With over 19,000 registrants and a live marching band, SGIA Expo 2017 didn't miss a beat! With 597 exhibitors, this show covered everything from a variety of printers to software and media. It was impossible to leave New Orleans without ideas, and solutions.
Industry leaders such as HP, EFI, Durst, and Mimaki all offered their take on the inkjet markets. They opened up the realm of possibilities for plastics, fabrics, and rigid materials while also showing how their improvements allow for wider, faster and more profitable printing. HP featured their wide-format Latex press, the HP Latex 3600. This press offers advanced technologies, such as dual-roll capabilities and mobile controls. The Durst Who 1312 Plus is the fastest UV flatbed printer on the market. Mimaki featured their JFX200-2531, which won 'Product of the Year' for flatbed printers, offering the ability to print two 4' x 8' substrates at one time. These presses allowed for Tekra;s inkjet lines to be a hot topic, as they have multiple materials for each press type listed, serving multiple applications. "Our line of polycarbonate materials is becoming more and more requested," states Rebecca Fuhrman, Market Development Manager for Digital Films at Tekra. "Whether you are producing a backlit sign, a high-end advertising piece, or a label product that requires durability, Tekra has an option, and that option can be inkjet-printed," continues Fuhrman.
MEDIA AND APPLICATIONS
In addition to printer innovations, SGIA was overrun with media options. From car wraps to printed slip covers, the options and ideas were endless. Some of the more versatile options were the films. Films seem to span the application spectrum, being shown for tradeshow graphics, to membrane switch overlays, and menu boards to floor graphics. When speaking with Andy Danihel, Tekra's Senior Director of Marketing, he stated: "Plastics for printing is becoming more and more popular and more and more profitable every year. With the advanced coating technologies, coupled with the advancement in printing, plastics open up the door to durable applications at a more affordable rate". One of the more versatile options was Tekra's JetView™ Solvent Blockout Media. This material is a flexible polyester-polypropylene hybrid film that offers 99% opacity and layflat properties that offer printability across solvent, UV and latex platforms. "This film is a great option for push/pull signs or banner stands," states Rebecca Fuhrman.
The EXPO is always a place to take in the trends and get a feel for the movement of the industry. This year, it was safe to say that the textile industry is strong, but also, people seemed to be in search of materials that would be increasingly indestructible. For this, the answer was Tekra's hardcoated materials. Whether you are inkjet, indigo or screen printing these films, you can second surface print and allow the chemical and scratch resistant coatings on the first surface to protect the film, while the film protects the ink. "Our line offers everything form a low-iridescent coating for the appliance market, to a weatherable polyester that prevents yellowing and blocks 99% of UV light," states Veronica Chandre, Market Development Manager for Hardcoated Films at Tekra.
SGIA has been known to be the best place to connect with varying areas of the print industry, share ideas and keep an eye on the industry trends. This year was no exception.