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FESPA 2018 reveals industrial leanings

May 24, 2018

Peter Mayhew, CEO of Lightwords, attended the latest installment of FESPA 2018 and has shared his insights on the show exclusively with The Recycler

Messe Berlin played host to Fespa2018, the trade show for the Screen, large format and commercial printing markets. With 10 halls filled with all the major market vendors the aisles were busy and deals were being concluded.

But this FESPA had a different feel as the market moves in new directions and the industry responds. Driving change in opposing directions is the disruption of the textile and packaging markets which both have large analog production volumes which are under pressure to deliver shorter production runs, just in time delivery and personalisation.

Digital ink jet is responding in two ways. First, by adapting existing products to new ink and media for very short runs. Secondly, to target the huge analog volumes, there are new, industrial grade, ink jet printers offering compelling return on investment propositions which will take production volume from traditional, low cost manufacturing countries, into western markets where output demand is high.

But these new markets and products do not mean that all was quiet in the core large format markets. Service providers are starting to look to automation to increase productivity and utilisation of existing hardware investments. And the industry responded at FESPA2018. There were several manufacturers using robotics to apply lessons learned from other industries to automate the laborious tasks of loading and unloading printers and cutters. There was also discussion in the aisles about how the industries workflow-managing software can be developed to solve numerous integration and workflow challenges these new cost and time-saving technologies present.

Quality was another area where Fespa delivered with numerous new product introductions, which extended colour gamut, to leave no part of the visible spectrum untouched. Further, raising image quality no longer impacts on print speed as the latest, highest quality aqueous printers for Photo applications came with significant speed increases.

Many of the more sophisticated visitors were not shopping. Rather they were looking for the strategic inspiration. FESPA had it in overload proportions. Perfectly executed applications were everywhere. You could not fail to be impressed by the breadth of opportunities and solutions on display.

This was a notable FESPA, marking the point when ink jet technology and automation challenged exiting norm’s and, the industry truly came of age.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : FESPA Industrial Large Format Lightwords Markets Peter Mayhew

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