Updated May 3, 2013. Originally posted March 5, 2013.

Two years ago Graphispag in Barcelona was multiple times larger than I expected. Actually Graphispag was significantly larger in 2011 than any wide-format printer expo in the identical city, in the identical expo center in 2012.

This year I did not anticipate it will be anywhere near as large as 2011, but it would be nice to be surprised. Unfortunately VISCOM Madrid has collapsed (and is unsure whether it will be held in 2013). If Graphispag is successful this is all the more documentation that some organizers bungle their dis-organization; and other expo organizers are simply better (Graphispag).

But sadly Graphispag 2013 was so much smaller than 2011 that I did not even fly over to beautiful Barcelona to visit. VISCOM Madrid now has decided to open its doors in 2013, but it is too small to see or learn enough to make the cost to attend worthwhile. We may attend VISCOM Duesseldorf.

ISA Sign Expo

Updated April 5, Posted March 5, 2013

Four of us are attending ISA 2013 Sign Expo, plus FLAAR has a booth.

ISA is successful in a crucial respect: LOTS of exhibitors. LOTS of brands.

A complete range of products to cover the entire sigage workflow.

Plus, several Chinese brands of printers which seldom exhibited at USA earlier.

The organizers of ISA have done a great job and exhibitors are happy with the results.

SGIA 2013 looks forward to your participation

Posted April 10, 2013

SGIA organizers have been very active over the last two years. I have noticed considerable effort to be innovative. Too many other trade shows have ossified and thus become unpopular.

The unfortunate habits that most expo organizers do includes to put in double-width aisles in too many places, so they can claim a larger square-foot expo area. This is self-defeating since the empty space in the overly-wide side-aisles is too obvious.

The best example of this frankly awful habit was VISCOM Milano the last two years; it finally collapsed last year (still exists but only a hollow-shadow of what it was in 2007-2009).

Why, why do expo organizers simply not learn to face reality: double-width aisles is the worst way to “combat” fewer booths and smaller booth size. The Chinese expos are growing: a single Chinese printer expo is larger than all US expos put together. Naturally we support printer expos in USA, and we also encourage people to attend FESPA Digital (usually in the EU but this year in UK).

We hope to see a healthy number of booths and attendees at SGIA this autumn in Orlando: a nice destination for the family (and it is also safe place to walk around, something tough to say about a few other expo cities).

FLAAR will attend ShanghaiTEX

Posted April 12, 2012

Although this is not a textile printer expo per se (so not as large as ITMA Europe nor ITMA China, both of which we have attended), we will be at ShanghaiTEX 2013 (June 10-13) to inspect diverse textile inks of Hongsam (especially reactive dye and pigmented (for cotton)).

It is not easy to provide a full-day's work when you are not physically in the office, but we will provide at least a few hours work.

Graphics of the Americas 2013, Feb. 21-23

Posted Jan 15, 2013

Graphics of Americas, Graficas de las Americas 2013 Orlando

I enjoyed attending GOA 2013 a few weeks ago (in Orlando).

Graphics of the Americas for 2014 will return to Miami (which is so much easier to reach with a direct, non-stop flight). Once GOA is back in Miami (in 2014) it will grow again.

UV-printers, Inks, Textile Printers & Substrates D-PES 2013

Updated March 5, 2013. Posted Feb 19, 2013

D-PES 2013, Guangzhou

China Sign (aka D-PES) was large, growing, and successful last week. Then the following week was the even larger competing expo, Sign China and the immense LED China (only the July expo in Shanghai is larger, the APPPEXPO).

D-PES 2013, Guangzhou

Shanghai APPPEXPO 2013 (mid - July)

Posted Feb 18, 2013

If you wish to learn about ALL the brands of UV-cured printers.

If you need to see 100% of the brands of textile printers and dye sub units made in China.

And especially if you want to get to know all the scores of brands of inks from China, Korea, and Taiwan.

Plus, there are more exhibitors of wide-format media and substrates at the July Shanghai expo than at every other expo in China put together!

FLAAR is visiting two media factories in China this week (March) so you can ask for consulting assistance during APPPEXPO in Shanghai so we can identify which media manufacturers are reliable; you can reserve a discussion time with Dr Nicholas in Shanghai by writing NOW, in advance, to FrontDesk “at”

María Renée Ayau, FLAAR Reports, Technical Writer on Textile inks and DX Printers.
María Renée Ayau, FLAAR Reports, Technical Writer on Textile inks and DX Printers.

Also: all the major brands of laminators, CNC routers, and CO2 laser engravers are all here in APPPEXPO in July.

These are a few of the reasons why attending APPPEXPO in July, in beautiful cosmopolitan Shanghai is so important. In fact we hope to send at least four of us from FLAAR to attend this remarkable signage expo. This is our fifth year here at APPPEXPO so we can provide experience to distributors and print shop owners from around the world who come to APPPEXPO in July 10-13, 2013.

Ps: There is also LED and LCD signage and everything else. In many respects this expo (for signage) is much much much larger than even DRUPA!

First printer expo of the year: SGI Dubai (Sign Middle East)

Updated March 5, 2013. Posted Jan. 2, 2013

Two of us from FLAAR attended Sign Middle East (SGI, Sign & Graphics Imaging Middle East, Dubai, Jan 20-22, 2013).

For printshop owners and managers, distributors; for manufacturers in China, Korea, and Taiwan, attending SGI in Dubai is essential (it is the largest printer expo in this part of the world).

We at FLAAR wish success to every expo in each country, but expos are becoming regional. In Turkey, for example, Sign Istanbul is the largest and most successful expo in the entire region, larger now than most VISCOM expos in Western Europe. Sign Africa is strong in Johannesburg. We at FLAAR Reports are working with Sign Istanbul, with Sign Africa, with ISA (in USA), with Graphics of the Americas (in USA) and with SGI Dubai. We are also considering assisting key expos in China.

As a non-profit institute, with worldwide coverage of over a million readers a year, we bring tips, suggestions, consulting, and lecture topics to the expos. And we bring day-by-day news about wide-format printers, inks, media, laminators, cutters to our readers around the world.

If your printer, digital photo, signage, graphics, or 3D imaging expo would like to receive our assistance, since we are a non-profit institute, the fee to receive all the services from FLAAR is reasonable.

Sign Istanbul had remarkable attendance

Updated Dec 11th. Posted Nov. 13, 2012

Sign Istanbul is worth visiting for many reasons: Turkey is a growing economy. 2nd: Istanbul is a friendly and hospitable city. 3rd: the museums and historical architecture of Istanbul make a trip worthwhile even if there were not also a printer trade show to attract you.

Two from us at FLAAR Reports were flown to Sign Istanbul by the expo organizers, iFO. We have enjoyed visiting Turkey over many years and thus many distributors and printshop owners and managers utilize the FLAAR Reports to make their decisions.

Attendance was good the first two days and extraordinary the next two days. Sign Istanbul is the largest I have seen it, and significantly better than its competitor in past years Indoor & Outdoor.

Textile printers Site-visit Case Study in Europe

Posted Dec 3, 2012

As part of our increased reviews and evaluations of textile printers, today in Europe FLAAR inspected two 3.2 meter ATPColor printers.

The printshop (in Europe) was frankly quite large and what was the most impressive is that all their other printers were exclusively all top-tier brands. I rarely see a printshop with such a range of UV-cured, flatbed cutters, RIP software, and even the top spectrophotometer brand (more sophisticated than Gretag or X-Rite).

All the equipment elsewhere in this sophisticated printing company, and as far as I could note, all the ink and media, came from USA and Western Europe.

The owner and productions manager were helpful and hospitable. It was especially informative to speak with the production manager to understand why they selected this direct-to-fabric ink chemistry, and why they selected this brand over the other options available. All this we will discuss in the update to our evaluation of the ATPColor grand-format (3.2 meter) direct to fabric printer.

FLAAR Reports on SGIA being updated.

Updated Dec 3, Nov. 13, first posted Oct. 23, 2012

Since last week there is now a double-length update photo-essay version of our free report on SGIA.

We are also still hard at work on the UV-cured printer TRENDs report, to summarize 2012 and discuss progress into 2013.

Our textile report will also mention TRENDs, such as the new textile printer by a major international brand (but sorry, we yawn a bit since that brand is defintely not from the world of textile printing). We recommend sticking to a company who knows textile printing inside out for many years.

Our TRENDs report on latex and resin ink will discuss the new physical printer being attempted by Sepiax: we discuss the totally new curing system; and then the separate printer itself (each is manufactured in a different factory then brought together).

This new report on latex ink TRENDs discusses the potential for latex ink to print on thick and rigid materials. You can order this full color report by asking to be invoiced; e-mail FrontDesk "at"

We also discuss how to avoid potentially misleading claims when a company simply props the words "latex ink" on an ink which most chemists do not accept as really such an ink.

After-market latex ink for all models of HP latex printers

Posted Oct 17, 2012

FLAAR does second inspection of a printshop switching from HP latex into to latex ink from Sam Ink. The printshop owner have lots and lots and lots of HP latex printers, and one by one are switching them to after-market latex ink.

The owners are content with the ink and all-smiles about the money they save. They can get much more business, especially during a recession, if their print costs are lower.

You can see this original quality ink at SGIA in the booth of Sam Ink with an HP latex ink printer.

ATPColor invites FLAAR Reports team to visit

Updated again Nov 13, Posted 20 Sept 2012. Updated 23 Sept. 2012.

Dr Nicholas and Sofia were guests of ATPColor in Milano. We took the train from Cologne, after Photokina. We visited ATPColor to inspect and evaluate their textile printer facilities and products.

We have been noticing the textile printers of ATPColor over the years and with the rising interest in textile printers around the world now is a good time to visit the major players in this industry.

Next week, en route to Sign Istanbul expo in Turkey, we will stop in Frankfurt to visit the manufacturer of metallic inks. Then we will take the train to Munich and visit a printshop which is using the grand format size of direct-to-fabric textile printer from ATPColor. This is the best way to learn the pros and cons of a printer brand and model: speak with the owner, managers, and separately with the printer operator, to find out how the printer really functions out in the real world.

Sign Africa was in late August

Posted Aug 2, 2012. Updated Sept. 23, 2012

Sign Africa was a successful expo. We will have our reports out shortly (the September expo season is burying us with so many other expos).

FLAAR attends Sign Africa every year in Johannesburg. We look forward to returning in 2013.

Textile expo in Shanghai, ITMA Asia

Posted June 5, 2012

Nicholas and graphic designer Grace Morales spent two days at the textile expo in Shanghai inspecting inkjet printers, including the Rainbow 1800 series of Sky AirShip.

FLAAR Reports on new printers launched at drupa 2012

First posted May 3, 2012

Since most printers at drupa are latex, eco-solvent, or UV-cured, we cover these on our

 ISA 2012, Wide format printers, inks, media & substrates, laminators and coaters, trade show, expo,

Requires latest version of Adobe Flash player.ISA 2012 report flip style

But for readers who happen to land first on our water-based web site (where you are now,, we also wish to make our drupa reports available to you also.

Please realize these these reports will be updated every three or four days (drupa is 12 days long). So please return for the updates.

 ISA 2012, Wide format printers, inks, media & substrates, laminators and coaters, trade show, expo,

Requires latest version of Adobe Flash player.ISA 2012 report flip style

Unexpected printers at an unexpected signage printer exposition

First posted March 12, 2012.

Nicholas Hellmuth as a VIP guest at BSS opening ceremony, Beijing wide-format printers expo image

A brand new printer expo was launched in Beijing. Since the organizer asked FLAAR Reports to join the group of CEO's and top executives of printer factories of China and printhead manufacturers from Japan and the UK, Dr Hellmuth was with the group who cut the ribbon to open this new trade show.

Nicholas Hellmuth lecturing at BSS wide-format printers tradeshow 2012

The next day there was a conference on printheads. The entire lecture room was packed (standing room only at the back). Dr Hellmuth introduced the conference and at the end spoke about the future of printers (and hence printheads) for "printing more than signage: we need to print on glass, wood, plastics: more even than ceramics which is increasingly popular."

THJ printer and booth view inside Beijing tradeshow, flaar image archive

The third day three of us from FLAAR Reports spend six hours harvesting knowledge, information, tips, and over 500+ photographs of what was available to study at this expo. We dedicated the time and effort to be sure to record everything with high-resolution (21 megapixel) camera in order so that thousands of people in the industry (who did not know this expo even existed) can now share in all that we learned during our three days here.

Graphics of the Americas 2012 South Miami Beach, printers, inks,flatbed cutters, media, substrates, prepare for GoA 2013 exhibitor list

Requires latest version of Adobe Flash player.Sign China 2012 report flip style

Since most everyone attended FESPA, or is holding off for DRUPA, or was at D-PES + Guangzhou last month, there was a grand total of about a dozen people from outside China and Japan at the expo. I know at least several hundred distributors and printshop owners, as well as industry experts that understandably totally missed this expo.

So we will have high-level photo-essay reports so that everyone who missed this can learn what we saw and experienced (and can consider attending this Beijing event in 2013).

New for 2012

Programs to provide information to DISTRIBUTORS

Most recently updated on March 7, 2012. First Posted Dec 22, 2011

Distributors (of wide-format printers, inks, media, substrates, coaters & laminators, and cutters) are an integral part of the worldwide inkjet printer industry. The distributors I have met in South Africa, Dubai, Brazil, Russia, Paris, Germany, Ukraine, USA, Mexico, and elsewhere are a crucial bridge between manufacturers and end-users (printshops).

We have noticed that more distributors are coming to FLAAR to ask for consulting. So for 2012 we will offer special consulting options for distributors.

All the information will be on all of our web sites with specific links labeled DISTRIBUTORS.  So please return later this week to see our programs for distributors of inks, media, substrates, textile printers, UV-cured printers, unique-ink printers, coaters & laminators, and cutters. Or, you can write (e-mail) now,  FrontDesk at

Preparing for DRUPA 2012 Exhibitor list
(and FESPA Barcelona exhibitor list)

Which trade show(s) to attend in 2012 ?

Is DRUPA really worth the exhorbitant hotel costs?  What if most of the new printers are exhibited already at FESPA ?

Or do you really need to attend DRUPA no matter what is launched at FESPA ?

What will be shown at ISA, at SGIA?

Most importantly, which Chinese printer (ink, media, and cutter) expo is best to attend?  And when, where, how?  If you go to DRUPA, or FESPA, do you really need to go to China ?  (but what if your competitor distributor, or competing printshop owner or manager gets all the tips from FLAAR and thereby goes to the pertinent Chinese expo and has FLAAR take him booth-to-booth?)

We have five years experience in China and we will be glad to assist you, even suggesting hotels.

But what if you need a head start on your competitors… which are the first printer expos, early in 2012 (before even FESPA)?

Meet Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth at Sign Africa, SGIA Las Vegas, VISCOM Italy, Reklama Moscow, Ceramic Printing Expo Italy, Glass Printing Expo Germany, KoSign Korea, Sign Istanbul

To ask for consulting write FrontDesk at (sorry, we write it this way to keep spam away). Ask for the consulting brochure: please indicate whether you wish info on DRUPA, on FESPA, or on Chinese expos (or on Dubai, Moscow, Brazil, or VISCOM expos).

Indicate which part of the large-format inkjet workflow you wish consulting on: color management, RIP software, printers, the new inks that are coming out, etc.

Which is the first international printer expo in 2012?

Nicholas Hellmuth was invited to the Sign and Graphic Imaging award dinner.

Every year FLAAR provides coverage of the Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East (SGI) exhibition to our readers. This year the expo is January 31- February 2, 2012 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. We are looking forward to seeing the exhibitor list for 2012.

Dubai is a friendly city and country; lots of international flights reach their awesome airport. Hotels are reasonably priced and taxis do not rip you off.

This expo offers a lot more than printers, inks, media, substrates, RIP software: Dr Nicholas Hellmuth will be speaking on several topics, as will also Ryan Crist and other speakers.

Just Google   Sign Middle East    and the first web site you see will be the official web site for Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East (SGI).

In addition to the wonderful location (bring your whole family, as this is a family-friendly city), this is the first international expo of the year. So Dr Hellmuth provides consulting to printshop owners and distributors who wish to learn what is happening, long before FESPA in Barcelona. If you want too long, your competitors will learn about all the new inks and hence new printers before you do.

If you wish a meeting with Dr Hellmuth in Dubai, write to ask for the consulting information, FrontDesk “at”

Consulting for printshop owners, managers, and printer operators

Almost ever week printshops are asking for assistance, in part because it is confusing whether latex ink can really handle what is needed by a multi-application printshop. Yes, latex ink is a great advance, but what if four other companies will release new-generation latex-like ink and resin-based inks in 2012?

Plus we have more questions every month on textile printers. So we will provide consulting services for printshop owners, managers, and printer operators who wish to have tips of what will appear at DRUPA ?


Graphics of the Americas, back in Miami in early March 2012

I enjoy visiting Miami so its great that GoA 2012 is back in Miami. It’s so much easier (and less cost) to fly to Miami direct.

The expo location is near South Beach hotels so I can walk to the nearby expo center. Plenty of restaurants nearby. Plus, hotels are not overpriced (as are hotels in Europe).

So we look forward to seeing you at Graphics of the Americas 2012, March 1-3, 2012.

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Reports, will make two presentations; on innovative new inks and hence totally new printers. And a second presentation on Choosing the right equipment for the right job.

Dr Hellmuth can discuss things with you en español, English, or auf Deutsch. You can request a personal meeting for consulting, by writing in advance, FrontDesk “at” to ask for the consulting fee schedule


CES 2012 and [email protected] 2012 expos

First posted January 16, 2012

CES (international Consumer Electronics Show) was held last week in Las Vegas. PMA, a photography equipment trade show that faltered during 2009-2010 and then failed to launch an expo in 2011, had co-located with CES and was attempting to regain a presence as [email protected]

HP was conspicuously absent; Epson did not show up either. Canon had two printers surrounded by their usual focus on their cameras first. But since the organizers claim that over 150,000 people attended their trade shows, it is crucial for FLAAR Reports to be present. However the main reason we flew all the way to Nevada was because four key people at Photokina Messe in Germany wanted to speak with FLAAR.

Since FLAAR has been evaluating digital camera equipment for over a decade, three FLAAR Reports will result:

All three should be ready by Friday this week. You can order the report on how to improve management of your trade show by writing FrontDesk "at" The other two reports will be free downloads as soon as they are finished.


Kodak filed for Chapter 11 in Preparation for Bankruptcy.

Posted January 18, 2012

Comments on the Kodak 5260 Wide Format Inkjet Printer

Kodak is still advertising 35mm film in popular photography magazines still today. Hard to use the word "blind" or is this a play for nostalgia (only Leica has thrived on nostalgia).

Kodak bought Encad and made many inappropriate decisions in the world of wide-format inkjet; Encad failed utterly (FLAAR reviews at least alerted printshops to be careful when considering this printer). It is ironic that for the last five years Chinese manufacturers have probably sold more Encad clones than Kodak was able to sell.

The Kodak 5260 was a technology that worked even less than CrystalJet; it never functioned adequately even in the Kodak booth at trade shows during 2001.

Kodak then bought Creo, which had previously bought Scitex. Both Creo and Scitex were successful. Yet Kodak flushed both Scitex scanners and Leaf medium format digital cameras down the drain though stupid priorities on other product lines.

All analysts mention how Kodak did not do well with digital cameras. FLAAR Reports evaluated Kodak cameras and we know the actual facts, which are in our reviews. I can still remember the Kodak hall at Photokina circa 2008: one of the biggest halls at the expo, but it was 85% empty; literally: no booths, no personnel in 85% of the million-dollar exhibit area.

And why they had an exhibit at CES last week in Las Vegas still amazes me.

Kodak booth at CES 2012 trade show, a few weeks before the announcement of the company's filing under Chapter 11. Considering Kodak's financial issues, it was even surprising the size of the booth in this expo.

Kodak inkjet media is probably mostly made in China, so I am not convinced their media is better merely because it has a yellow Kodak logo on it.

The main sorrow are all the employees whose pensions probably get wiped out by bankruptcy. 

I hope that MBA programs can use Kodak as a series of case studies of how to ruin a major brand name. One thing I always noticed is that executives and top managers were always shuffled around instead of being fired (when they made dumb decisions or when they failed to be successful with an entire product line).

Saying that Kodak failed just because they clung to the illusion that 35mm film would never go ahead is simplistic. Kodak had many more problems then merely blowing their lead in digital cameras.

2012 is a "DRUPA Year" and a "Photokina Year" also, so it is the busiest in FLAAR history. We hope that other companies learn from Kodak. To help keep other companies from an embarrassing "Kodak moment" (of declaring bankruptcy) we are now offering our TRENDs reports via our new web site,

In these TRENDs we provide discrete tips and hints on what is really going on behind the scenes in the large-format inkjet printing industry. 

I can still remember when Kodak managers asked how in the world did I know that their Kodak 5260 printer actually could not function. Every PR agency in the industry lauded this printer. And trade magazines even awarded this Kodak printer "best printer of the year" awards!  How did FLAAR know the printer did not function.. easy, we totally ignored any and all PR release. Instead we simply observed the actual printer and noticed that it was not actually physically printing… Even during Kodak revival-like Press Events.

So the FLAAR Reports simply stated the printer and printhead technology were not functional and that it was only PR agency bluster that kept the printer platform alive for two years (until ironically Kodak managers used the FLAAR Reports at a meeting to discretely suggest to their executives that the printer was an engineering failure and should be withdrawn from the market).

Year 2012 will be a test for resin-based inks, latex-like inks, MEMS printhead endeavours. So we offer our TRENDs reports so that manufacturers, distributors, and end-users (printshop owners and managers) can have the level of information that offers the savvy a better chance of success in an increasingly competitive world.


FLAAR is now evaluating dye-sub textile inks in Korea

July 15, 2011, updated January 2, 2012

Nicholas flew to Seoul from Shanghai and we are continuing evaluating dye sublimation (disperse dye) textile inks from InkTec.

Two other companies that produce dye sublimation inks have expressed interest in FLAAR evaluating their inks, but so far the first brand we are studying is InkTec.

While in Korea Dr Hellmuth visited an impressive printing company that had eight Roland printers with dye-sublimation ink from InkTec at work. So we have first-hand, eye-witness documentation of the quality that InkTec is capable of, before, and after, heat transfer.

Consulting services from Nicholas Hellmuth at Chinese sign expos: February 2012 in Dongguan and Guangzhou.

May 9, 2011. Most recently updated September 14, 2011

You can learn from Dr Hellmuth's many years experience in China: at ink factories, at media coating factories, at printer manufacturers, and at R&D departments throughout China.


If you wish to source inks, media, substrates, printers, cutters, laminators in China (or Korea or Taiwan), Nicholas has experience at the major trade shows in Taipei and throughout China. The next huge Chinese expos are both mid-February 2012: one in Guangzhou, and the other, formerly in Dongguan an hour away, has moved also to Guangzhou. (so now two huge printer expos, both in the same city!).
D•PES Printers & Engravers Expo is well worth the visit. As last year, Dr Hellmuth is guest of honor. Indeed this expo is important enough that we are flying FOUR of us to China to attend this.

Sign up now to visit one or both of these important expos with Dr Nicholas Hellmuth providing you tips, and introducing you to the key people in China. Download the adjacent brochure for price information.

What if there were a new latex ink better than current latex ink?

March 9th, 2011

Latex Ink
Click to zoom
Here is Nicholas in his garden with two samples from this remarkable ink.

What if there were a completely new latex ink with brilliant bright happy colors?.

What if when we showed our print samples of this ink to people, and they said they really noticed the colors were much better than latex ink used on the HP printers?

What if this ink did not need a furnace to cure it?

What if this ink did not need TWO electrical cords to heat-cure the ink (because one cord can't carry enough electricity to cure the present ink). What if the new latex ink needs ONLY HALF the juice of present latex ink?

What if FLAAR Reports has samples of this ink, has been in the R&D department, seen the printers in action?

Additional new inks (another new ink; more than the one we mention elsewhere on this home page)

March 4, 2011

Dr Hellmuth is under NDA with a major multi-national company with remarkable new ink(s). If you are a printer manufacturer (only for actual manufacturers, sorry, not yet distributors), and wish to consider using this ink in your printers, we would consider introducing you (also under NDA) to the ink manufacturer. The decision for this introduction would be made between Nicholas and the ink company (due to the NDA situation). We understan for that ink(s) this remarkable, that an NDA is appropriate.

Dr Hellmuth has been inside the ink labs, R&D department, and printing demo room of this company. FLAAR has seen the ink and knows the company background who has the ink available. Contact us at [email protected] or you can use the direct business e-mail of Nicholas if you already know it.

Bring Nicholas Hellmuth to your printshop as a consultant


Professor Hellmuth is available on a professional consulting basis at your print shop anywhere in the world. We are tri-lingual: Deutsch, español, and naturally English.

If you wish to hire Dr Hellmuth as a consultant, indicate your needs by writing to [email protected]

We consult on UV-curable ink flatbed printers, solvent and eco-solvent ink printers, MemJet, giclee, inks, media and substrates, textile printing, printing for décor and interior decoration, color management, which RIP software brand to consider, flatbed cutters, scanning, and digital photography.
We can answer your questions by Skype, QQ, e-mail, telephone, or in-person at your company. Another popular way to receive help is to request Nicholas to walk you through a printer expo, booth-by-booth (of those you wish to visit, or those FLAAR suggests are worth visiting). To learn about the fee, write ReaderService “at”

For 2012, the obvious needs for printshops and distributors are:

UV-Curable Ink Flatbed printers in 2012

More and more print shops switch from water- based ink to UV-cured especially, since VUTEk, EFI Rastek, JETRIX, Dilli and others have a full range of UV-curable flatbed, hybrid, and combo moving transport belt roll-to-roll UV printers.

Over the last seven years FLAAR has become the de-facto resource for factual information on the pros and cons of UV-curable flatbed printers. FLAAR is presently a consultant to UV printer manufacturers around the world. FLAAR has been a guest at UV printer manufacturers around the world: Canada, USA, Europe, China, Korea, and Taiwan. Because we know their products well, we can also assist end-users (printshop owners and managers) to understand which brand and which models are good for specific applications (and which UV printers are not ideal, and why).

But even more helpful in 2012, we can provide tips on what new ink technologies are available today since there may be things that a water-based resin ink can achieve that is lower cost than UV-cured, less heat and less electricity than HP latex ink, and less VOCs and toxic odor of solvent ink. For consulting, just download the consulting PDFs.

If you are a printer manufacturer, ink (and ink chemical) manufacturer, media or substrate manufacturer, coating, laminating, color management, or cutter equipment manufacturer: FLAAR offers Subscriptions for 2012, so you might want to find out what you are missing.

Innovative non-UV flatbed printers, for metal, glass, acrylic and more

April 11, 2011

While visiting Jetbest ink company in Taiwan it was possible to learn a lot about their remarkablt “print on almost everything” ink. During 2011 Jetbest continued to fine-tune their ink, so in 2012 we will have updates. Jetbest will exhibit a new dedicated flatbed printer, with a Roland gantry but completely new full-frame flatbed chassis below, courtesy of a Jetbest precision flatbed manufacturing partner in Taiwan.

The Jetbest inks print on metal (copper, aluminum, etc), glass, acrylic, and diverse materials. The roll-to-roll variant of their special ink prints on uncoated PP and other uncoated signage materials.

You may notice that FLAAR is expanding our world-wide coverage of printing expos: As an example, last year we added expos in Australia and to Brazil, in both cases courtesy of consulting clients who wish us present in their country, at their company, to assist them with info on TRENDs in the industry.
We would like to visit trade shows in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipines, India, and Korea, plus some of the Eastern European expos. When the expo itself sponsors us, or when a local company flies us there, that is what makes a visit to a local or regional print expo realistic.


Most recently updated April. 12, 2013.

Previous updated Jan. 2, 2013. Jan. 15, Jan. 2, 2013, Mar 12, 2012, Mar 7 2012, Mar 3 2012, Feb. 29 2012, Feb 23. 2012, Jan 16, 2012, Jan. 5, 2012 Jan. 2, 2012, Oct. 17, 2011, and many times over the last several years.


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Free Trade Shows Reports

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    What to expect at Drupa Dusseldorf 2012

  • General Companies booth locations at ISA 2012, floor plan. UV, Textile, Alternative Inks, Flatbed Cutters

    ISA 2012, floor plan

  • Printers, Inks, Flatbed cutters, Media & Substrates, Graphic of the Americas

    Graphics of the Americas, GoA 2012

  • Wide Format Inkjet Printers, FESPA 2012

    Wide Format Inkjet Printers, FESPA 2012

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    D-PES 2012 Guangzhou