From 8-10 April, InPrint 2014, the first trade show exclusively dedicated to industrial print in manufacturing, will take place at Hannover Exhibition Grounds in Germany. The event will be co-located with Hannover Messe 2014.
InPrint 2014 is a new trade fair that brings together the leading technology owners in the industrial print sector. Exhibitors will showcase the latest equipment, tools and services for printing on metal, plastics, foils, textiles, glass, ceramics, woods and other surfaces. The main focus of the event is on five key technology streams: Speciality, Screen, Digital, Inkjet and 3D.
Industrial print is booming. New machinery, inks and printing systems are constantly being developed, aiming to offer practical solutions to an industry sector boosted by consumer growth and the trend towards mass customisation. The numerous applications include: Print onto primary, secondary and tertiary packaging; Functional and decorative print in electronic devices, automotive and white goods production; Decorative print on textiles, soft furnishings and apparel; Print that will mass-customise tiles, glass, flooring panels, metal or other building material; Print technology that is used to inject chemicals for pharmaceutical production; 3D print for rapid prototyping, modelling, architecture, automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, packaging and personal manufacturing.
InPrint Exhibitors: Key Industry Players and Smart Niche Companies
Still three months before the show, nearly 100 exhibitors have booked stand space at InPrint 2014. The exhibitor line-up features some of the leading technology companies in the printing sector including Agfa, Caldera, Canon, Durst, Epson, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Huntsman, Hymmen, Kiian, Lumejet, Machines Dubuit, Mimaki, Marabu, Neschen, Nor-Cote, Ricoh, SPGPrints, Stratasys, Thieme, Xaar, Xennia, and Zünd.
The set-up of the show is international, 50% of the exhibitors are from outside Germany. The biggest exhibitor group after Germany is Switzerland, followed by the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United States. “We are absolutely delighted that some of the biggest and most innovative names in print technology have confirmed their participation”, says Frazer Chesterman, Co-Director InPrint. “Many companies are eager to enter or re-establish their position in this growing and lucrative market. Industrial print is worth a staggering US $100 Billion, and it is expected to grow to US $120 Billion within the next 10 years. Yet many companies have barely touched the surface of possibilities that industrial print can offer them. InPrint makes the perfect international industry platform to connect with new printing technology that will drive new business.”
Printing Knowledge Meets the Demands of Industrial Manufacturing
The InPrint event has been much anticipated: “Demand is up and technology is advancing fast, but the communication process within the industry hasn’t fully been established yet”, explains Marcus Timson, Co-Director InPrint. “Many industry professionals call for more dialogue between component manufacturers, developers and integrators, print machine makers, print service providers and their customers from the manufacturing industries. InPrint 2014 bridges that gap and, for the first time, brings these groups together, providing a platform for important issues: What are the specific requirements within the production process? What technical solutions are already available, and which technologies should be invested in? InPrint covers all aspects of industrial printing, hence the exceptional interest and support from the industry for this launch event.”
Timson continues: “It is significant that InPrint 2014 will be co-located with Hannover Messe 2014, the world’s leading exhibition for industrial manufacturing. It reflects the integration of print technology and industrial manufacturing“.
InPrint exhibitors present a comprehensive range of advanced printing equipment and solutions that will help to improve capacity, flexibility and output within the production process. Exhibits include printing machines and printing systems, inks and chemicals, materials and substrates, specialist software, pre-press equipment, finishing equipment, inkjet heads, meshes and other accessories for industrial print production. Below is a selection of some product highlights at InPrint 2014.
Customised Decoration: Inkjet Technology for Surface Imaging, Functional Layers and Coating
Due to its speed, width and versatility, inkjet has become the leading technology for decorative and functional print on all types of surfaces. Inkjet is especially suitable for varying production volumes and fast changing designs, and can also be used on a variety of different substrates as it does not require direct contact with the surface material. For better production performance, inkjet print is often combined with UV technologies whereby the ink is cured by exposure to strong UV-light.
Germany based Hymmen has been working in engineering for over 120 years and produces digital printing machines for large volume production and surface imaging of board or roll materials such as flooring, laminates, steel or aluminium. CyconJet, part of Mankiewicz in Germany, has also developed an inkjet system specifically for the coating of large size print products such as wood lamination.
Xennia Technology and Mimaki are both familiar names in industrial inkjet printing, specialising in textile, décor, and industrial products. Italian company Kuei will launch Genize, a single-pass printer designed to decorate a variety of materials such as metal, wood, and plastics. Cyan Tec is another company specialising in single-pass printers and will introduce a new system for direct printing onto curved surfaces for packaging.
The German company Neschen has developed a range of coating methods for self-adhesive films and papers used in industrial manufacturing. UK based SPGPrints is a well-known global player for a wide range of industrial markets, from touch panels, RFID tags and solar cells to blood-glucose sensors and adhesives. Durst from Austria has been a pioneer in photo and print technology since 1936 and is now recognised as one of the leaders in specialist inkjet for textiles and ceramics as well as functional inkjet.
Technically Mature, Precise and Integral: Screen Printing
Screen printing remains a vital print technology for high quality, high speed print for functional and decorative purposes and is used within manufacturing as its quality and ability to produce large scale functional and decorative print is unique. Main applications include direct print onto packaging, containers, membrane switches, in-mold decoration (IMD), photovoltaic print, and smart screen printing in the consumer electronics area, especially for the production of touch screens. Most companies use a combination of analogue and digital print technologies, sometimes even on the same product.
Germany is a stronghold for screen printing machinery manufacturers. ESC, Folex, Koenen, Maschinenbau Bochonow, Micron, RK Siebdrucktechnik and RokuPrint are all renowned brand names in modern screen printing, offering customised solutions for a variety of applications as well as special print accessories like blades and squeegees. Thieme will expand from its world-leading role in industrial screen printing equipment and will launch a digital printing system that can be tailored to customer specifications. Altana uses screen and other printing or converting techniques to produce electronic devices. Their aim is to establish new applications and markets alongside conventional electronics. Swiss company SignTronic focuses upon prepress technology for screen printing and will present solutions for the automation of stencil production, including reproducible screens. Sister company Grünig also specialises on automating and standardising the screen making process; they produce machines for screen stretching, screen coating, and screen washing. Also in Switzerland, Sefar will exhibit their leading woven precision fabrics for the screen printing business and also for selected markets in filtration and architecture. French company Machines Dubuit will present a printing machine that combines screen and digital technology for printing onto curved 3D objects.
Essentials for High Quality Print: Inks, Solvents and Print Heads
The diversity in material and shapes in manufacturing requires a print of very high quality. Print must be extremely durable and resistant against heat, cold, dampness, sunlight or chemicals. Advanced inks and solvents build the base for successful printing applications and are complemented by specially designed print heads.
Agfa Graphics and Fujifilm belong to the leading brand names involved in ink production and speciality inkjet systems. Both offer integrated solutions for the industrial inkjet industry and will present a variety of inks and system solutions for decorative and functional print.
German company digidirect will present their latest range of conductive inks for functional printing, with front and keyboard foils as the most important applications. Marabu is one of the leading German ink manufacturers for screen, digital and pad printing inks. They cover a wide range of UV-curable, solvent-based and water-based inks for functional and decorative applications. Also based in Germany is Eckart, a leading manufacturer of metallic inks and pearlescent pigments mainly used for paints and coatings.
INX Digital, a Japanese owned company with the European headquarters based in Italy, specialises in tailoring chemistries to suit a variety of industrial applications including textiles, labels, metal decoration, corrugated packaging, and interior décor applications. They will also introduce a new aluminium can printer designed for food packaging. Nor-Cote will showcase their new range of industrial graphic inks for printing membrane switches, automotive dials, nameplates and graphics on PVC materials. J-Teck3 produces water-based digital inks for graphic and textile applications.
As for print heads, UK-based Xaar is one of the largest independent inkjet head manufacturers specialising in digital printing of tiles and decorative laminates as well as packaging and labelling. Competitor Ricoh has been an innovator in the field of inkjet technology for more than 30 years and is now marketing their fifth generation of inkjet heads, which are being used in 3D modelling, textiles, and wide format graphics. The British company LumeJet pursues a different route by developing breakthrough technology for inkless printing using photonic heads.
More than Shapes: 3D Printing
Within a short period of time, 3D printing has become a mature and widely used technology suitable for both personal and industrial applications. 3D printing is mainly used for prototyping, modelling and packaging although there is a growing demand for printed products directly made out of the original material such as printing customised machine parts or using food printing to create bespoke pasta shapes as recently reported in the press.
A highlight of the show will be the 3D Print Factory, sponsored by Stratasys. Featuring six key industrial sectors, the 3D Print Factory will showcase a diverse range of applications and 3D print technology from desktop to production grade. Live demonstrations explore the different technological approaches to 3D printing and the value and potential they hold for manufacturing and business.
Make it Work for the Customer: Solutions for Better Integration into Manufacturing Lines
For many industrial applications, a technically demanding printing procedure must be integrated efficiently into the manufacturing process.
Caldera is a software company offering IT-solutions for wide-format imaging and industrial printing. Their print-to-cut workflow programmes offer colour management, imaging, and driving solutions for large-format peripherals. Canon will exhibit a number of software solutions and various printing applications that have been successfully implemented by their customers.
Advanced robotics can be a great help in the printing process. Industrial Inkjet will present a printing system with a robotic arm that is programmed to pick up items which are then printed using Konica Minolta inkjet heads. Effective fluid management is an important issue in printing: Pall specialises in fluid management solutions that help to purify and conserve water, consume less energy and minimise emissions and waste. Post print, the Swiss company Zünd Systemtechnik offers modular digital cutting systems that can be integrated directly into the production process.
InPrint Visitors: Print Specialists from the Entire Supply Chain
InPrint is targeting print providers and specialists from the entire supply chain who seek to improve their print production process or invest in new applications and business opportunities in this highly attractive growth sector. This includes print providers, production managers, system integrators, heads of R&D, technical directors and designers from the manufacturing industry, from industrial print companies, and from traditional print companies. InPrint visitors can find printing solutions for customised products and on-demand services that will help to reduce costs, simplify logistics, increase efficiency, whilst developing new capabilities in manufacturing.
Functional & Decorative Industrial Print Conference
(8-9 April 2014 at InPrint, Hall 21)
The conference programme focuses upon functional and decorative print production within industrial manufacturing. InPrint visitors have free entry. Run by ESMA (European Speciality Print Manufacturers Association) and IMI (a conference organiser specialising in inkjet technologies), the content showcases innovation and technical excellence in speciality, screen, 3D and digital inkjet.
(10 April 2014, Conference and Seminar Theatre at InPrint, Hall 21)
On Thursday, visitors are invited to attend exhibitor presentations on the various products and services on display. At the Great Innovations Award, visitors can vote for the most innovative product by using interactive keypads.
InPrint 2014 takes place at Hannover Exhibition Centre, Hall 21 (Entrance West 3), Hannover, Germany. The venue is easily accessible by air, road and public transport. Shuttle buses will be running from Hannover International Airport.
Tuesday, 8 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014, daily 09:00 – 18:00 hrs
Tickets & Entrance Fees:
By registering for InPrint, visitors automatically receive a combined ticket for access to Hannover Messe 2014 and the Functional and Decorative Industrial Print Conference. Tickets can be purchased online from the InPrint website to a reduced price, or at the exhibition entrance upon arrival. Day tickets are EUR 28 online or EUR 35 on-site, season tickets (which are valid for duration of InPrint) are EUR 64 online or EUR 76 on-site.
The show catalogue is available on site and included in the entrance fee.
Source: FM Brooks / Mack Brooks Exhibitions Group press release