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Event Spotlight

FESPA 2020 Preview

Every year FESPA sees visitors and exhibitors come together to experience all that the industry has to offer. Carys Evans uncovers what is in store for 2020

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FESPA Global Print Expo 2020 is set to be an explosion of colour

Where colour comes alive

FESPA Global Print Expo is known for bringing together the latest technologies and innovations from all areas of existing industry sectors, as well new and emerging sectors. From wide-format print, textiles and clothing, to colour management software. Exhibitors and visitors alike are given a space to unite in their passion for the specialty and wide-format print industries in a different European destination each year.

This year the event will run from March 24th – 27th at the IFEMA in Madrid and is operating under three areas: digital, textile and screen. Organisers are expecting over 700 exhibitors who will demonstrate solutions for screen and digital wide-format print, textile printing and signage – all under one roof in the capital of Spain. In addition to the Global Print Expo, Sportswear Pro will also be running at the same location for the first time this year.

What to expect

Neil Felton, chief executive officer of FESPA explains what we can expect from the upcoming show: “The strapline for this year’s event is ‘Where Colour Comes Alive’. FESPA Global Print Expo has always been a major platform for the most exciting product launches in screen, textile and digital wide-format print, but we also see the event as a celebration of the colourful, creative range of applications, processes and materials that we frequently come across in our industry.

“Whether we’re talking colour management, media inks or finishing techniques, ‘colour’ is a powerful theme that expresses the boundless opportunities in our vibrant industry. Add in the bright and exciting Mediterranean location – our first return to Spain since our FESPA Digital event in 2012 – and there’s no question that FESPA Global Print Expo is the hot ticket of 2020 for print and signage professionals.”

‘Colour’ is a powerful theme that expresses the boundless opportunities in our vibrant industry


Felton lists Print Make Wear and the Trend Theatre as must-see features. Print Make Wear will focus on end-to-end, from the provision of the product all the way through to the production, specification, design of sports, and athleisure. Visitors can attend the Trend Theatre to experience seminars hosted by experts on a wide range of subjects. In addition to these, this year’s line-up features Printeriors which focuses on interior décor, Colour L*A*B, which focuses on colour management, and also the FESPA Awards.

Launched last year, Colour L*A*B is a technology showcase and support conference programme created specially to help visitors improve colour management practices. A walk-through showcase will include technologies from suppliers complimented by explanatory graphics and a printed guide describing the processes and technologies involved.

The Colour L*A*B provides visitors with expert advice and guidance on colour management


Tours will also run which will offer visitors the chance to hear first-hand about the processes and have any specific questions answered. The launch of the Colour L*A*B came as a result a demand for expert guidance and education around colour accuracy and consistency.

Including the European Sign Expo, three shows will run alongside each other. This means that visitors can benefit from having everything in one place. Felton comments: “It’s all about providing opportunities for our community and for our printers and I think that’s really essential so that if you are a wide-format graphics printer, but you may want to look at direct-to-garment. You may want to look at a variety of products that we are moving into. So to us I think it’s really important.”

An explosion of colour

Described as a dedicated showcase of a future fast fashion factory, Print Make Wear 2020 will feature a live showcase of sportswear and athleisure manufacture in real-time through a custom-built environment. The Print Make Wear smart factory will make use of smart technologies as well as digital technology and manufacturing equipment. FESPA’s textile ambassador, Debbie McKeegan will also be hosting a series of tours.

The Print Make Wear smart factory features smart technologies, digital technology and manufacturing equipment


This year, the feature will include two workflows running side by side. The first will focus on direct-to-garment printing onto blank sportswear and athleisure garments and visitors will be able to order and customise either a running shirt or racer back vest and leggings.

A large core of FESPA’s audience is involved in the textile industry, with production focused on sportswear


The second will be dedicated to roll-to-roll printing and will mimic an entire production process from web-to-print to final delivery, with sample fabrics printed out, cut, sewn and packaged on-site. The finished products will be on show on the exhibition floor.

McKeegan comments: “Print Make Wear proved to be FESPA Global Print Expo 2019’s most attended feature and it’s not difficult to see why – it’s a vibrant forum where you can immerse yourself in all aspects of garment printing, from design to print finishing. We want to give our visitors the opportunity to see first-hand how digital print technology, software and automation can revolutionise the production of sportswear and define potential new routes to market.”

FESPA’s textile ambassador, Debbie McKeegan says Print Make Wear was the most attended feature in 2019


Back of the net

According to research by MarketWatch, the global market size of the sportswear market is predicted to reach $102.5m (£78.8m) by 2024, from $84.1m (£64.6m) in 2019. As a result of a growing culture of immediacy, more and more consumers now expect orders to be delivered within days, and even hours of purchase. Another major factor that has been making itself known in various areas of the wide-format print industry is personalisation.

While the market is already growing rapidly, the idea for Sportswear Pro actually first came about through FESPA’s 2018 Global Print Census. Conducted in partnership with InfoTrends, a division of Keypoint Intelligence, the research found that a large core of its audience was involved in the textile industry, with production focused on sportswear.

The census found that 80% of textile printers are active in sports apparel. A demand for faster production speeds was found to be a driver of investment for 69% of textile print businesses. In addition, 76% of respondents said that demand for environmentally sustainable products has influenced business strategy with mass customisation a key customer requirement.

O Factoid: FESPA’s 2018 global print census found that for 76% of respondents a demand for environmentally sustainable products has influenced business strategy O


Michael Ryan, group exhibition manager of FESPA explains: “We see trends also coming from sublimation printing that we saw in FESPA Munich and from our core exhibitors all focused on this industry.

“That led to investigations, market research, looking at trends in the industry and then thinking this is the right time for companies to get involved in customisation of sportswear. Activewear is a trend right now as it is one of the biggest growing sectors in apparel manufacturing.”

When asked whether he believes the trend will continue in years to come, Ryan says: “If you look back to 2013 when we had the first European Sign Expo which was held alongside FESPA, that exhibition has been growing every year and that’s now still part of the portfolio. So I would expect this exhibition to develop and continue to be alongside FESPA in the future”.

An assortment of solutions

Esko will be on hand at FESPA’s Global Print Expo to showcase its latest integrated software and hardware solutions for the digital and screen printing sectors.

Esko will showcase its software and hardware solutions


On stand will be ArtiosCAD Preflight and Share & Approve, both of which promise to boost productivity and reduce waste across the print process. Esko also plans to demonstrate how these individual solutions combine to unlock new heights of efficiency as part of a connected digital ecosystem.

Jan De Roeck, director of Marketing, Industry Relations & Strategy explains: “Delivering quality control at the touch of a button, ArtiosCAD Preflight automatically analyses structural design files and flags quality issues to avoid downstream errors and save time for converters. We will be demonstrating how the software alerts designers to potential design issues before releasing the file to estimating or production to ensure increased operational uptime and efficiency.

“With Share & Approve, anyone in the workflow can upload, share, annotate and approve jobs in 2D and hyper-realistic 3D. The ability to record, store and send feedback in a single, centralised online tool brings new clarity to the process, reducing the amount of approval iterations and shortening the time required to get a job approved.”
Esko will also demonstrate its workflow server, Automation Engine, which automates print production tasks and integrates business systems. What’s more, the firm will be showing how its solutions can compliment the Kongsberg X Edge digital finishing table.

The writing’s on the wall

In another corner of the exhibition hall, Canon will showcase its range of large-format digital print and workflow solutions such as the Colorado roll-to-roll printer family and its Arizona flatbed portfolio.

Both the Colorado 1640 and 1650 models will be on display, with visitors given the opportunity to experience how UVgel technology can help in larger production volumes. The firm will demonstrate how this technology can help users to explore new markets such as soft signage and interior décor.

Canon will provide a real-time insight into how roll-to-roll graphics such as wallpaper can be automatically fed from the Colorado onto the Fotoba inline finishing solution. This will be done through a live automated, end-to-end print and cut workflow process via the Colorado 1640.

The Colorado 1650 will also be used to demonstrate how FLXfinish technology can give users a choice of matte or gloss modes for a range of applications. In addition, for the first time an additional Colorado 1650 will be on display integrated with a Fotoba Jumbo Roll.

The Arizona 1360 GT flatbed printer will also be on show demonstrating a range of interior décor output such as wood and glass, wall coverings and acoustic panels.

Wouter Derichs, sales & marketing director of Large-Format Graphics at Canon Europe says the firm’s mission at FESPA 2020 is to spark visitors’ imaginations. He says: “We’re out to show how great ideas, supported by operational excellence and clever automation, can drive business growth by fueling new opportunities.

“Bringing together innovative digital wide-format printing technology with intelligent software and a range of media, print-service-providers can truly add value for their customers, deliver incredible products and boost their margins.”

Dive on in

The star of Mimaki Europe’s booth will be its brand new hybrid digital textile printer, the Tx300P-1800 MkII. Enabling both direct-to-textile and transfer printing, the printer features interchangeable platens and three different ink combinations.

The new Mimaki Tx300P-1800MkII hybrid textile printer is being showcased at FESPA 2020 on Stand 7-C20


With many visitors making the trip to FESPA to seek out opportunities to move into new markets and expand services, the capability to fulfil diverse applications from fashion textiles to interior fabrics and wallpaper within one system makes the technology an attractive entry-level solution.

Danna Drion, senior marketing manager of Mimaki EMEA, comments: “We are delighted to be bringing the Tx300P-1800 MkII to FESPA this year to show customers exactly how game-changing it can be for their businesses. With the introduction of this new hybrid printer, we are not only delivering an affordable, streamlined single-system solution for printing on both paper and textile, but we are also providing print-service-providers with the versatility to continue exploring different substrates and applications as they grow their businesses in the future.

“We anticipate a very bright future for digital printing in the textile industry and have no doubt that our new printer, at the cutting edge of this sector, will have a role in realising this transition.”

In addition to this new offering, Mimaki will be showcasing over 15 products in total. The large-format section will include the new SWK-320EA large-format solvent printer, JFX200-2513 EX large flatbed UV inkjet printer and two models of the Plus series.

The firm will also be demonstrating its 3D print technology through full-colour samples using the 3DUJ-553 3D printer, creating a display that promises to inspire and encourage visitors to “experience print”.


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