Rumors of new budget-price printhead to replace Epson brand
Posted Oct 29, 2014
90% of Chinese printers use Epson printheads. A year or so ago Epson tried to make their heads nearly unavailable for after-market printer brands. This policy did not win many popularity awards around the world.
So clearly it would be very beneficial to the entire industry, to printer factories and to end-users (print shop owners and managers) if another brand of printheads could offer a printhead more reliable than Epson (meaning less clogged nozzles), and requiring less purging (purging helps you to spend lots of expensive Epson ink).
Two brands are now using Panasonic printheads but these are not well known and thus their performance can't be documented by FLAAR (we can only evaluate a printhead if we are at a demo room, at the factory, etc).
We hope to see such a replacement printhead by Spring 2014. We hope Panasonic does well but the new printhead is a different brand.
Advances in printheads and advances in ink chemistry are the two most important factors in the world of wide-format inkjet printing, so we at FLAAR Reports keep track of what is going on around the world. Dr Nicholas has been on airplanes probably over 200,000 km this year alone, to learn about what advances will provide more options for everyone.
We also learn which brands are, unfortunately, losing traction. It may be tough to obtain spare parts if a factory is no longer fully staffed or is no longer operating full time.
Glasstec 2014, in Duesseldorf, Germany, leading world expo for glass
Posted Oct. 16, 2014
Dr Nicholas will fly to Glasstec 2014 in Germany this weekend. In past years, Glasstec 2010 and Glasstec 2012 had many booths lots and lots of printers for glass, both in-line and wide-format. So naturally we expected lots of printer brands at Glasstec 2014.
Lots of printing company owners and also glass factories, who read FLAAR Reports, ask us for assistance printing on glass. Magazines also ask Dr Nicholas for articles about printing on glass. There is no expo in USA as good as Glasstec in Germany. And the last glass expo in Beijing was a disorganized disappointment.
Our primary interest is writing about the special inks, primers, and printers which are focused on glass. This is because glass is easy to print out, but very difficult to have the ink adhere.
SGIA 2014 opens next week in Las Vegas
Posted Oct 15, 2014
Four of us from FLAAR Reports will be at SGIA 2014. This is one of the few printer and signage expos which has survived (without dropping down in size). SGIA appears to be very healthy.
So far, in addition to SGIA, the only printer expo in the world which is really growing is FESPA in EU and APPPEXPO in Shanghai (APPPEXPO 2015, in March 2015, will possibly be larger than every printer expo in EU and USA all put together!).
Photokina, the largest digital photo equipment expo in the world
Posted Oct. 6, 2014
We flew from Sign Istanbul direct to Cologne, Germany to attend Photokina. Held every two years this is larger than all other photography expos in the world put together.
Although every year noticeably smaller, the crowds this year were enormous, so many people that often we had to find a back entrance to get in.
Three of us attended Photokina since FLAAR is focused on digital photography since the 1990's, and we were a photography research institute already back in 1969!
Eight years ago lots of wide-format printers: even Durst. Nowadays almost no wide-format printer booths are large except for Epson (they had the largest inkjet printer booth at the entire expo).
But several booths of wide-format media (about a dozen; but if you go to APPPEXPO in Shanghai in March 2015 you will find over 150 brands of wide-format inkjet media; actually at the 2014 APPPEXPO we found 171 booths for printable substrates and materials).
FLAAR will be issuing several reports on Photokina and adding a lot of pages to our www.digital-photography.org later in October.
If you like photography, especially of tropical flowers, you will enjoy our www.maya-ethnobotany.org
Already planning for printer expos in early 2015
Posted Oct. 6, 2014
Dr Nicholas will be giving lectures in Spanish at Graphics of the Americas in Miami.
Plus he will give other topics in English at GOA.
Here is a free download listing the topics in Spanish.
Sign Istanbul, 16th year, great place for international attendance
Updated Sept. 10, 2014
Posted Aug. 12, 2014
Passed through Istanbul airport twice three weeks ago en route much further east to lecture on wide-format printing, and being in the airport reminded me what a dynamic economy and multi-national world center is here in Istanbul. The airport is friendly; takes about 3 minutes to get your visa (most countries don't need visa, but US citizens do).
Immigration line took about 3 minutes also (in other countries nearby up to an hour!).
FLAAR has been attending Sign Istanbul for many years. We have also attended other expos here, and thus quickly learned that the premier and preferred expo is clearly Sign Istanbul, capably managed by Tarsus and IFO.
Two of us are now at Sign Istanbul; then we fly to Photokina in Cologne, and then to Tecnargilla ceramics printer expo in Rimini, Italy.
Their web site is www.SignIstanbul.com; click on UK flag to get English.
We look forward to seeing you in cosmopolitan Istanbul this week.
August is vacation month in much of the world, but not at FLAAR Reports
Posted Aug. 11, 2014
Although it is August, none of us at FLAAR are on vacation, though I will admit I spent several days studying archaeology including ceremonial occupation of caves the last several days south and west of the Caspian Sea.
I was invited to Iran to lecture at a special conference (all six hours of lectures were by FLAAR Reports). After this people in the world of printing here asked if I wanted to see the countryside, and since I am interested in archaeology, and in architectural history, we went for a four day adventure. I thank printer trade magazine co-editor Morteza Tafreshi for planning this remarkable excursion. And I thank Alex Jahanbani, ME Printer magazine, for additional cooperation and coordination.
What most impressed me were two completely different local styles of village house architecture: one carved from stone domes; the other with wattle-and-daub type mud houses. I am studying wattle-and-daub mud architecture also in Guatemala (houses of the Mayan people)..
Most of the people I met spoke English. Friendly hospitality in each village and city, so an enjoyable stay. Also visited the Mimaki distributor in Tehran for a site-visit case study (Tasvirmadar Co., courtesy of Mohammad Ashraf, Managing Director). We will be evaluating photo book printers there.
The lecture was sponsored by Toranj Group, Jalal Zokael, Managing Director. The overall event was coordinated by Vahid Pishan, whom I have met at various printer expos around the world in previous years.
In past years there have been all-day FLAAR lecture programs in Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia), and in Seoul, Korea. If your city would like a FLAAR seminar, for local university, local distributor, local printer association, contact us at FrontDesk@FLAAR.org for basic conference fee and airfare estimate.
Essential printer & signage expo to attend
Updated May 27, 2014; first posted April, 2014
If you want to learn about textile printers, 3D printers, UV-cured printers, then APPPEXPO is essential.
For eco-solvent, lite-solvent, or full-solvent: more brands than any expo in EU or USA (put together).
After-market ink is a great way to save money (if you select an appropriate brand). Lots of different brands of ink here.
For media, substrates; both roll-to-roll, thick and rigid: everything. Brands from USA, EU, Korea, Taiwan, and China.
These are a few of the reasons why FLAAR Reports sends a team of five to experience APPPEXPO every year.
If you are by yourself you can also enjoy being here: we send five since we have to take notes on every significant product at the entire expo. But if by yourself or one or two colleagues, you can see everything in the four days.
To get an attendee pass, sign up and register here:
Below are the new FLAAR Reports related with "what to expect" at APPPEXPO 2014
If you need our reports in spanish or russian please visit this site.
FESPA Digital 2014
Updated May 26, 2014. First Posted May 12, 2014
We enjoyed FESPA Digital in beautiful Munich, this past May 2014. Four of us from FLAAR assisted.
FESPA is the single most important international printer expo in all of Europe. It is helpful also to attend your local expos in your home country or nearby, plus APPPEXPO in Shanghai is highly recommended for July.
We have prepaired over 10 FLAAR Reports on what we experienced and learned at FESPA in late May. Here are the front covers of several of these. You can order them by writing FrontDesk@FLAAR.org.
Signage printers, media, ink: everything for 2014
Updated twice in April, 2014, Previously updated Feb 2013; Posted Dec. 13, 2013
ISA International Sign Expo was in Orlando, April 23-26, 2014. There are many good reasons why you should have attended, because if your competitors assisted at ISA they will learn what is new and what is happening.
For example, how many printer brands now offer SUV ink? (much more than Mimaki)?
How does SUV ink compare with latex ink? Which are benefits of each? What are the weak points of each?
Most importantly, how does SUV ink compare with traditional UV-cured ink (mercury arc cured and/or LED cured)?
FLAAR sent 4 people here. We would not risk the airfare and hotel costs, and the time away from the office, if we did not felt ISA was well worthwhile.
Why so many from FLAAR at ISA?
Because just to study media and substrates it takes two days. For example, there are more booths with aluminum composite printable material at ISA last year than all other expos in USA and Western Europe put together! Only Sign Istanbul has close to the same remarkable coverage of brands of ACM (also known as ACP) on exhibit.
And inks: how do you figure out who really manufacturers the ink?
Printers: what about MEMS printhead technology and Memjet-based printers? What are the deficiencies? What are the benefits?
There was a lot to see at ISA every year, and Orlando is an easy place to fly to. So we hope you saw us at ISA, Booth # 3011.
www.SignExpo.org is their web site, definitely worth visiting.
Advances and Trends in Wide-Format Inkjet BEYOND CONVENTIONAL PRINTING
Posted April 2, 2014
Last april in Dubai the Keynote presentation was present by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Reports, organized by Printing & Publishing Group (Dubai), April 9 (Wednesday), Le Meridien (Wasl Ballroom) Airport Road.
Also speaking were Mr Richard Sanders of Call Print (3D Printing Services) and on Digital Printing (Mr Phil Walsh, Kodak, UK). Contact Ms Roxanne Tandoc, firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAAR at Graphics of the Americas
Posted Feb 11, 2014
At GOA 2013 in Miami Dr Nicholas Hellmuth presented two lectures: one in English, the other in Spanish.
*Expanded revenue from printing on innovative materials
*Impresion en cristal, en azulejos ceramicos,
La Realidad UV vs Tinta Inorganica
FLAAR Team at SGI Dubai 2014
Posted Jan 06, 2014
Sign Middle East (SGI Dubai) is the first international expo of 2014. 2014 it was held on January 7-9, so two or three weeks earlier than usual. Nicholas Hellmuth and Pablo Martinez arrived in Dubai after two days of flights; over 11 hours delays in airports due to winter weather in USA.
Dubai is a safe and friendly city to visit, with plenty of things to do, especially shopping. The giant airport has flights from all around the world.
FLAAR has enjoyed visiting SGI Dubai for many years and thus we have many friends at the distributors and print shops in the Emirates area.
Lots and lots of Chinese branded printers; more than any other expo outside of China, and many many brands of Chinese media, but almost no booths of Chinese ink manufacturers; whatever Chinese ink may be present is mostly rebranded with local names.
FLAAR will also make a list of every UV-cured printer, every textile printer, each T-shirt printer, all solvent printer brands, any water-based, plus latex (which most ink chemists consider very different from true water-based).
For 2014 FLAAR will cover the top expos around the world, starting with SGI, then GOA in Miami, then D-PES and Sign China in Guangzhou, then ISA in USA, FESPA Digital, and this year we look forward to attending an expo in Iran. Summer will be APPPEXPO in Shanghai, and then FESPA Africa. Then the autumn and winter expos.
FLAAR Team attended Sign Istanbul
posted Oct 10, 2013
We have enjoyed visiting Istanbul, exploring this remarkable city, and attending Sign Istanbul for many years. So two of us from FLAAR will be going to Sign Istanbul in late November.
Because there are so many expos around the world it is not realistic to attend all. But we find Sign Istanbul worth attending since it is international, relatively large, and thus offers a full range of signage and wide-format inkjet printer products.
What FLAAR evaluated at SGIA last week
Updated Nov 7, 2013, Oct. 18, 2013, Updated Oct 10, 2013; First posted April 10, 2013
Print shop owners, distributors, and manufacturers come to FLAAR to obtain a diverse range of information which is more realistic than press releases or canned “Success Stories.”
So at SGIA it is more realistic to actually inspect the printers, and to learn from end-users (print shop owners and managers). In fact we rarely do a full evaluation until we have been to the actual factory (of the ink, media, printer, or cutter). So we are on airplanes about 240,000 miles each year, since manufacturers wish to have us visit their factories and their demo rooms around the world.
But a trade show is an essential event, and we fully support the hard-working staff at expos such as SGIA.
We visited the booths of efi VUTEk, Dilli, DigiFab, GraphicsOne, KIP, Seiko, Splash of Color, YJ USA (ARIA for PE), and many others.
So many people arranged meetings with us that it was not realistic to inspect every product in all the other booths (even with four of us at the expo). But we did accomplish a lot and are now working on all our FLAAR Reports on SGIA.
Most recently updated October 6, 2014.
Previous updated May 27 ,May 26, twice in April, Feb 2013, Dec. 13 and Dec 4, 2013.