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Event Spotlight

Inprint 2017 Preview

Inprint is the exhibition for industrial print technology, designed for this highly promising sector. Taking place in Munich from November 14th to 16th, Russ Hicks investigates

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Inprint 2017 will again take place in Munich at the Munich Trade Fair Centre

Opening doors to industrial print

Inprint has become the key marketplace for state-of-the-art functional, decorative, and packaging printing for the industrial production market.

The show is characterised as offering high level expertise and unique, cutting-edge technology, product launches, and showcases from leading brands in the fields of industrial speciality, screen, digital, inkjet, and 3D technology print solutions. Specialists from manufacturing will be attending to find customised, effectively designed system solutions in order to generate new possibilities and revenue in industrial production.

O Factoid: Inprint will take place in hall A6 of the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany, where 135 companies from 17 countries will present the latest printing machinery. O

Staged last year in Milan, Italy, Nicola Hamann, managing director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions, organisers of Inprint 2017, explains how the show has developed further this year: “We have worked on the specialised profile of the show. Inprint is the only exhibition that demonstrates how innovative print technology can create added value in a large variety of manufacturing processes, from functional to decorative areas as well as in packaging.

Nicola Hamann is the managing director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions, organisers of Inprint

“The event builds a bridge to areas of industry production that have never been in contact with printing technology before, and thus opens up new market opportunities for print providers, printing specialists as well as production specialists in other industry sectors.”

What is new?

Overall, exhibitor numbers appear stable for industrial printing’s premier show: “For this year’s Inprint in Munich, a total of 135 companies from 17 countries have booked their stand space and the number of new exhibitors is quite high. The attractiveness of the event for so many new companies demonstrates how quickly this sector is evolving. Regular visitors to the show can look forward to discover 45 new exhibiting companies,” confirms Hamann.

She continues: “For print specialists who haven’t visited the event so far, Inprint 2017 is the opportunity to finally connect with the industrial print community, and discover all the latest technology live on display at the exhibition stands.”

From an exhibitor’s perspective, Annette Gansert, Omnifire product manager at Heidelberg, adds: “Inprint is a well-established event for all who are interested in industrial print solutions, and where the main suppliers meet. Munich is a perfect place in the heart of the German and European most important economic region. Customers from the automotive industry, sports gear suppliers, brand owners, lifestyle manufacturers etc. come to Inprint to find new design opportunities and new methods of decorating things.”

For the Swiss ink specialists Hapa, ink department supervisor Mathias Theiler, adds further thoughts: “This is Hapa’s fourth year to attend Inprint and to show our digital ink competencies. Inprint puts us into direct contact with visitors who are established in the area of digital printing or who are looking into digital printing. Hapa Ink offers a variety of tailor-made products, which include low-migration digital inks, high-security digital inks, and cost-effective white inks of unsurpassed opacity. We also offer services ranging from ink analysis, adhesion, and migration testing, to private labelling and packaging to customer specifications.”

Mathias Theiler of Hapa Ink says it is the company’s fourth year at Inprint to show its digital ink competencies

With regard to which particular developments in industrial print she expects to make the biggest impact at this year’s event, Hamann comments: “Many of the emerging technologies in industrial print have further developed since the previous event. Direct-to-shape applications, digital print applications in packaging printing, but also inks and finishing processes have further improved in quality and efficiency.

“All these recent innovations have in common that they have by now reached a phase that enables practical application on a broader level, opening up new business opportunities in a large variety of sectors. Whether for interior decoration, flooring, wallpaper, drinks bottles, clothing, packaging, and all sorts of consumer products, innovative printing applications have become a key process for the individualisation of products. Creating value with individualised products is, therefore, the theme of this year’s event, as this is where industrial print has a big impact for the manufacturing industries, the packaging industry, as well as the traditional print industry.”

Why should you attend?

So, having set the scene, why should British companies make their way to Munich in November? Hamann suggests: “With its future-oriented show profile Inprint is targeting innovators and decision-makers from all over the world. A total of 44 percent of the visitors at the previous event came from outside Germany, from 65 different countries. The event is a gathering for print technology experts, specialists from industrial printing companies, OEMs, integrators, and print-service-providers to exchange expertise, to network, and to find out about the latest trends in digital, inkjet, screen, and specialist printing. Industrial production and emerging new technologies are currently strongly developing in Great Britain, opening up new markets for print providers of industrial print services. A visit to Inprint is, therefore, an investment in the future; and Munich airport offers numerous flight connections with all major destinations across the UK.”
The conference sessions

Running alongside the main event are both awards and conference sessions. “To highlight technological expertise in industrial print, we have also further developed our Inprint Awards,” says Hamann, adding: “For the first time award winners will be selected by public voting of the printing community via the Inprint show website. The Inprint 2017 Awards are sponsored by Ricoh and will be handed over to the winning companies on the first exhibition day.”

During Inprint 2017 an in-depth conference programme will present practical examples of progressive and innovative technologies. Two conference sessions highlighted are one covering ‘Digital Decor Print’ and another focused on ‘Inkjet Enabled Manufacturing’.

Personalisation will be a big topic at Inprint 2017 as a key growth sector

Digital Decor Print will be presented by Technical Conference Management and will cover decor paper, printing inks, digital decor print on paper, as well as digital direct print. The Inkjet Enabled Manufacturing session will explore the impact inkjet technology is having on manufacturing in a range of industries.

Inprint is a showcase for all things ‘industrial print’

With regard to the popular conference sessions, Hamann adds: “There are, once again, a large variety of subjects covered in the conference sessions at Inprint. They cover latest advances in direct-to-shape, high precision printing, printed electronics, and the development of inks as well as inspection processes. An up-to-date conference programme is available on the Inprint Germany show website.”

What is on show?

Perhaps one question a printer might be asking is what might the visitor expect to see at Inprint? Just a few examples are featured here to whet your appetite.

Annette Gansert of Heidelberg says: “As Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is going into the first installation of Omnifire 1000, we’re showing free-shaped objects which have been printed directly on this machine, such as suitcases, motorcycle helmets, automotive interiors. The Omnifire 1000 is like the ‘little sister’ of the Omnifire 250—a printing system that combines advanced inkjet technology with high-precision robotics.”

The Omnifire 250 and Omnifire 1000 from Heidelberg

Why it is important for regular printers to understand and see the new possibilities of printing? “Besides printing on paper, the demand to enlarge the portfolio becomes more and more urgent. The possibility to directly print on objects in an easy and comfortable way like with the Omnifire brings new business opportunities and helps printers to increase their customer base,” Gansert adds.

Heidelberg will be showing free-shaped objects which have been printed directly on the Omnifire 1000, such as suitcases

Digital Lacquer Embossing is Hymmen’s response to what it describes as a clear customer need for the look and feel of digitally printed surface effects. With this innovative technology, a transparent liquid medium is printed by inkjet into a layer of non-cured core lacquer. Physical and chemical reactions create a deep and unique structure. With a width from 70 up to 2,100mm and only one inkjet print bar, the technology can be integrated into exiting process chains. Hymmen says it is possible to create structures that are embossed in register to the decor of the media surface, whether printed digitally or analogue.

Hapa’s exhibit will offer a variety of tailor-made products, which include low-migration digital inks, high-security digital inks, and cost-effective white inks offering, what the company claims to be unsurpassed opacity.

German ink company Ruco will focus this year on two universally curing screen printing ink series’ that are suitable for use both with LED technology and standard mercury-charged UV lamps.

US-based Amica Systems will show the recently launched C324PA modular full-colour UV inkjet printer. This machine is designed to be integrated into existing roll-to-roll transport systems, such as flexo label presses and other roll-to-roll transport systems.

GEW, a UK-based manufacturer of robust, energy-efficient UV curing systems for printing and coating applications, will offer visitors the chance to see wide-format products such as the fully air-cooled NUVA2 UV system. The NUVA2 lamp head is available in widths of up to 2.5m and boasts particularly fast switch-on and cool-down cycles, achieving considerable electricity and time savings. It addresses the specific requirements of converters who need to coat substrates in extreme widths.

Another UK company, Nazdar Ink Technologies, will be introducing a number of its innovative UV-LED, traditional UV, solvent, and aqueous ink formulations to attendees of the show.

Tonejet, the only manufacturer of advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, and Global Packaging Partner of Inprint in 2017, will focus its exhibit on its direct-to-shape and flat sheet metal digital printing technologies.

Simon Edwards, vice president of sales and marketing at Tonejet, says: “Partnering with Inprint was an easy decision for us. Industrial print has seen healthy growth in recent years and Inprint has played a significant role in that growth. The show attracts a wide range of industrial businesses and provides Tonejet, along with many others, a chance to generate new possibilities in industrial production.”

A comprehensive visitor guide to the event includes all relevant information on Inprint 2017 in a handy, useable format. The pages incorporate information on the show and visitor profile, the exhibitor list, as well as a preview to the conference sessions. Simply visit Inprint’s website, select Visitors, and then select Request Visitor Info.

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