Thousands of visitors travelled to the Bavarian capital from 14 to 17 May 2019 to attend FESPA 2019 to see the latest innovations from more than 700 exhibitors who highlighted technologies and consumables for digital wide format, screen printing, textile printing and garment decoration and non printed signage. Visitors to FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 also had free access to European Sign Expo, the dedicated event for non-printed signage and visual communications. Visitors to European Sign Expo discovered the latest products from over 100 exhibitors showcasing solutions for channel lettering, illuminated signage, neon and LED, sign systems, engraving and etching and dimensional signage.

FESPA Global Print Expo is established as the sector’s leading platform for launching innovations and a number of exhibitors already confirmed plans to introduce new products at the 2019 event. Announcements made to date include HP’s first products for textile printing with the new Stitch S series of dye-sublimation printers, and swissQprint’s first roll-to-roll printer, Karibu.

Colour L*A*B*

FESPA’s newest visitor feature, Colour L*A*B*, helped visitors to improve colour management practices in their print businesses. The interactive showcase offered visitors an end-to-end overview of the individual elements that contributed to good colour management, including technologies from suppliers including Barbieri, CMA Imaging, EFI, Eizo, HP, Just Normlicht, Pantone, Techkon and X-Rite. Visitors to Colour L*A*B* also attended daily expert conference sessions and joined guided tours by Paul Sherfield, Laurel Brunner and Paul Lindström, providing more detail on the technology on show.

Printeriors

Printeriors, FESPA’s interior décor showcase, highlighted the opportunities of print for interior décor. Within the feature, visitors discovered applications from a range of suppliers including: Adobe, Canon, Mad Chair, Mimaki, Mitwill Textiles, Off the wall coverings, Printfab, Rex Frame and many more. For the first time in 2019, Printeriors also featured exterior décor applications displayed in the outside hospitality areas of the Messe, showcasing the extensive scope of printed decoration.

Technologies and applications

Print service providers (PSPs) and sign-makers gathered once again in Munich to experience a wide variety of print technologies, consumables and materials from both leading brands and smaller businesses.

Textile Print

With Print Make Wear one of the key features at this year’s Global Print Expo, textile was talking point at the event, counting over 160 exhibitors showing textile solutions. First time exhibitor Omniprint used FESPA 2019 as a platform for displaying its range of direct-togarment (DTG) printing technologies, including its latest system, the Cheetah Industrial DTG. With quality prints up to 1800dpi, the Cheetah is one of the fastest industrial DTG printers on the market, boasting high print quality and compatibility with a wide range of materials, including 100 per cent polyester and cotton/poly blends.

Digital sublimation and direct-to-textile printers were also a key feature on the Mutoh stand. Visitors were able to see first-hand the high speed ValueJet 1948WX digital dye-sublimation printer, with print speeds ranging from 125 m²/h to 195 m²/h. The system is ideal for businesses looking for a printer capable of handling high volumes and intensive use.

Screen print

SPS Techno Screen introduced the new SPS ASTRON QX, a full servo-driven cylinder machine designed for highend industrial screen printing applications. The key features of the new system reflected the gradual introduction of camera control and registration systems that’s been taking place in the screen printing industry for the past decade. The SPS ASTRON QX series can be equipped with a camera registration system that matches the image position within the screen frame to the image position on each individual sheet. It is available for a maximum sheet size of 550 x 800 mm and features a single sheet front-pick-up feeder.

Workflow and Colour Management

As a developer of software applications for sign-making, screen printing, garment decorating and digital printing, CADLink is promoting the latest version of its Digital Factory OKI™ Edition RIP software, which enables users to manage their print workflows more efficiently. The latest build of the software includes newly engineered custom printer drivers, along with modified colour profiles, supporting a wider variety of printers than ever before. The new driver architecture optimises RIP and print speeds, reducing job processing times by up to 2-3 times while also providing incredibly vibrant colours, including rich black reproduction.

The Epson Edge Print software for its S-series and Fseries printers was a highlight on the Epson stand. The software supports Epson’s Precision Dot technology, including its halftone module, look-up tables and microweave combining to make an instantly noticeable difference to the final print quality.

Sustainability

As more print technology providers continue to embrace greener practices, Brand Management Group, the official partner of HP Large Format Media, placed special focus on HP’s latest sustainable solution for printed canvases, a huge market segment in the wide format print industry. HP’s Recycled Satin Canvas performs similarly to other digitally printable wide format canvases on the market, except it is made from 100 per cent recycled water bottles. One of only a few sustainable options available to designers today, the canvases can be used for residential and commercial décor.

Roz Guarnori, Exhibitions Director at FESPA, comments: “The best feedback we’ve received from our visitors in the past is that they learn something new at every FESPA event and we are confident that they will once again be inspired by what’s on show. FESPA is known as a platform for product launches and innovation, and we’ll be expecting more announcements from our exhibitors before the beginning of the event.”

Highlights from Print Make Wear microfactory

The products highlighted within Print Make Wear were provided by 19 exhibitors and presented within two separate tours, one focused on roll-to-roll technologies and the second on garment decoration. The technology demonstrations were supported by a programme of talks and catwalks to enhance the visitor experience.

Roll-to-roll technologies

The roll-to-roll tour was split into two separate workflows, one on pigment printing and the other on dye-sublimation printing. The pigment printing workflow route included:

  • Design software from Adobe Textile Designer and EFI Fiery DesignPro with Adobe CS
  • Fabrics provided by Premier Textiles
  • EFI Optitex pattern design and marker making
  • Pre-press production files from EFI Fiery
  • RIP and pigment printing inks from Mimaki
  • A Klieverik dryer
  • Cutting solution from Gemini

The dye-sublimation printing workflow included:

  • Adobe Textile Designer design software
  • Fabrics provided by Premier Textiles
  • A selection of transfer paper from CANAPA
  • Gemini will supply its product design and decoration software, Gemini CAD pre-press production files and a cutting solution
  • RIP and dye-sublimation inks from HP
  • Klieverik heat transfer machine

Running alongside the roll-to-roll tour were the garment decoration tour, which included digital printing technologies as well as automatic and manual screen printing solutions. The exhibitors on the garment decoration tour included:

The winners of this year’s FESPA Awards

Some of the gold winners of the application categories are:

  • Grafco colour separation technology and inks for the Vastex manual screen printing press
  • Fair Trade fabric garments provided by Neutral
  • A Chiossi e Cavazzuti dryer
  • Folding and packaging system by Thermotron
  • Easiway screen reclamation
  • An MHM automatic screen printing press
  • Magna Colours’ inks for the automatic screen printing press
  • A manual screen printing carousel from Vastex and a Vastex Little Red dryer
  • A Tesoma tunner dryer will be used for the automatic screen printing

‘Fireside Chats’

Print Make Wear also featured daily ‘fireside chats’ where visitors heard from experts on key industry topics including:

  • The Micro Factory and Customisation, moderated by Jenny Holloway from Fashion Capital and including speakers from EFI, Mimaki, HP and Gemini
  • Sustainability and Efficient Manufacturing, hosted by Elissa Decker of Moss Inc., and Lars Bech, CEO of Neutral, featuring speakers from Premier Textiles and Magna Colours
  • Automating the production workflow, comprising speakers from Gemini, EFI and HP
  • Designing for digital print and colour management, to include speakers from Adobe, AVA and EFI

Sustainability was the key theme at FESPA 2019 this year and FESPA champion a number of initiatives within the Print Make Wear featured to be more environmentally responsible. The garments used for the direct-to-garment textiles were provided by Neutral, a market-leading producer of sustainable apparel and accessories to the B2B market, which usds FairTrade cotton and have been awarded the EU Ecolabel for meeting high environmental standards. Water-based inks from Magna Colour were also used on the automatic screen printing press.

Graeme Richardson-Locke, Technical Support Manager at FESPA, commented, “Over the years FESPA’s commitment to textile printing and garment decoration has developed and we’ve considerably expanded visitor proposition in this area in line with growing industry demand. For Print Make Wear 2019, we have put together a programme that represents the different facets of the garment manufacturing community and are confident that this will help garment manufacturers understand the range of technologies at their disposal.”

Also announced at were the winners of the three following categories:

The Young Star Award, was presented to design student, Antonio Tsigonias, of T.E.I. Athens, Department of Graphic Arts Technology in Greece for his entry titled “Garden Team”. The Young Star Award is marked across all print related categories and open to entrants aged between 16 to 25 working as a junior employee, trainee or student.

This year’s People’s Choice Award winner, which is voted for online by FESPA’s global speciality print community, was presented to PVG’S Maharashtra Institute of Printing Technology in India for their entry titled “Screen Printing Graphics” submitted in the Young Star category.

The Best in Show Award is judged across all categories on the work that the judges felt represented the most outstanding example of print. This year the award was presented to two companies, Atelier fuer Siebdruck from Switzerland, for its screen printed entry “Creativ Verpacken” in the Serigraphies and Fine Art category and VGL from the United Kingdom for its digitally printed entry “Beefeater Gin Underground Poster Campaign” in the Posters category.