ASGA, it is also about revealing the wonders and opportunities inherent in sign and graphics careers. 
    “So many students, parents and careers advisors are simply unaware of the industry and its variety,” he says. “They walk daily through shopping malls, festooned with all forms of signage, yet while plumbers, carpenters and electricians are trades they’re very familiar with in their homes and workplaces, it’s a different story with sign makers and installers.”

    In 2019, AusSIP’s Tina Mavris and John Watters ran the initiative in a number of NSW schools to give years 10 and 11 students the opportunity to learn about the industry through visits to Ultimo TAFE and ASGA members who, Punch says, have been keen to open their doors to give students a ‘hands-on’ experience and share their passion for the industry. A large number of students also attended PrintEx19 in Sydney in August as part of the program.

    “For many of the young people we connect with, their contact with us is the first time they’ve ever heard about sign, display and print – let alone considered a career in the sector,” Watters says. 

    “Regardless of whether they are creative, IT-focused, engineering or construction-minded, or simply interested in a varied and challenging career, students who have the opportunity to see what sign, display, engraving, wide-format and other print businesses do every day, and to put that in the context of the many and varied industries which rely on those services, are invariably amazed and impressed. And, importantly, the ‘hands-on’ nature of this program demonstrates that there really are jobs in the industry which are both available and desirable.”

    Issues around careers and training are, of course, complex, and recruitment into training is just one outcome, Watters explains, acknowledging that the Sydney pilot is just the start of what is likely to be a very long process.

    “It’s not enough for students to be convinced about their career direction. Parents, teachers and vocational counsellors all play an important role in helping young people select their post-secondary training, and must be part of any education process,” he points out. 

    “Close liaison with TAFEs and other RTOs is also vital to ensure that there are clear training pathways available. With different systems and multiple providers in each State, that’s also a complex process and one which takes time to work through. 

    “What is great, however, is that Visual Connections and ASGA have identified a long-standing challenge for the industry, and they’re doing something positive about it.”

    As well as improving overall awareness, building relationships with schools, industry and training providers, the Sydney pilot has achieved notable success this year in increasing the number of registrations in the Sign & Display TAFE course for 2020. 

    Particularly pleasing, says Harper, is that five of the new apprentices – half the intake – were girls, a result which represents a doubling of female apprenticeships in this category in 2019.





    “It’s always pleasing to see young women take up opportunities in our industry, and we’re absolutely delighted to see the number of girls starting these apprenticeships growing to near parity with the boys,” Harper says. 

    Given the success of the NSW pilot, Harper and Punch say their organisations are keen to continue the partnership and to expand the program from 2020, both to other states in Australia and into different sectors of the industry, with new initiatives to be announced soon.

    “Visual Connections believes there is no greater investment that we can make in the future of our industry than in equipping young people to become the leaders of tomorrow,” he says. “We look forward to expanding this successful program across the country and the industry as we seek to support a sustainable future for the sector.”

    To find out how your business can be involved in the program contact michael_punch@signs.org.au, or to find out more about AusSIP, go to www.aussip.com.au or watch the video made at PrintEx19.





  • + Roland DG Now Scheduling Service Runs to Fire Affected Regions

    Following on from Roland DG's Support Program announcement (see below), Roland DG has commenced to schedule service runs..

    04 February 2020


    Following on from Roland DG's Support Program announcement (see below), Roland DG has commenced to schedule service runs to fire affected regions across Australia. These runs will occur throughout February.  


    If your business has been impacted, and you are in a position to have your equipment inspected as below please contact Roland DG directly on 1-800-500-119, through our website booking form at www.rolanddg.com.au/support/customer-support-form, or via e-mail at service@rolanddg.com.au.


    Beyond service support, Roland DG is keen to provide additional assistance where possible and as each individual's needs may differ, we ask you to contact us to discuss how we can help get your business back up and running as fast as possible.





  • + Air Mesh 120 is now available from Ricky

    This PVC FREE mesh is ideal for banners, flags, beach flags and wall coverings. It is extremely lightweight and has..

    04 February 2020


    This PVC FREE mesh is ideal for banners, flags, beach flags and wall coverings.

    It is extremely lightweight and has high air permeability. With excellent print quality using dye-sub, UV or latex inks, you will be able to create vibrant colours using Air Mesh 120.

    If you would like further information, contact one of the Print Media experts today on 029735 3333 or sales@rickyrichards.com.au





  • + Epilog Laser releases updated system, FiberMark S2

    Epilog Laser releases updated system, FiberMark S2, the affordable solution for etching and marking all types of bare me..

    04 February 2020


    Epilog Laser releases updated system, FiberMark S2, the affordable solution for etching and marking all types of bare metals and plastics in one machine. 

    Industrial engraving shops looking to work with both bare metals and plastics now have a one-machine solution with Epilog’s FiberMark S2. The small-format fiber laser is Epilog’s original fiber laser system and is the first flying-optic fiber laser system ever developed.

    - 30 watt fiber laser
    - 610 x 305 x 140mm work area
    - Easy-access drop-down door
    - Ability to create etched, annealed and polished marks
    - 75 – 1200 dpi

    With the ability to print directly to the laser from any graphics software, the FiberMark S2 makes etching an entire table full of parts or labels at one time super simple. 





    Ideal applications include marking engineered plastics, etching barcodes, serial numbers and tool serialisation, traceability, electrical and industrial labelling.

    The FiberMark S2 system is priced to suit entry-level businesses, with full on-site training included with all installations, as well as on-going on-site and phone support Australia-wide from Alfex Laser. 

    Mark and Etch a Wide Variety of Materials - Etch almost any metal and mark many engineered plastics.

    High-Speed Parts Marking - Flying-optic beam delivery system provides fast, accurate metal marking.

    Open Architecture Software Interface - Send projects to the laser through a simple print driver, allowing you to use the software you choose.

    Non-Contact Marking: No Bits Needed - No need to brace parts or replace expensive engraving bits or tools.

    High Volume, Multi-Piece Marking - Easy-access, drop-down door allows for easy access to the engraving table.

    Etch, Polish and Anneal with One System - Create multiple marks that fit your needs with easy-to-use settings.

    Made-in-the-USA Quality - Designed, engineered and manufactured at Epilog Lasers headquarters in Golden, CO, USA.

    Kevlar and Steel Cord Belts - Precision drive belts made of advanced B-style Kevlar and Steel Cord.

    Local support on-site and over the phone for all Australian businesses through Epilog Laser’s Australian partner, Alfex Laser.

    The Epilog FiberMark S2 is available in Australia exclusively through Alfex Laser.

    Get an immediate return on investment through Alfex Laser’s rent-to-buy financing. Businesses can get their hands on equipment today and generate income to offset the low monthly payments. 

    To learn more about the updated Epilog FiberMark S2 and download tech specs, visit www.alfexlaser.com.au or call 1300 20 15 10.

    About Alfex Laser: Alfex Laser is home to Australia’s largest range of lasers for cutting, marking and engraving. Partnering with only the best laser brands in the industry world-wide for over 40 years, Alfex Laser continues to support Australian businesses with reliable, on-time laser support, on-site, online and over the phone. No matter what you're making, Alfex Laser will find the best laser solution to increase production and profitability for your business. 






  • + Epson Productivity & Efficiency Showcase to be held at XO Studios

    (https://www.epson.com.au/events/index.asp?venue=7)..

    28 January 2020






  • + News From Europe - Nestlé to invest €1.68 billion in sustainable packaging

    Nestlé today announced that it will invest up to €1.68 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to foo..

    28 January 2020


    Nestlé today announced that it will invest up to €1.68 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

    Building on its 2018 commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé is aiming to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period whilst working with others to advance the circular economy and endeavour to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes, and rivers.

    In the company’s view, food quality and safety are paramount, and packaging plays a major role in assuring this. Nestlé argues that most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics. To create a market, Nestlé is therefore committed to sourcing up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than €1.39 billion to pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025. Nestlé will reportedly seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.

    Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems, and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future. In addition to its in-house research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company will launch a €232 million sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas.

    These two initiatives come in addition to Nestlé’s ongoing efforts in research, sourcing, and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of the company’s packaging commitment and in an effort to increase transparency, Nestlé will continue to outline further initiatives and provide regular progress updates.

    “No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”

    "We are pleased to see Nestlé commit a €1.68 billion investment toward creating a circular economy for plastics, alongside a reduction of its use of virgin plastic in packaging by one third by 2025. By eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating in areas like reuse models and new materials, and circulating the plastics we do need – also in more challenging food-grade applications – we can create an economy where plastic never becomes waste. Achieving the commitments announced today will significantly contribute towards realising this vision,” said Andrew Morlet, CEO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.





  • + Epson Australia Debuts First Industrial Direct-to-Garment Printer Bringing New Levels of Customisation to Growing Digital Textile Market

    Epson Australia will debut the new SureColor F3060, its first industrial direct-to-garment printer, at its Productivity ..

    28 January 2020


    Epson Australia will debut the new SureColor F3060, its first industrial direct-to-garment printer, at its Productivity & Efficiency Showcase to be held at XO Studios, 10 Lincoln Street, Brunswick East, VIC 3057 on 20 and 21 February 2020. To register for and to attend the event click here
     
    Designed to provide low total cost of ownership (TCO) and reliability for exceptional performance and savings in high-production print shop environments, the SureColor F3060 is Epson’s first direct-to-garment printer to leverage dual printhead technology and a bulk ink pack system, providing remarkably low ink cost and minimised waste compared to Epson cartridge systems. It touts all new automatic garment height adjustment and easy user maintenance features to increase production and reduce downtime for garment print shops creating custom apparel.

    Designed for mid-to-large size garment printers looking for a high-production, cost-effective equipment, the SureColor F3060 can produce a full-size shirt in about a minute, allowing shops to print hundreds of shirts per day.

    Ideal for digitally printing custom garments on variety of fabric types including cotton, linen and rayon, the SureColor F3060 is designed to meet the increasing market demand for unique clothing driven by the millennial population.
     
    The printer leverages a new dual 2.6-inch PrecisionCore® printhead for high-quality output at production speeds with true one-pass printing for both colour and White ink. Coupled with the first bulk ink system integrated into an Epson direct-to-garment printer, it is capable of housing 1.5 litres per colour and 3.0 litres of White ink for less frequent refilling, lower operating costs, and less waste.  

    First ever automatic printhead height adjustment is set based on garment thickness and texture for optimal print quality without user interference, and easily switches between thin t-shirts and thick sweatshirts with less downtime between garments. Built for reliability, the SureColor F3060 features an ultra-durable linear rail system and CNC milled print carriage, designed for years of production, and features user serviceable parts, including printheads, and low maintenance time ideal for high production print on-demand service providers, fulfilment houses and in-house print on-demand production.

    More about the SureColor F3060

    Delivering high image quality, productivity and reliability in an affordable, highly intuitive design, the SureColor F3060 offers advanced features for the garment printing industry, including:
    • PrecisionCore Printhead Technology – Dual 10-channel printheads with 16,000 nozzles delivering industrial quality output at impressive production speeds
    • Bulk Ink System – Replaceable bulk ink packs for less frequent ink refilling and lower costs compared to our ink cartridge systems
    • High-Quality Direct-to-Garment Printing – Epson UltraChrome® DG inks* are durable, vibrant and safe, with outstanding colour performance, plus equal pricing for colour and White inks 
    • Automatic Printhead Adjustment – Optimised for garment thickness for improved print quality without user intervention
    • Low Total Cost of Ownership – Low maintenance time and cost with dedicated cleaning solution channels and fabric head wiper system
    • Fast Loading for More Productivity – Easy-to-use, all-new quick-load platen reduces traditional hoop platen load times
    • Intuitive, Easy-to-Learn Workflow – Updated Epson Garment Creator Software, available for macOS® and Windows®, includes cost estimator, text tools, hot folders, and automation SDK
    • Designed Exclusively for Direct-to-Garment Printing – An entirely purpose-built system featuring Epson’s PrecisionCore printhead, Epson UltraChrome DG ink system and robust hardware
    • Scale Seamlessly – Scale production capability with additional printers featuring an easily repositionable compact design
     
    Australian pricing and availability details will be announced after February’s Productivity & Efficiency Showcase.
     
    To register for and to attend the event click here





  • + DAVID CROWTHER TO HEAD IDEALLIANCE AUSTRALASIA OFFICE

    Idealliance, the global think tank, standards developer and certifying body for ISO, G7® colour specification and br..

    28 January 2020


    Idealliance, the global think tank, standards developer and certifying body for ISO, G7® colour specification and brand supply chain management programs and consulting, has appointed David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services to head its Australasian office, based in Sydney. Crowther is a certified G7® Expert.

    “This is the beginning of a whole new era for colour consistency and brand supply chain management in our region,” says Crowther, “many global leading global brands are already mandating G7 certified colour to ensure that the same brilliant colour is reproduced anywhere in the world, by any process and in all formats such as advertising, signage, catalogues, packaging, corporate livery and so on.”

    G7 is the Idealliance specification that uses grey-balance and visual appearance to calibrate and control any printing or proofing device, anywhere. Where G7 is used, ICC profiles become much more durable and reliable, enabling an achievable target colour to be replicated when files are shared or transferred for printing on any device-creating a supply chain workflow of one file, one separation, one calibration, one aim point - (PRINT ANYWHERE™…BRILLIANTLY), all lending to tremendous upsurge in efficiency, drastic waste reduction and resulting increase in profitability.

    Since early 2018, the Australasian office of Idealliance has been managed by Jason Hall of CMYKiT, who has moved on to focus on his security software business. “I’d like to acknowledge and thank Jason for the groundwork he has done in establishing Idealliance Australasia and wish him every success for the future,” says Crowther.

    Idealliance has five main certifications and training and all will be available through David Crowther/Colour Graphic Services. These are:

    G7 Expert - individuals certified and licensed by Idealliance as proven leaders in print production and global Standards to align all proof and print applications regardless of the print process, ink, or substrate.

    G7 Master Facility Qualification - For print service providers to demonstrate their leading capabilities in Colour Management using G7 methodology.

    BrandQ® - BrandQ enables communication between brand owners and suppliers, so it is clear on brand owner’s expectations, evaluation methodology, aims, tolerances and validation process. BrandQ certification assures a high level of communication, quality and performance which leads to overall operational efficiency, process control, measurement controls, and data that can be shared between print service provider and brands, brand owners and print buyers. This is including the certification audit BrandQ® Certified Supply Chain Facility.

    G7 Process Control Expert - The G7 Process Control Expert training addresses the challenges of managing colour across devices and workflows, defining how to integrate and maintain proven industry best practices and standards. 

    G7 Process Control Facility Certification - (For print service providers that demonstrate expert use of process control and leading practices designed for print supply chain efficiencies and productivity).

    Idealliance CEO Tim Baechle says, of Crowther’s appointment: 

    “We are extremely proud to have David leading Idealliance Australasia as he brings tremendous colour management knowledge, process control expertise and an exceptional depth of understanding of technologies, both hardware and software, covering all print technologies within the industry. He also has a tremendous reputation and a unique set of character traits that aligns fully with the servant leadership mindset of Idealliance, which will allow him to serve this region extraordinarily well.”

    Crowther adds: “The Idealliance organization is passionate about colour accuracy and has members of notable companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Lindt & Sprüngli, Ricoh, Canon, Techkon and West Rock on its board of directors. This sits very well with the work Colour Graphic Services is engaged in with ISO 12647 certification and other colour management workflow projects. I am delighted to be appointed as the Australasian office and look forward to starting the courses and certifications very soon.”

    www.colourgraphicservices.com
    www.idealliance.org 






  • + drupa cube 2020: Eleven Days of Vision and Inspiration

    drupa is much more than just a global trade exhibition for the print industry - it ranks as a top international trade fa..

    28 January 2020


    drupa is much more than just a global trade exhibition for the print industry - it ranks as a top international trade fair that identifies important trends, offers insights into future developments and drives inspiration.

    drupa is much more than just a global trade exhibition for the print industry - it ranks as a top international trade fair that identifies important trends, offers insights into future developments and drives inspiration. To provide participants with the best possible experience, drupa invests in top-class knowledge transfer through its five special forums - including the drupa cube. drupa will take place from June 16 – 26, 2020 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.

    “educate - engage - entertain” is again the slogan of the drupa cube in 2020, providing a broadly diversified and highly relevant range of content that motivates, provides valuable impulses and is interactive for visitors due to the versed lecture formats. Renowned speakers from around the world will inspire with a visionary range of topics. Bestselling author Michael Gale and internationally renowned designer James Sommerville will also contribute keynotes to the top-class program. 

    With over 40 sessions - keynotes, C-level sessions, workshops, brand stories and best practice examples - the drupa cube will serve as a source of inspiration and expertise on new digital business models, with digital transformation playing a significant role. The focus will be on innovative web-to-print and packaging technologies, the potential of a platform economy with more diversified sales channels and new collaboration models, as well as the changing expectations of connected customers in a social media culture – all against the background of an increasing responsibility of the industry for sustainability and circular economy management.

    “Our primary goal is to put as many ideas as possible out there which participants can successfully implement in their own companies,” said Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa and Global Head Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf. “We want to offer a program that meets their actual needs.”

    Practical recipes for success

    James Sommerville and Michael Gale, along with representatives of global brands and leading industry experts, will share their knowledge with drupa 2020 visitors. With “The Digital Helix. Transforming your organization's DNA to thrive in the Digital Age”, Michael Gale has written a guide for Michael Gale has written a guide for decision makers who want to adapt their company to digital business models. Gale's book has become an international best-seller and top brands use the digital helix algorithm of his company Inc.digital to accurately place their marketing and sales investments in digitization projects. The drupa cube will looks into the future of the industry and provides concrete recommendations for successful digital management as well as important background information to help navigate digital management. James Sommerville knows what it means to strengthen brands. The British star designer gave the Coca-Cola brand a new image in 2013, raised its design language to a whole new level and gave it the face that it still remembered today. 

    “The print industry has undergone a remarkable technological transformation and can be hailed as a “best case scenario” in this respect - both in terms of changed processes and new business models,” said Michael Gale. “As we access new fields of application, acquire new technologies and capture new vertical markets, we are caught up in the maelstrom of this transition. The print industry must proactively embrace this change. Companies that go digital increase their profits up to five times faster than their competitors; companies that don’t follow this track will therefore find the going incredibly tough. Personally, I find this new market not only important but also very exciting and I'm eager to share my enthusiasm with others. In the drupa cube, we are putting the spotlight on a number of examples and solutions designed to illustrate strategies for successful corporate management.”

    A program with depth

    To give it a clear structure, the drupa cube program will be divided into five thematic fields. In addition to the keynote presentations by James Sommerville and Michael Gale, the Business Evolution lecture sessions will focus on global market trends, best practices in sales and marketing and innovative business models. Print Futures will be dedicated to relevant technology trends in print and packaging, along with printed electronics applications. Brand owners and agencies will also share their Brand Stories. In the fifth category, Executive Think Tanks, business leaders are invited to exchange ideas with keynote speakers. Pre-registration is required for these sessions. The complete program of the drupa cube, taking place on all days of drupa, will be available at the end of February at www.drupa.com/cube-en. 





  • + swissQprint Creative Challenge

    In the second half of 2019, swissQprint challenged customers worldwide to a competition. Now the winners are known. The ..

    28 January 2020


    In the second half of 2019, swissQprint challenged customers worldwide to a competition. Now the winners are known. The diversity of entries underscores the versatility of the printing systems used in their creation.

    In the second half of 2019, swissQprint challenged customers worldwide to a competition. Now the winners are known. The diversity of entries underscores the versatility of the printing systems used in their creation.

    "We are seeking the most original, most complex, most amazing, most compelling printed products ever produced with a swissQprint machine," was the message in the call for submissions that went out to all swissQprint customers in the second half of 2019. The swissQprint Creative Challenge was on. Out of 65 qualifying entries, six winners have emerged. All the entries are on display in an online gallery at www.swissqprint.com. 

    The winners

    Top place goes to "3D-Kopf" from Haas Werbetechnik, Austria, a precision application that combines 3D effects and relief printing. In second place is a large-format piece of art with some unusual varnish effects, "Privathaus M" from Erwin Hüttl Ges.m.b.H., Austria. Third place is taken by "ideoopack manupacktur promotionbox" from raunjakintermedias gmbh, Austria, a promotional item that shows off all the possibilities of UV printing. In fourth place is "Mosaic replica" by Biksad, Turkey, a museum facsimile of a mosaic printed on handmade paper. Tying for fifth place are "Bio Club posters" from Shoei, Japan, a sophisticated print on hologram paper, and "Natur" from Schilder Systeme GmbH, Austria, which combines natural and artificial materials along with printed textures. The winner, Haas Werbetechnik, is coming to Switzerland this year with two representatives for an adventure trip. Second to fifth placed winners are being rewarded with generous prizes.

    Multifaceted judging

    The competition title implies that originality was all that counted. "The evaluation went far beyond this criterion," points out the competition coordinator, Petra Fetting. Thus, a five-member jury of experts evaluated entries according to a grid of distinct criteria. The swissQprint workforce also had the opportunity to submit their ratings, as well as the public, who had their say in the outcome via an online voting platform.

    International participation

    "Although Austrians dominate the winners' list, participation was international," explains Petra Fetting. Entries arrived from 20 countries across North America, Europe and Asia, 65 of which qualified. Incidentally, this was the second round of the swissQprint Creative Challenge, the first being in 2016. "This year's entries have exceeded our expectations on all counts," adds the enthusiastic project coordinator.

    Application variety in evidence

    Petra Fetting continues, "We received a fantastically wide range of applications." The projects can be roughly categorised into the fields of advertising technology, signage, display and packaging, interior décor, art reproduction, commercial and industrial applications, and droptix (3D effect). On the one hand, it was striking to note how many unusual media had been processed. On the other, many fine art productions were among the competition entries as well as textured and relief prints, the latter in part combined with droptix. "Our customers have shown with amazing style just how versatile our large format printers are,” sums up Petra Fetting.

    Overview of the winners

    1st "3D-Kopf" by Haas Werbetechnik, AT





    2nd "Privathaus M" by Erwin Hüttl Ges.m.b.H., AT





    3rd "ideoopack manupacktur promotionbox" by raunjakintermedias gmbh, AT





    4th "Mosaic replica" by Biksad, TR
    5th "Bio Club posters" by Shoei, JP and "Natur" by Schilder Systeme GmbH, AT

    The winning entry: "3D-Kopf" from Haas Werbetechnik – an effective combination of droptix and relief printing.





  • + Epson Develops System for Simultaneously Managing Multiple Robots

    System increases efficiency of factory administration and robot maintenance Epson has developed an Epson Robot Mana..

    21 January 2020


    System increases efficiency of factory administration and robot maintenance

    Epson has developed an Epson Robot Management System to simultaneously manage multiple Epson robots on a manufacturing line using networked PCs and tablets. This system enables manufacturers that use Epson robots to increase the efficiency of factory administration and robot maintenance.

    The Epson Robot Management System uses PCs and tablets connected to an intranet network to centrally monitor a factory's industrial robots, acquire robot status backups, update firmware, and simultaneously update operating programs.
     
    In the past, Epson industrial robot users had to monitor robots individually and separately enter program settings and so forth for each. Taking regular backups and performing maintenance in factories with multiple robots could be complicated and time-consuming, and it took time and trouble to restore operations when issues occurred. The Epson Robot Management System increases the efficiency of factory operations by solving these issues.
     
    Until now, Epson was largely focused on helping to create an environment that enables customers to more easily realise complex applications, such as by helping to increase the efficiency of equipment design using simulator functions and by reducing equipment setup times with Epson robot integrated force sensors and image processing sensors. Going forward, Epson will develop and provide solutions that enable smarter manufacturing and support factory administration. In addition to the Epson Robot Management System, these solutions will include systems that are compliant with the OPC-UA (an industry standard communication protocol for IoT) and that leverage AI to increase the efficiency of robot operations and predict failures.
     
    Epson recently exhibited at the International Robot Exhibition where among the reference exhibits on the Epson booth were ones that demonstrated:
    ·         Use of a robot monitoring system to display the status of robots operating in the booth
    ·         Increasing efficiency with AI-based machine learning of applications that use force sensors
    ·         Concept for OPC-UA protocol support





  • + All Dye-Sub Ink Now Transferrable to Cotton

    Graphics One is announcing the release of its GO Fuze Dye-Sub to Cotton liquid solution for use with virtually all brand..

    21 January 2020


    Graphics One is announcing the release of its GO Fuze Dye-Sub to Cotton liquid solution for use with virtually all brands of dye-sub inks. This extraordinary new capability uses new patent-pending polymer chemistry, which allows standard dye-sub ink to fuze to cotton fabric. Any dye-sub printer will be capable of imaging transfers for use with both polyester and cotton using the GO Fuze liquid.

    GO Fuze liquid works through an easy pre-treat process using either a hand spray method or GO Fuze PreTreater machine. Once the garment or fabric is sprayed and dried, dye-sub inks can then be transferred in a normal dye-sub workflow utilising standard dye-sub paper with a heat press. In addition to transfers, users can also print directly to the fabric. Of course, the ink must be cured by heat for the fabric to be usable.

    Dan Barefoot, Vice President of Graphics One indicated, “Our GO Fuze solution was developed in conjunction with our FabriMate dye-sub-to-cotton solution. Our R&D Team discovered that the GO Fuze liquid would work with virtually any dye-sub ink brands, including both our GO SubliMate and GO FabriMate ink families.”

    Barefoot further stated, “We feel having the ability to use any dye-sub ink transfers with both cotton and polyester presents tremendous new opportunities for the dye-sub market. The process is simple and fits into a standard workflow. We believe every dye-sub provider will want to incorporate this innovative new technology into their product offering.”

    GO Fuze liquid will be available in the Spring of 2020 through the extensive Graphics One distribution network. 





  • + Focus Label and TS Converting to launch hybrid press

    Focus Label Machinery has announced a cooperation with TS Converting Equipment, manufacturer of the Elite Cameron range,..

    21 January 2020


    Focus Label Machinery has announced a cooperation with TS Converting Equipment, manufacturer of the Elite Cameron range, to develop a hybrid coating and printing press.

    The new unit, which is due to launch in the spring this year will have options to apply release coatings, hot melt coat, print, laminate, die cut, slit and rewind materials in one pass.

    ‘We have known Focus for many years and are excited to be developing the new press together,’ said Tim Self, director of TS Converting. ‘The new machine has huge potential in the self-adhesive laminate, tape and label industries.’

    David Lee of Focus Label Machinery, added: ‘Our partnership brings together years of design expertise in different industries and the development will open some exciting new avenues for our printing technology.’

    The new machine is said to be designed as a modular press with the ability to print on both sides of the web in one pass using UV Flexo or digital inks. Further details regarding the new machine are expected to be released in spring this year when both companies will proceed with the testing phase.





  • + Durst restructures textile printing segment

    Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, has restructured its segment for industria..

    21 January 2020


    Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, has restructured its segment for industrial textile printing.

    The new segment manager, Dr. Stefan Kappaun, has responsibility for the strategic direction in home textiles, clothing and accessories. Dr. Kappaun also will be the connecting link to the Large Format Segment, which takes over soft signage and fabrics in the portfolio.

    Dr. Kappaun is a member of Durst Group’s executive team and heads the ink business for all segments as Executive Vice President Inks & Fluids. A technical chemist with a focus on polymer science and a trained business economist, he is an expert in materials science and the development and marketing of ink systems for digital inkjet printing.

    This know-how is particularly important within industrial textile printing, because, in contrast to other industries, different materials, pre- and post-treatments as well as large-scale process influences, represent a daily challenge in digital textile production. At the same time, digital textile printing is one of the largest growth markets for inkjet technologies. It is a sector being targeted by advertising media and large format providers in addition to traditional textile producers. All have different textile experiences, but are always looking for new applications and business opportunities.

    With the Alpha Series, Durst offers industrial printing systems with water-based reactive, pigment and disperse inks as well as with the pixel-to-output strategy end-to-end software solutions for efficient and cost-transparent digital textile printing.

    "The digital textile printing market is fragmented in itself and we see different speeds and developments worldwide," says Dr. Kappaun. "While new, non-industry service providers often already have digital know-how but less textile experience, the traditional manufacturers are masters of textile finishing, but not all analog processing steps can be transferred directly to digital textile printing. Durst has a comprehensive ecosystem to serve the different requirements and to support customers in the digital transformation. Our printing systems are designed for industrial productivity, but also offer profitability from the very first meter. The prerequisite for this is mastery of the pre-treatment and post-treatment steps as well as the digital workflow, in which Durst focuses on the consulting and training services in the new Customer Experience Centre at the Durst headquarters in Brixen.”

    Dr. Stefan Kappaun succeeds Martin Winkler in his expanded role as Segment Manager Textile Printing, who will take on the role of Global Sales Manager Textile Printing in the future. The Textile Printing Team will also be supplemented by the experienced service technician Martin Oberparleitner, as the new Junior Product Manager Textile Printing. New sales and service structures are also being implemented in the core markets.





  • + EFI launch new VUTEk D5R and D3R mid-volume UV LED printers

    Electronics For Imaging Inc. is launching a new mid-range roll-to-roll printer line that helps sign and display graphics..

    21 January 2020


    Electronics For Imaging Inc. is launching a new mid-range roll-to-roll printer line that helps sign and display graphics customers drive more volume with high-end digital print for endless applications and designs.

    The new EFI VUTEk D3r and D5r LED inkjet printers leverage many of the advanced capabilities from EFI’s highly successful VUTEk 3r+ and 5r+ printers, offering a mid-range solution for an even wider variety of high value applications thanks to its combination of white and clear inks, as well as its Museum print mode. The new printer line also supports the unique collection of options for VUTEk roll-to-roll LED printers, providing a full system for higher efficiency and a lower total cost of ownership.

    The VUTEk D3r, which prints up to 2,196 square feet per hour, is making its worldwide debut at the EFI Connect users’ conference, Jan. 21-24 in Las Vegas, and making its European debut at the EFI EMEA Ignite event on Jan. 29 in Brussels, Belgium.

    The second printer in the new mid-range line, the VUTEk D5r, prints up to 2,626 square feet per hour. Early D5r users such as Thomas Printworks in the United States and Allgraf in Italy have purchased the new printer line for its performance capabilities to meet growing demand for high-end signage, décor, outdoor graphics and other applications.

    “We were looking to upgrade our 5-meter printing capabilities, and when we found the EFI VUTEk D5r, it checked all the boxes related to speed, quality, cost of operation, and efficiency,” said Bryan Thomas, president at Thomas Printworks. “The quality of the machine was so impressive that it gave us the added benefit of also replacing a 3-meter printer within our fleet.”

    “Our choice to buy the EFI VUTEk D5r was a winning decision,” said Agostino Allegris, CEO and president at Allgraf. “The printing resolution, the possibilities of white printing and the inline clear ink are unique features and they give us a competitive edge. Now, we have the ability to print a full flood or selective clear ink in glossy or matte. We are excited of the possibilities of printing a whole series of innovative applications and materials.”

    High-end UltraDrop Technology and high efficiency

    The D3r and D5r printers, at 3.5- and 5.2-meters wide respectively, deliver outstanding smoothness in shadows, gradients and transitions with UltraDrop Technology, precise and sharp 3-point size text, and a true resolution of up to 1,200 dots per inch. An ultra-high-definition print mode offers near-photographic quality. The printers’ LED curing ensures not only cost savings but also a more environmentally sound printing solution, consuming less energy and enabling the use of thinner, heat-sensitive substrates.

    The VUTEk D line is equipped with additional printheads and offers both white and jettable clear ink for matte and glossy effects, covering a wider amount of unique applications such as wall decorations and murals, window graphics, flooring, high-value prints with selective gloss effects, fleet graphics, truck-side curtains and more.

    The printers are easily customisable to the purchaser’s needs and strategies, with optional features including:

    • White and clear ink;
    • Inline x-cutters and y-slitters;
    • Automatic backlit and block-out printing;
    • Media spreaders and motorised winders; and more.

    Both printers include EFI’s industry-leading Fiery proServer SE digital front end, allowing increased productivity as well as accurate color matching every time.

    For added productivity, users can choose to add a software productivity pack and are able to remotely connect with the printers using a mobile application. EFI VUTEk SuperFlex 3M inks are also available for manufacturing of popular and profitable vehicle wraps and fleet graphics.

    “The ‘D’ in the name for these new printers is for ‘Design,’ and they are absolutely designed to offer the right mix of features, productivity and cost to create new opportunities for signage and graphics professionals,” said Ken Hanulec, EFI’s vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We listened very closely to our customers for feedback to create a mid-volume solution that will be the technology of choice for print providers seeking to profitably grow their businesses with high-end applications.”

    For more information on EFI’s portfolio of solutions for the display graphics industry, visit www.efi.com.





  • + Roland DG Bushfire Disaster Support Program

    Roland DG would like to extend its thoughts and best wishes to those who have been affected by the fires that are curren..

    14 January 2020


    Roland DG would like to extend its thoughts and best wishes to those who have been affected by the fires that are currently ravaging large parts of Australia. With so many friends and colleagues affected we hope for the wellbeing of all involved.

    As part of Roland DG’s existing Disaster Support Program for those affected by this terrible tragedy, Roland DG is keen to assist where we can. One such way is to provide, at no cost, call-out fees and labour to review and inspect Roland equipment damaged as a direct result of the fires, or the resulting power outages. The Roland DG Care team can provide condition reports for any insurance claim requirements and for equipment requiring repair service work, spare parts will be supplied under special rates (please contact Roland DG directly for more detail).

    Roland DG endeavours to help find additional ways to assist customers directly affected so please contact the team for more details on how we can help get your business back up and running.

    The Roland DG Care team will be scheduling service runs in the affected regions once it is safe to do so. Should you have any questions, or to register for the special service runs please do not hesitate to contact Roland DG directly for assistance on 1-800-500-119, through our website booking form at www.rolanddg.com.au/support/customer-support-form, or via e-mail at service@rolanddg.com.au and one of our staff will be more than willing to assist.





  • + Neolite is now the exclusive stocking distributor of AgiLight® products in Australia

    GENLED AgiLight® is proud to announce that Neolite is now the exclusive stocking distributor of AgiLight® produc..

    14 January 2020


    GENLED AgiLight® is proud to announce that Neolite is now the exclusive stocking distributor of AgiLight® products in Australia. 

    Neolite, which started in the signage industry in Sydney in 1948, is the leading supplier of illumination and creative signage solutions in Australia, servicing clients across the commercial, architectural, electrical, signage and artistic industries. With its origins in traditional neon, Neolite boasts more than 60 years of experience in illuminated signage. Neolite also has a 15-year history in premium LED products, completing projects all over Australia. Based in Silverwater, a commercial hub central to servicing greater Sydney and Australia, the Neolite team is a trusted signage supplier that has helped transform important Australian sites and buildings into iconic landmarks, including ANZ Stadium, Virgin, Hard Rock Café, The Oaks, The Epping Club, CSR and the Park Royal Hotel, and helped bring to life some amazing art pieces for renowned artists, displayed everywhere from residential and corporate sites to some of Australia’s biggest and best art galleries. 

    While continuing to embrace new technologies and adding premium products to its distribution portfolio, Neolite remains true to its heritage as its Master Light Benders still offer workshops for artists, industry and corporate groups that teach and retrain the art of traditional neon bending at its Sydney studio. 

    “Having stocked GENLED AgiLight® products for many years, we are very excited to now be representing the full range of AgiLight’s products throughout Australia -- servicing the commercial, architectural, electrical, project management, signage and artistic industries. At Neolite, we are dedicated to maintaining our premium product offering within Australia, serviced through our extensive and fast distribution network, which makes this partnership with GENLED AgiLight® a perfect strategic fit,” said Adrian Lauff, general manager of Neolite. 

    “Neolite’s strong reputation and dedication to quality will be a tremendous asset to GENLED AgiLight® in the Australian lighting market,” said Scott Vontobel, director of global sales for GENLED Brands™. “Partnering with Neolite will help us provide stellar customer service Down Under as we continue our global expansion.” 

    GENLED AgiLight® is a premium LED signage lighting company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, a division of GENLED Brands™, which operates in 66 countries over six continents.





  • + Xaar launches fluid evaluation service

    Xaar has launched a five-step service for the evaluation of fluids for use in new product development and advanced manuf..

    14 January 2020


    Xaar has launched a five-step service for the evaluation of fluids for use in new product development and advanced manufacturing applications.

    The service aims to help companies establish the suitability of inkjet technology and fluids in new applications without incurring large upfront costs. To support the new service, Xaar has invested in a dedicated laboratory. This is equipped with a number of custom test rigs for sample production and fluid testing, such as a Notion Systems n.jet 3D printer. 

    Each new project starts with the initial fluid evaluation where guidance is provided on issues such as ink development and material compatibility as well as options for complex rheology testing and fluid physicals measurement. Stage two covers jetting optimisation encompassing printhead waveform configuration, alongside application and fluid optimisation. Stage three involves actual sample production utilising one of the custom test rigs. Once samples have been produced, the process moves on to upscaling the development application, focusing on the provision of the relevant Xaar inkjet system. The fifth and final then completes each project through providing continued support and delivering application improvements, testing and advice.

    The five-step service is currently enabling companies to evaluate the jetting of fluids with high viscosities. Most inkjet printheads are capable of jetting materials with viscosities with a range of 10-25 mPa.s (10-25 cP). Now, thanks to improvements in Xaar’s TF technology, fluids that have significantly higher viscosities can be successfully jetted through its printheads.

    Mike Seal, Xaar business development manager, advanced manufacturing and 3D printheads, commented, ‘Inkjet technology is now highly relevant across a multitude of new product development applications, and we wanted to enable companies to be able to review the suitability of inkjet printing in their product development programmes without the need for significant capital investment or upfront costs.’

    Mr Seal continued, ‘Providing access to our inkjet development expertise through our five-step service helps clients get to market quicker by reducing their own development timelines and costs. From 3D printing through to functional fluid applications such as optics and flat panel displays, the possibilities and applications for inkjet printing are extremely diverse, and our dedicated team and five-step service is here to support throughout each development project.’





  • + Sato launches smart mini label printer

    Sato has revealed the CT4-LX smart mini label printer equipped with a colour touch panel LCD for intuitive operation, sp..

    14 January 2020


    Sato has revealed the CT4-LX smart mini label printer equipped with a colour touch panel LCD for intuitive operation, space-saving and suitability across many sectors and geographic regions.

    ‘I am excited to unveil this irresistible smart mini, which is a totally new category for barcode label printers,’ said Hayato Shindo, president of Sato International. President Hayato Shindo. ‘The great potential of the CT4-LX is its value-added features that users in different sectors can pick and choose from to optimise their on-site operations. Together with our customers and partners, we want to turn ideas into reality.’

    According to the company, the new printer can enhance business by supporting existing applications and operations as it allows users to print labels without a PC by connecting to peripherals. 

    The CT4-LX is equipped with a large 4.3in colour TFT LCD touch panel for a user-friendly interface, has a small footprint and supports menu display in 31 languages and printing in 47 languages. 





  • + Liquid Lens announces range of domed label production solutions

    UK manufacturer Liquid Lens, has announced the availability of a broad range of end-to-end domed label production soluti..

    14 January 2020


    UK manufacturer Liquid Lens, has announced the availability of a broad range of end-to-end domed label production solutions.

    The solutions include complete full colour label production systems for either indoor or outdoor use with integrated cutting capabilities or separate cutter and the Liquid Lens Label System best suited to the required volumes.

    Liquid Lens Managing Director, Steve Hastie, comments, “The key to our production systems is the sheer quality of the mercury free resin we use for the domed labels. It is far superior to any other resin in the market and this means our customers are demanding more and more labels. We produce hundreds of thousands of labels each week from our own production centre and this continues to be a major part of our business. However, increasingly we are finding more and more customers are identifying the financial and operational benefits of taking their domed label production in-house and we are delighted to provide them a fantastic solution that is optimised to their specific requirements.”

    The Liquid Lens Label Systems range from an entry level solution designed for the daily production of 1 to 500 labels, through to the Label System 750 capable of producing many thousands of outdoor durable domed labels every day. Each solution includes a digital inkjet printer, a cutter (or integrated print and cut machine), from premium manufacturers such as Canon, Graphtec, Mimaki or Roland, together with a specialist doming machine. Liquid lens will work with customers to determine the correct configuration to suit each company’s current and future requirements.

    Resin Quality
    Liquid Lens is the only global supplier of its automotive production grade polyurethane resin in easy to use cartridge format. This resin is demonstrably superior to other products in the market. Hastie explains, “Our resin is very easy to use and apply, cures quickly and provides a consistent and reliable finish. Our resin always delivers a smooth, resilient surface, compared to many other resins, which are often rough or sticky to touch. This is because our resin, which always fully closes, comes from one of the world’s largest and best manufacturers of polyurethane resin.”

    He concludes, “Don’t take our word for it! We invite anyone to compare the quality of our resin in a huge range of applications, including domed labels, number plate gel characters and advertising, digital mosaics and more. Ours is the only cartridge resin with a 12-month shelf-life guarantee, which makes us the industry’s largest supplier of cartridge resin and the best source for reliable, high-quality doming resin.”