SGI Dubai virtual show, the very first edition in this format in its history, is currently experiencing high interest from across the globe. SGI Dubai Virtual show will be hosted on one of the world's leading virtual platform. This virtual edition of SGI Dubai will continue to follow the same schedule and timelines and it will be held on 18, 19, 20 January. The endeavor would be to provide both the exhibitors and trade visitors, with a show that is as realistic and vibrant as the original SGI Dubai shows. The 24th edition of the show will host exhibitors from across the globe within the large format, textile printing, digital display technologies, 3D printing, labeling, LED, fabricating, printing software, paper, and other allied industries. For booking your virtual booth please directly contact

SGI Dubai Virtual 2021, will also attract a wide audience of local, regional, and international trade visitors due to the sheer technological reach of the show. This event aims to digitally welcome trade visitors and quality decision-makers from over 100 plus countries. Trade visitors can benefit from the state-of-the-art virtual platform which will enable them to interact with global exhibitors and place their orders on a real-time basis. This virtual show will have a regular branded booth for all the participating companies and will be hosted on a powerful and engaging virtual exhibition platform. Visitors can immediately register and get ready to pre-book their meetings with the exhibitors.

This event will also, have several regional and international speakers addressing the audience through the SGI Dubai Conference which will be held under the 'E3 Talks' banner alongside the show. Interested CEOs and decision-makers from across the globe are invited to participate. There are limited slots available and will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis. This is a webinar platform to 'Educate, Empower, and Enhance' the print service providers and sign makers in the printing & signage industry. The core objective of this platform is to educate the sign makers on the various developments and trends in the industry and help them find ways of conducting their business more profitably. The current pandemic and its effect on the markets has created this urgent need to transfer knowledge from experts from the industry to the sign makers to help them overcome this situation. Interested spokespersons can also get in touch with

The inaugural day of the 10th Publishers Conference was held as a lead up to the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair. This has been symbolic of a fresh start for the global publishing fraternity, as 317 professionals and 33 speakers reunite in what is a first-of-its-kind global gathering of industry professionals since the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to cancellations of some of the biggest book events internationally this year.

One of the easiest things to customize is t-shirts. This is also a product that people can sell to multiple kinds of audience, from comic book fans to corporates.Whatever business you want to start, you need to invest your time and money. A good thing about the T-shirt printing business is that one can start a t-shirt printing business with less investment. You can even start this business from home.You just have to make arrangements for an online store, raw materials like ink and t-shirts, and machinery. If you are not planning to buy a printing machine, then you can get printing work done by third-party print service providers. More details can be found within the MEPrinter magazine article.

Mark Lawn, Director of Professional Print Solutions, Canon Europe reflects on the production print industry's evolution over the last 20 years and discusses the milestones in digital print technology in response to changing customer demands. Digital print burst onto the scene with a disruptive 'bang' in the mid-90s. By the turn of the millennium, its potential was starting to resonate with some PSPs because, despite many commercial printers still being focused on investing in 'heavy metal' equipment, the market was moving towards smaller orders and shorter run lengths. There was a clear need for a cost-effective solution and the business case for digital print on-demand was becoming stronger. As with any innovative technology, some customers were still sceptical and those PSPs who had embraced digital were really the 'early adopters'. Click here for the full interview MEPrinter.

‘SGI Dubai 2021’ will now be an engaging virtual B2B event. This virtual edition of SGI Dubai will continue to follow the same schedule and timelines and it will be held on January 18th, 19thand 20th. The endeavor would be to provide both the exhibitors and trade visitors, with a show that is as realistic as the original SGI Dubai shows, that have graced the exhibition floors for the past 23 years.The 24th edition of the show will host exhibitors from across the globe within the large format, textile printing, digital display technologies, 3D printing, labeling, LED, fabricating, printing software, paper, and other allied industries. SGI Dubai 2021 will also attract a wide audience of local, regional and international trade visitors due to the sheer technological reach of the show. This event aims to digitally welcome trade visitors and serious decision makers from over 100 plus countries.This virtual show will have a regular branded booth for all the participating companies and will be hosted on a powerful and engaging virtual exhibition platform. This event will also have several regional and international speakers addressing the audience through the SGI Dubai Conference which will be held under the ‘E3 Talks’ banner alongside the show. For more information please directly write to

This is a webinar platform to ‘Educate, Empower and Enhance’ the print service providers and sign makers in the printing & signage industry.The core objective of this platform is to educate the sign makers on the various developments and trends in the industry and help them find ways of conducting their business more profitably. The current pandemic and its effect on the markets has created this urgent need to transfer knowledge from experts from the industry to the sign makers to help them overcome this situation. E3 Talks will be a monthly event happening digitally over the Zoom Webinar platform on the 4th or last Wednesday of the month.

As one of the biggest player in global printing industry Koenig and Bauer has been choosing its path wisely. The company started diversifying into different sectors of printing industry since many years ago and the company is now offering a wide range of printing equipment for offset, digital, security, flexible packaging as well as metal printing. Koenig and Bauer’s focus on packaging could be a winning formula to survive the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. They launched Koenig and Bauer live webinar back in June which was extremely successful. Many visitors from the near East, the Far East and Middle East signed up to watch the event. In order to find out more about company’s plans for the future and its view on current pandemic ME Printer talked with Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of Koenig and Bauer.

According to Printpack MEA magazine, Epson has announced that it will launch a new survey and research on how UAE and Middle East organizations are changing their business and technology priorities at its virtual session, which is scheduled for 19 October, 2020. The virtual discussion will be led by Jason McMillan, the Sales Director of Epson Middle East, and Husam Al Sughayyar, the Regional Sales Manager for UAE and GCC at Epson.During the webinar, the company will explain why the Middle East leads EMEA with 94% of employees agreeing that environmental and social issues will be more important post-COVID-19. Attendees will also be able to gain insights on how UAE organizations switching from laser printers to inkjet printers could save $2.1 million in energy costs, along with significant energy savings and time savings.Speakers during the webinar will also throw some light on the need to meet changing employee and customer expectations to drive success.

SGI Dubai, one of the oldest and most respected trade shows for the printing and signage industries, that had recently organised an exclusive webinar for the industry stakeholders will continue the webinar series. The core aim of the webinars will be to help and support various sections of the industry and ensure that the entire community is well informed with the latest updates from across the globe. The webinar will also focus on the key trends and also the possible solutions to steer the industry forward.

In an Epson study on the state of printing in the workplace conducted by market research company Kantar AMRB, 95% of respondents in UAE and KSA claim that printers are vital in terms of helping them to effectively work. This is in line with a similar study Epson did in Europe where 77% of respondents stated that printers were important in terms of helping them work more productively, with an overwhelming majority (83%) felt a “paperless office is unrealistic”.In addition to printers, significant proportion of organizations in UAE and KSA also claim that desktops (78%), laptops (67%) and scanners (54%) are vital for working effectively. 78% of organizations also believe that ‘there is more chance of making errors editing an electronic document than editing a printout’.Source: MEPrinter Magazine

The world’s first 3D printed office building opened in Dubai in 2016. It took 17 days to print, using a 37-meter long printer and two days to assemble on site. But 3D printing doesn’t just cut construction time, it also helps the environment.Cement is responsible for 8% of worldwide carbon emissions and concrete accounts for 9% of all industrial water use. 3D printing creates 60% less waste than traditional construction because 3D printers use materials more efficiently, cutting costs by up to 70% and labour by up to 80%.Khalfan Juma Belhoul, the Chief Executive Officer at the Dubai Future Foundation talks us through how Dubai aims to meet its target of 3D printing 25% of new buildings by the year 2025.Source: Printpack MEA Magazine.

SGI Dubai, one of the oldest and most respected trade shows for the printing and signage industries, organised an exclusive webinar for the industry stakeholders. The panelists discussed ways to mitigate the challenges faced by the industry as a result of the pandemic. The panelists in the webinar included, Dr. Nicholas, Founder, FLAAR-REPORTS, United States, Nitin Goswamy, President, A.T Inks, United States, Mike Horsten, Senior Director, Texsmart, Netherlands, Pablo Lee, Managing Director, FLAAR-REPORTS & DPI INSIGHTS, United States, Ayman Aly, Senior Marketing Manager, Canon ME, UAE and it was moderated by M Karthik, Chief Catalyst representing SGI Dubai 2021. More webinars are being planned to address the needs of the specific sectors within the industry.

Jacky's Business Solutions, a graphics solutions partner for HP, has appointed Saasz Solutions as a 'Strategic Reseller' for promoting HP's low volume and mid volume Latex printers in the countries that are covered by the partnership agreement between Jacky's and HP. Jacky's will support the sales channels that Saasz develops, particularly in the Print Service Provider (PSP) segments.Under the agreement, Saasz will work with PSP's to unlock opportunities for growth in this sector, particularly during the current challenges. Where most PSP's in the region traditionally focused on retail, MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) and vehicle graphics, Saasz will help them to explore emerging opportunities in new sectors including interior decoration and pandemic signage. Saasz will also provide consultancy support to help PSP's in pivoting their business while monitoring their operational expenses better. Source: Printweek Magazine

Increasing number of small and medium size businesses in GCC and Middle East economies is anticipated to create lucrative business opportunities for print service providers in the next couple of years. Middle East & Africa have strong potential growth in the commercial printer market. On the other hand, players within the digital printing industry in GCC can capitalize on the market growth triggered by the e-Commerce industry and the exponential demand by the millennials and the rising GenZ population. Due to the growing social media revolution, every individual is currently looking at wearing something new in each of their individual social posts. Similar trends are visible in the home furnishing industry as well. Such trends are only going to grow further, and this will significantly propel the demand in the upcoming years. As per Smithers Pira, the market will touch AED20 billion by 2023 with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6%. Source: MEPrinter Magazine.

The third edition of the report showcases all the companies that exhibited their media,substrates and inkjet ink consumables for wide format printers during one of the largest signage trade shows in Middle East: SGI Dubai 2020. In the 24th edition next year trade visitors can witness an even more evolved products within the ink and substrates segment. It will be a very important turning point for the global printing and signage industries as it will set the tone for the remainder of 2021. It is time for players within the ink and substrates segment to be an integral part of SGI Dubai 2021 and grow their business within the MENA markets. Year 2021 will surely be a critical year for all the stakeholders within the printing and signage industries and it is important for everyone to plan early. Please also download the 3rd edition of FLAAR REPORTS for more information.

One of the regular SGI Dubai exhibitors, Strings International Advertising LLC., the distributor of Avery Dennison, UAE, recently launched the supreme protection film in matte finish and gloss black. Avery Dennison supreme protection films are the leading technology in self-healing protection. With both gloss and matt finishes, and a gloss black option, the films are designed for full car protection or protecting high risk bodywork. Made with a high scratch resistant TPU, every Avery Dennison supreme protection film product maintains the pristine factory condition of high value vehicles, are easy to apply and ensure outstanding aesthetics.

Vinod Gehani | Project Manager | 0557278325 / 0502503591

Shihab Ahmed Zubair, Epson's regional sales manager
Shihab Ahmed Zubair, Epson's regional sales manager

Epson believes that label printers were one range of products that experienced growth during this crisis. This was due to the increasing need for customized coloured, short run labels, as well as a need for effective mobile solutions such as their portable label makers. “Epson’s on-demand ColorWorks label printers have been used to support labelling for the growing take-away food business and also in labelling for gels and hand sanitizers” says Shihab Ahmed Zubair, Epson’s regional Sales Manager. Epson provided its clients with latest innovations and solutions that addressed the challenges faced by its customers during this pandemic situation. Click on this link to read the complete story. Source - ME Printer magazine.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

AsianatFlex is the leading innovator, developer and supplier of a wide range of flexible PVC media and specialty substrates for eco-solvent, solvent, Latex, UV, screen and dye-sublimation printing. Their extensive product line enables them to provide diverse options at all price points. With a commitment to progress, quality and product development, AsianatFlex continually adds and modifies formulas to offer a variety of materials to meet the ever changing needs of the global market. The company warranties all productsand provides supplemental materials and support including technical data sheets, fire testing results and literature packets. Their products are supplied to more than 20 countries and to exhibitors at all major international exhibitions in UAE, South-Africa, Germany, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and Turkey

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

There is a lot in store for exhibitors and trade visitors at SGI 2021. It will be a very important comeback show for the entire global printing and signage industries as it will set the tone for the rest of the year. This report will provide the readers with an overview of the large format UV-curing inkjet printers that were showcased at the last edition of the SGI Dubai show. Players within the textile, large format, digital display technologies, papers, LED, retail, labelling, 3D printing and other industries can plan to reap the benefits by booking their stands early for SGI 2021. Be a part of SGI Dubai 2021and grow your business in the MENA markets that are coming back to normalcy at a rapid pace. The year 2021 will surely be a defining year for the printing and signage industries and it is always better to be well prepared for the very first show for the world, next year. Please also download the FLAAR REPORTS for more information.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

The 3D Printing market is expanding at a reasonable CAGR of 13% in the course of the forecasted period (2019-2025) from US$ 100.1 million in 2018. 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, is a combination of processes used to produce three-dimensional objects from 3D models or other electronic data sources. In the case of 3D printing, numerous layers of different kinds of printing materials are formed under machine control to create a 3-dimensional object. The 3-dimensional images can be of varied shapes or geometries and can be created with computer-aided design packages or 3D scanners. 3D printing as an end-use manufacturing technology is still at an infancy stage but in the years to come, with the combination of various innovative technologies, it displays the tremendous potential to radically transform many designs, production, and logistics processes. Source – ME Printer magazine.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

The behind-the-scenes video shows in5 engineers working alongside entrepreneurs, using innovative manufacturing methods utilising in5's state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to produce 3D printed personal protective equipment inscribed with the hashtag #UAEHeroes. It follows them to Rashid Hospital where doctors and nurses unbox the personal protective equipment. Thousands of units will eventually be made for healthcare authorities as part of ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. Source - Print and Pack MEA Magazine.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

OKI Europe is providing free social distancing media and artwork to help support businesses both during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the transition back to a new normality. Recognising that it can be challenging for businesses to create and implement vital social distancing signage quickly, OKI Europe has partnered with Floralabels to offer organisations free media and artwork to create self-adhesive floor stickers that can be printed quickly and easily from an A3 colour printer. This enables businesses operating now and those re-opening after enforced closures to become operational as quickly as possible while protecting the wellbeing of staff, customers and visitors.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

ME Printer has partnered with Canon to run a first of its kind printing industry market research. The market study titled “Canon – ME Printer Printing Industry Survey” is a joint industry outlook survey that will attempt to unveil the opportunities, challenges, and market trends in the printing industry. The survey is divided into two parts: Canon-ME Printer Market Study 2020 and Canon – ME Printer Brand Owners Survey 2020. The market study titled “Canon-ME Printer Market Study 2020” will attempt to unveil the opportunities, challenges, and market trends in the print industry. In order to participate in the survey, kindly click here.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

The year 2020 unleashed some unprecedented circumstances for majority of the industries across the globe. However, it is time now to regroup, plan and steer the plans forward. SGI Dubai is currently working towards ensuring that the industry can witness a vibrant and profitable show for its stakeholders from across the globe. Players within the textile, large format, digital display technologies, papers, LED, retail, labelling and other industries can plan ahead to reap the benefits by booking their stands early. Be a part of SGI Dubai 2021 and grow your business in the MENA markets. The year 2021 will surely be a defining year for the printing and signage industry and it is always better to be well prepared for the very first show for the world, next year. Please also download the FLAAR REPORTS to get an overview of the last edition of SGI Dubai.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

The country is gearing ahead to reach the normalcy levels. UAE authorities have left no stone unturned in the race to bring the economy back on track. From Cinemas to malls to corporate offices everything is working at 100 percent capacity. This augurs well for the printing and signage industry after the partial lockdown phase in the last couple of months. During this phase some of the players within the printing and signage industry in the UAE and across the region were busy printing signages related to Covid-19 for all establishments including the public and private sector.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

One of SGI’s longstanding exhibitor is one of the first companies to have signed up for SGI Dubai 2021. ADS provides the market with the most reliable products at the right price point, and is known to support its customers with impeccable service. ADS, which stands for Advantage, Determination and Success has been at the forefront of signage, fabrication, and display, shop fittings, fit out, exhibition and gifts among other materials. ADS is associated with global brands and supplies products such as cutting plotter, CNC routers, laminating machines, modular signage systems, aluminium sheets, laser engravers among several other products from Japan, Australia, Belgium, USA, Taiwan, UK and China.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

Brother, the leading designer and manufacturer of specialist embroidery machines and a regular brand at SGI Dubai, has brought together an all-star line-up designed to meet the embroidery needs of small to medium businesses – from home, to start-up, to those looking to diversify.Building on Brother’s 100+ years of sewing and embroidery manufacturing, coupled with in-depth customer research, these three machines combine operational simplicity with high-quality finishing – they’re fast to set up, quick to learn, and still produce powerfully professional results.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

The majority of Airbus sites in Spain have joined forces to produce 3D printed visor frames, providing healthcare personnel with individual protection equipment in the fight against Covid-19. More than twenty 3D printers are working day and night. Hundreds of visors have already been produced and dispatched to hospitals close to the Airbus facilities in Spain. Airbus leverages a patented design to manufacture the visor frames, using PLA plastics. SGI Dubai will also be showcasing the latest in emerging technologies including 3D printing and AI during its 2021 edition.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

Dubai based resellers of fine papers, Sona Papers has announced their rebranding with new logo and vision. Choosing to walk in the sustainable, eco-friendly direction while adding a new dimension of optimal utilization of scarce resources, Sona Papers has chosen to evolve their business methodologies. Sona distributes papers from USA, Italy, Austria and Korea in coated, uncoated, textured, coloured, metallic, recycled and other varieties. Since its humble beginnings in 1966, the company has come a long way. Today Sona Papers has representative partners in every major market across Middle East and South East Asia. SGI Dubai's Paper segment will also be expecting a higher level of participation next year from the paper manufacturers in UAE, GCC and across the globe.

Emerging technologies SGI Dubai 2021

Graphic arts and imaging technology have been the mainstay focus for the SGI Dubai show. Year after year, the event has proven to be a value-added marketplace for its exhibitors, where they can raise brand awareness, highlight features, gain convertible sales leads and conclude sales. With the emergence of new applications and technology, SGI Dubai has improved on its scope to cater to the same. With digital signage, textile printing, LED signage, labeling; the 2021 show will also feature AI embedded machines, robotics and 3D printing. Be a part of SGI Dubai 2021 and grow your business in the MENA markets.

AR experiences

The retail sector is under tremendous pressure to engage shoppers and keep up footfalls and spending. Shoppers are spoilt for choice and the retailers must work extra hard for each sale. One technology that is keeping the modern shopper engaged is augmented reality (AR) driven innovations. Today it's possible to walk into a furniture store and by using AR stroll around a version of your own home, decked up with new furniture and view it placed as per your liking. You can also try face make up at home to give you an idea of exactly what it might do for you. If you have an innovative AR solution then SGI Dubai 2021 provides the perfect platform to showcase such AR innovations to various stakeholders.

OKI launches MFP

OKI Europe has launched the MC883, an A3, smart multifunction printer (MFP) that’s equipped to support construction businesses. The printer offers media flexibility including banner paper up to 1.3m long in 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, while also printing the fine details of drawings, plans, blueprints, and instructions, as well as signage on-site, without the need for outsourcing. The MC883 features document management including OKI’s all-in-one software SENDYS Explorer digitizing, sharing and organizing all documents in a flexible and secure way.

World’s first 3D-printed commercial building

The Dubai Future Foundation, DFF, is officially recognised as a new Guinness World Records title holder for building the world’s first 3D-printed commercial building. The building created with just one printer, measures 20 feet in height, 120 feet in length and 40 feet in width. It took merely 17 days to print, two days to install and three months to build, including the landscape and interior design. The UAE has become a hub for innovation and a ground for emerging technologies. The country’s efforts to become a leading global centre of 3D printing is particularly remarkable.

Epson new SureColor SC-F9400H

Epson launched the new SureColor SC-F9400H, its first fluorescent ink, dye sublimation large format printer, in the Middle East, during SGI Dubai 2020. According to the release by the manufacturers, SC-F9400H offers businesses the option of printing with two genuine fluorescent inks, yellow and pink, which can be used to create a wide range of bright, vivid colours for the production of soft signage, sportswear, workwear and fashion items.
Source – Zawya


Alloy wheels are expensive. Ford aims to use 3D printing as a weapon to defeat those aiming to make off with your fancy alloys. Ford’s idea is to 3D-print the locking nut and key (in stainless steel) with a design unique to each vehicle, ensuring cloning or copying methods aren’t possible. And to add a touch of personalization, the locking nut and matching key will be fashioned from the sound pattern of the car owner’s voice.
Source – Tech Radar

UAE signage firm Masonlite

A UAE based signage firm Masonlite, who has been a regular at the SGI Dubai will focus on expanding its metal cutting and fabricating division. Masonlite has been serving the Gulf and African region since four decades and serving the regional signage needs, but are now expanding by tapping into the metal industry with the supply of high-end precision fiber laser cutting machines, which can be used on steel and other metal alloys. Masonlite also supply a wide range of CNC routers and panel saws among others.
Source – Print Week MEA

digital label printing market

To gain a foothold in the digital label printing market, Dubai based Printmasters invested in a Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190. The label printing market is a growing area, and because of a huge demand for short run label printing the firm decided to add a flexo printing machines for high-volume label printing. According to Konica Minolta, the rapid expansion in the digital label printing market indicates that flexo printers regard AccurioLabel 190 as a solution in today's market challenges.
Source – Print Week MEA

canon large scale print

Photographer or professional print-for-pay business, the new image PROGRAF PRO Series makes high-quality large format printing easier than ever. High-impact posters or the finest of fine art, with ‘wow-factor’ borderless printing that you don’t need to trim or frame. Now you can turn your ideas into print and profits faster, and with minimum manual intervention. With five new models, there’s an image PROGRAF PRO for everyone. All feature new levels of automatic media handling and more smart workflow options than ever before.
Source – Graphic Display World

Roland DGA Corporation

Roland DGA Corporation, a provider of wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters, introduced the new Texart RT-640M – an intelligent multi-function dye-sublimation printer that gives users the freedom to print directly onto coated polyester fabrics, or to sublimation transfer paper, using the same specially-formulated Texart SBL3 sublimation inks. The printer simplifies dye-sublimation production for soft-signage with direct-to-textile print option, while maintaining the versatility of printing to transfer paper for creating sublimated apparel, décor, rigid signage, and hard goods.
Source – Print Week MEA

Epson 64-inch SureColor S60600

Introduced earlier this year, the 64-inch SureColor S60600 features Epson UltraChrome GS3 four-colour solvent ink. The sign printer is capable of producing sellable quality banner at 550ft2 per hour, while also producing adhesive vinyl output up to 310ft2 per hour. The 64-inch SureColor S80600, a photographic sign printer, features Epson UltraChrome GS3 non-colour solvent ink – including an all-new red solvent along with the option for white or metallic silver inks. The printers are to be unveiled in the Middle East, probably by October or November this year and Epson promises to deliver on quality and affordability, the two most important factors in this region for the signage and display industry.
Source – Print Week MEA

gthia Group packaging technology

UAE-based Agthia Group launched its new packaging technology centre in Al Ain city of Abu Dhabi. This comes as part of its commitment to sustainability and innovation. The new facility aims to develop more sustainable packaging technologies to make a positive impact on the food and beverages industry and reinforce Agthia’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Source – Print Week

digital printing packaging 2024

In 2019 the total market value of all digital packaging and label printing is $18.9 billion. The digital print market has more than doubled over the past five years in value and print volume, making digital packaging the most dynamic and fastest-growing part of the print market as corrugated, cartons, flexibles and rigid plastics follow the more established digital label production sector. According to Smithers Pira's recent market report 'The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2024' the value of the digital packaging sector will reach $31.6 billion, accounting for 6.38% of all printed packaging by value in 2024. Increasingly, digital print is being used to print labels, corrugated, cartons, flexibles, rigid plastic, and metal packaging.
Source – ME Printer

Agfa Middle East

Agfa Middle East recently installed three printers for two of its Congo-based customers - XL Media Group and Congo Graphics. For XL Media, Jeti Titan HS UV hybrid printer marks their 10th installation with Agfa Middle East. While Congo Graphics bought two mid-profile printers - Jeti Ceres 3324 UV LED and Acorta 3120 HS.
Source – Print Week

Mimaki's New Hybrid Textile Printer

Mimaki showed cutting-edge digital print technologies including a look at new hybrid digital textile printer, featuring both direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer print capabilities. The new printer's features enable textile and garment manufacturers to achieve unparalleled flexibility and enhanced application opportunities for increased business growth. They also allow multiple sets of inks to be loaded simultaneously, supporting increased fabric range versatility and maximum product variety.
Source – ME Printer

Epson's BrightLink 1485Fi

Epson's BrightLink 1485Fi and the BrightLink 1480Fi ultra-short-throw interactive laser displays provide an exceptional productivity and collaboration tool for classrooms and meeting rooms. Leveraging a virtually maintenance-free laser light source, these ultra-short-throw, 1080p Full HD laser displays offer 16:6 widescreen display options for turning virtually any flat surface into an instant, ultra-wide interactive digital whiteboard.
Source – AV Network

Jumpo Dubai 3D printing strategy

The Dubai 3D printing strategy aims to make the city the world’s leading 3D printing hub by cutting costs across several sectors, particularly in the medical, construction, aviation, defence, robotics and automation and power and energy sectors. Jumbo’s 3D printing facility will pave way for easy adoption of 3D printing technology for those entrepreneurs in the UAE who are interested in exploring their own businesses but are facing limitations due to the lack of finance, technical know-how or business planning support. The facility is the only 3D printing incubation centre in the region where specialized training is imparted to develop a business model from concept to reality.
Source – Print Week MEA

DTM Print

International OEM and solution provider for specialty printing systems – DTM Print recently announced the availability of the new RX500e Color RFID Label & Tag Printer for customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. RX500e is the latest full-colour, on-demand RFID built-in label and tag printer that prints codes and verifies labels in a single pass. The printed label is further cut by utilising a guillotine-style cutter and dispense the labels one at a time. Due to its on-demand printing facility, the RX500e is ideal for printing out visitor / trade show badges. Batches of many labels or tags at a time can also be encoded and printed.
Source – ME Printer

Canon Middle East imageRunner series

Canon Middle East recently announced the launch of yet another generation of its imageRunner series. The imageRunner Advance platform with new 3.8 version firmware forms the third generation of the series. With the help of a portfolio spanning 26 products and seven series, it offers cutting edge security and an intuitive interface across all the devices. Developed primarily to cater to Canon's multi-function printers (MFP) range, this edition of the platform provides upgrades across all devices in the imageRunner Advance series.

Roland DG has introduced the latest addition to its VersaUV LEF range of wide-format UV printers, the streamlined LEF2-200 benchtop flatbed.

The LEF2-200 builds on the capabilities of the VersaUV LEF-200, which was launched in 2017, and is available in the UK as of 7 March at a price of £19,999. It can be purchased with an additional BOFA air filtration system or a RotaPrint accessory for direct printing onto cylindrical items.

The new machine is intended for use at promotional print companies, retailers, screen and pad printers, sign shops and commercial printers. Roland is pushing its ability to print on "virtually any surface", with typical applications including customised promotional goods, stationery, awards and signs.

Head of sales for UK & Ireland Rob Gowleniowski said: "Each refinement in the LEF2-200 has been made according to the typical customer behaviour we have observed in its predecessor. We have seen the LEF series become a core engine in many businesses and their profitability depends on the productivity of the device. The key areas for improvement lie in production speed and ease of use.

"Through several small changes to the previous model, we have streamlined the main processes of LEF2-200 and introduced features to improve usability."e experience in a real world environment. In addition built-in analytics allow – for the very first time – to really "measure" the impact of a printed campaign.


Heidelberg and IST Metz

Printing equipment manufacturer Heidelberg and curing specialist IST Metz are intensifying their relationship to include UV LED retrofitting on sheet-fed offset presses.

Heidelberg and IST Metz have been working together successfully in the UV printing sector for more than 20 years. Now, UV unit manufacturer IST Metz will cover the LED retrofit business for various Heidelberg Speedmaster series presses and manage the handling and installation of the systems directly. IST Metz will also supply LED curing systems for various new machines in the Speedmaster series for small and medium-size formats.

Heidelberg noted that Speedmaster machines are renowned for their high productivity and long service life. Retrofitting these printing presses with the latest LED curing technology from IST Metz will accelerate the production process, it stated. This will include the LEDcure high-performance LED system, suitable for retrofitting to Speedmaster machines built from 2004 onwards.

"When it comes to the interaction between machine, LED dryer and consumables, optimum dryer integration determines the stability and productivity of the printing process," explained Heidelberg in a statement detailing its extended relationship with IST Metz. "The installation and commissioning of curing systems in existing printing presses can be complex and have far-reaching repercussions. As the world market leader for UV curing systems based on ultraviolet light, infrared and warm air, and with more than 40 years of expertise in UV unit construction, IST offers comprehensive consulting services and safe, professional retrofits of LED curing systems. The communication between the machine and the curing system and the interaction between the interfaces must function perfectly when retrofitting – this is guaranteed with IST Metz systems."


Agfa has revamped its divisional structure and created three separate divisions for its print-related activities, as the group seeks more partnerships for future growth. Speaking as Agfa-Gevaert Group announced its year-end results to 31 December 2018, chief executive Christian Reinaudo said the business had made "major steps to transform our group". Its Healthcare IT business has been renamed Agfa Healthcare and has been separated from the rest of the group. The former Agfa Graphics and Speciality Products businesses have been renamed Agfa, which now comprises three divisions: Offset Solutions (the pre-press business); Digital Print & Chemicals (the inkjet business and Specialty Products including synthetic papers); and Radiology Solutions (the imaging activities of the former Healthcare business). "This simplified divisional structure is technology- and solutions-based and will allow Agfa to seek further partnerships," the firm stated. Reinaudo commented: "The idea of the split is to give some independence to the two units to help them develop partnerships and grow independently." "I cannot commit but I think we are close to the end of decline in the top line of Agfa," Reinaudo added. Source-

CANON Saudi Arabia showroom in Riyadh

CANON Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Canon Middle East (CME), officially opens its first office and business solutions showroom in Riyadh. The company was formed in partnership with Ali Zaid Al Quraishi & Brothers (AZAQ) in June 2018, and with two additional offices and showrooms in Jeddah and Khobar, will represent the largest regional B2B direct presence for Canon in the Middle East region.

The opening was attended by senior Canon executives including Stefano Zenti, executive vice president developing regions business group, Canon Europe and Anurag Agrawal, managing director, Canon Middle East and Canon Eurasia, as well as Faisal Al Quraishi, chairman, AZAQ.

Canon believes that establishing a long-term presence in Saudi Arabia adds value to the economy by contributing to the development of a sophisticated digital infrastructure mandated by Vision 2030 to attract investors and enhance the competitiveness of the Saudi economy.

Canon Saudi Arabia will further expand Canon's business products and services across the Saudi market where there is a growing need for digital and other technology-based imaging services to support a more agile, robust, and efficient business environment.

"Canon Saudi Arabia is strategically positioned to support the nation's ambitions of developing a competitive business environment in the region's largest economy, which is expected to grow by 1.8% this year and by 2.1% in 2020. We have invested in the market to provide better wider coverage and deliver a holistic approach to business solutions.

"Whether these businesses are large corporations or small and medium enterprises, our innovative services and solutions are customizable to address the businesses' requirements and position them as leaders in their respective industries. This drives business competency to allow for economic growth and competitiveness of Saudi-based businesses on a global scale," said Agrawal.

In addition to supporting businesses achieve their objectives, Canon Saudi Arabia will be investing in its employees and enhancing their skills and capabilities through extensive learning and development programs, with a focus on embracing and enhancing the talent of Saudi youth to support the country's Saudization drive. Through these initiatives, the company aims to grow to 300 employees by 2023.

Al Quraishi said: "The joint venture and partnership between CME and AZAQ comes as a result of a long business relationship between Canon and Al Quraishi Group that is 50 years in the making; and this development comes as natural progression of our successful business ties. AZAQ sees this partnership as a contribution to the country's 2030 vision whereby Canon, a global brand, contributes to the Kingdom's transformation through its innovative technologies and solutions. Furthermore, the partnership will be highly committed to train young Saudi nationals as well as advance technology in private and government sectors alike."

Shadi Bakhour, B2B business unit director Canon Middle East and general manager, Canon Saudi Arabia, said: "According to recent reports, The Kingdom's print market is estimated to pass the $7 billion mark in 2022, which is a testament to the growth opportunities available in this sector. Through our strategy of being closer to our customers in Saudi, we are able to meet this demand and offer services that address their challenges and creates opportunities for them. Our Managed Print Services for instance ensures efficiency, minimizes downtime, and saves on costs so businesses can focus on their core offering."

Following Canon's corporate philosophy of 'Kyosei' which means living and working together for the common good, Canon Saudi Arabia also aims to establish a strong relationship with the Saudi society through environment initiatives and community welfare programs that give back and support various causes.


Domino targets digital label

Domino Printing Sciences is investing into its Dubai regional office to now offer from there its Digital Printing Solution's division products to the Middle East and Africa markets. Historically this region has been supported out of Europe. Domino is investing into Dubai to offer a more localised service and a broader Domino product range to this region. The General Manager for the office is Hans Schreuders since 1999 commented "I am really delighted that we are now able to offer a wider range of Domino ink jet products to our customers in this region".

Speaking about Domino, Philip Easton, director, Digital Printing Solutions, said, "Our business was started in 1978 using ink jet printing for adding variable data printing capability integrated within the existing conventional printing process. The most common model today that comes under this category is the Domino K600i. This prints everything from alpha-numeric text to barcodes and 2D codes with traceability and brand promotional applications on a wide range of products from packaging, labels, tickets, security products and plastic cards as well as address printing for mailing. We recently launched a double white bar K600i providing a digital ink jet alternative to silkscreen printing. The K600i is already installed and successfully operating in the UAE so we already have a credible position in the market. The other main offering is our seven-colour ink jet digital label press, the Domino N610i based on UV-curable ink jet technology. The first generation, the four colour N600i press was initially launched at DRUPA in 2012 and then the N610i was unveiled the following year at Label Expo Europe in 2013. The product is now the global market leader in terms of unit sales for high productivity digital ink jet label presses. We decided that this is the correct time for us to invest and expand our business in the Middle East and Africa markets. We are planning to focus initially on the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, South Africa. Domino takes technical support very seriously and ink jet products require this to be available and our Dubai office will be better placed to provide our customers a higher level of service."

Domino also has label press hybrid integration agreements with multiple flexo press and finishing line suppliers including MPS and Lombardi in Europe, CEI in North America, Multitech in India and Spande in China. It also sells the N610i in stand-alone and in-line configurations, the latter often in partnership with leading finishing line suppliers including AB Graphics.

He further added, "Through our Dubai office, we will be aggressively promoting our N610i label press. We continue to enhance the N610i capability. It is renowned for printing short and medium run length self-adhesive labels, following the release last year of the Domino UV90 UV-curable ink-set, we have now added the capability to print also onto shrink sleeves. This is unique for ink jet and we have done an enormous amount of qualification work. With class leading ink jet products, we are excited about our growth plans in the Middle East and African region and expect to sell two presses in 2019 with strong growth expected from then on."


Augmented Reality Makes Print Interactive

ME Printer speaks to Christian Kiesewetter, the Head of Operations and Project Delivery Business Innovation Centre at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, about the opportunities Augmented Reality brings along for the print industry

AR makes print interactive. In such a scenario what are the opportunities for those that choose to invest in such a technology?
AR is about showing information in the context of a physical object – so all we are talking about is bridging the on- and offline world and meeting the needs of today's customers.

A few examples:

  • Advertising sales, AR opens a whole new market for advertisers to get their brand to the consumer in a new way.
  • Thinking along the lines of recipes and 'how-to's' AR removes many steps from the process.
  • Thinking about training environments, people can consume training content in new ways i.e. see videos, interact with quizzes etc.

This leads to competitive advantages of those investing into AR because they can generate a more immersive experience in a real world environment. In addition built-in analytics allow – for the very first time – to really "measure" the impact of a printed campaign.

So Augmented Reality enables expanded content and direct interaction with the customer. It is a successful response to our increasingly interconnected world, allowing to deliver a greater variety of creative prints, labels and packaging.

What is the use and purpose of AR in the printing and packaging sector?
Print has always limitations – with high quality print you are able to get attention of people but the content is always "static" and typically space is limited. AR can help in making print interactive with linking digital content with a real world object, you can make it interactive and open a two-sided communication channel and you are not restricted by the size of a label or the number of pages of a printed product.

Reduction in packaging costs as AR can potentially negate the need for so much information on the package. Visualizing information of the product in its context – a few examples:

  • where was it produced
  • who produced it (storytelling par excellence … adds a personal touch)
  • in case of food: what are the ingredients
  • in case of food: story around calories and health
  • what is the CO2 footprint
  • which way did a package go (tracking)
  • any kind of gamification (scratch and win, collect points -> use points as credits for the next buy, collect credits for buying healthy or CO2 friendly products … the healthier/friendlier the more points you get)

Especially for FMCG or similar goods: these companies are lacking direct access to their customers who are buying their goods, they typically need retail stores or similar. With AR they have the opportunity of offering information, loyalty programs, sweepstakes, vouchers, … without involving retailers as this is linked to the context of the product itself.

How can companies create a competitive advantage and bringing in new revenue using AR?
Although AR itself is not really new it still is and "feels" fairly young and fresh and has the wow factor to attract new and existing users and when the AR content provides the right value it will further attract repeat usage.

AR offers new opportunities for print houses to add new revenue streams. Without the necessity of becoming a digital agency they are now able in offering additional services which are directly linked to their core business.

Two examples:

A label printer can now offer way more opportunities of presenting information to consumers. Mail houses or letter shops have already started to offer printing services and become a one-stop-shop for direct mailing. With AR they can now offer additional services to their customers and become the "trusted advisor" for their customers.

The low entry point for Direct Mail houses enables them to move closer from printer only to agency like services. So it helps them on their transformation of a print house which is typically challenged with high competition on pricing – whereas adding new opportunities (like finishing, AR, and so on) really offers the opportunity to stand out on the market.

How can companies get equipped in order to fulfill those specialty print jobs using AR?
Mastering the technology itself can be done in a few hours – but to be really successful it needs more: AR needs to be in thought process when creating a specialty print job and not an afterthought. As an example questions like the following need to be addressed to name a few:

How do I communicate that a print is interactive?
What content should be provided? How do I add an extra benefit to AR? All of this is no rocket science but it needs some creativity and the willingness to try out things. The content itself can be changed and adopted without the need of doing reprints or anything similar – so the investment is really small. But there needs to be an understanding of how the final printed product (no matter if it is a book, a brochure or a label) is used how the consumers of these products are using it and what they expect to do.

How can companies make sure they deliver a truly immersive experience?
AR itself is just a different "channel" to communicate with people – so typically you have the advantage at the very beginning of a costumer (or reader) journey, because AR triggers still a "wow effect". But then you need to think how people use it twice, which information they can find, and so on.

So all in all, it's about content – very similar to any other marketing tool – about telling a personal story that catches the attention and adding value either to the original print which triggers the AR content or for the user consuming the data (like exclusive content, chance to win, additional information, and so on). Using AR just for additional advertising alone will not bring repeat usage – the AR experience has to be well informed and printed content and the experience itself needs to be intuitive.

Does your company offer products that cater to the AR segment?
Konica Minolta has launched end of 2018 it's AR product genARate which is – for the first time – covering the needs of the print and packaging industry to make use of AR. Since decades we are trusted partner in the field of offering print services and now we are using this expertise we have gained to offer a one-stop-solution for AR. You don't need to be a programmer or a designer to be able to create AR content. You don't need to set-up up any IT infrastructure – all you need is a web browser and the willingness to expand your business.

What sort of impact will AR have on the collective printing and packaging industry?
If done properly AR has the power to be a complete game changer for the printing and packaging industry. This is true for the buying experience in a shop but also for engaging with the product when being at home. It will help to understand better the content of a book or help the consumer handling a product.

We will get to a stage where consumers are expecting 2D content to be augmentable – other industries are already showing great success with using AR. So it's the right time right now to start engaging with readers and consumers right now.


Jumbo and Dubai SME

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and Jumbo 3D Manufacturing LLC, part of Jumbo Group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive awareness about 3D manufacturing technology. It should also be noted that on October 2018, Jumbo Group has unveiled a detailed 3D manufacturing strategy with the launch of its latest company Jumbo 3D Manufacturing LLC. During the same time, the Group inaugurated a 3D application development centre in the Middle East at an event which was attended by Saeed Al Gergawi, director of Dubai Future Academy at is newly launched facility in Jebel Ali Industrial Area.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME and Arvind Agrawal, CEO, Jumbo Group, signed the MoU in the presence of senior dignitaries from both organisations.

The partnership will allow Dubai SME to benefit from Jumbo's 3D technology and solutions and provide members with ongoing training and mentorship. Dubai SME members will have access to Jumbo's 3D printing facility to manufacture parts and apply 3D printing technology across target industry segments, including architecture, healthcare, education, automotive and other sectors. It will also help potential SME members to incubate 3D printing business with Jumbo.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME, said: "The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is transforming the manufacturing process in many sectors. We are proud to partner with Jumbo 3D Manufacturing for a deeper understanding of how 3D printing can be leveraged to enhance productivity. It's a significant step in line with our efforts to embrace tech innovations and Industry 4.0, and our members stand to gain substantially from this transfer by way of technology transfer opportunities."

Al Janahi added that Dubai SME is committed to collaborate with government and private entities towards adopting digital and smart solutions that would help accomplish Dubai's goal of a sustainable and knowledge-based economy. "Our collaboration with Jumbo Group is also part of our strategy to enhance the competencies of our national enterprises, advancing them to higher levels of f productivity and global competitiveness."

Arvind Agarwal, CEO, Jumbo Group, said: "We are delighted to partner with Dubai SME to share our technical know-how and expertise with their members and showcase the potential of 3D printing technology to small and medium business enterprises in the emirate.

He added: "When we established Jumbo 3D Manufacturing LLC in 2018, our goal was to help support and strengthen the UAE's plans for 3D manufacturing and offer guidance and mentorship to leverage 3D printing to any business looking to implement the technology – and we are pleased to be able to fulfil this vision through Dubai SME."

3D printing technology can be applied across several different sectors, and Jumbo plans to eventually cover a gamut of services, including 3D plastic printing, 3D metal printing and finally 3D construction printing. Jumbo uses state-of-the-art 3D printing technology to boost the demand for 3D manufacturing in line with UAE and Dubai's vision to become a global hub for 3D printing by 2030.


At the next SGI 2019 show which will be held in Dubai from 13 till 15 January 2019, Graphic International (GIC), Mutoh's only official distributor for UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain & Oman, will present the latest Mutoh wide format digital printing and sign cutting equipment.

GIC will present ValueJet 626UF A2 size 6-colour (CMYK, White, Varnish) DIRECT-TO-OBJECT FLATBED LED UV PRINTER that can print on wide variety of solid materials and objects up to a thickness of 150 mm (5.9"). The optional "rotary system" enables the ValueJet 626UF to print on cylindrical objects with a diameter up to 120 mm and a length of 360 mm.

Offering a bed size of 594 x 483 mm (19" x 23.4"), the printer is targeted at short-run personalization of gifts & gadgets, packaging prototypes, awards, specialty industrial items, labels, decals, signs, etc.

With print resolutions up to 1440x1440 dpi, the VJ-626UF printer has an integrated vacuum bed, an automatic table lifting system as well as an LED pointer to facilitate accurate media placement and origin point detection. Thickness of the loaded object is also automatically measured.

Other MUTOH products you can witness on Stand 7D-107 in Hall 7, are the ValueJet 1638WX High Speed Sign Printer, DrafStation RJ900XG 42" Compact Dye Sublimation Printer and the ValueCut VC1300 Professional Sign Cutting Plotter.

Utilizing Mutoh's new DS2 series dye sublimation inks, the ValueJet 1638WX model is destined for digital transfer applications: soft signage, apparel and gadgets.

Integrating i.a. a newly developed mainboard allowing faster data communication and data processing as well as advanced print automation features, the X-series printers are specifically targeted at volume users who at the same time put constant high quality and image definition on top of their wish list.

The DrafStation RJ-900XG - 42" (1080 mm) wide CMYK high-quality dye sublimation printer will fit the needs of start-up and established businesses wanting to extend their product portfolio with digital transfer applications. The RJ-900XG is suited for volume production runs as well as short print runs of sublimated graphics: banners, flags, soft signage, interior decoration, sportswear and transfer onto all kinds of objects (mugs, cups, mouse pads, snowboards)

Featuring a high level of operator comfort and print production efficiency, the compact DrafStation RJ-900XG incorporates a piezo drop-on-demand print head offering print resolutions up to 2880 dpi. The print head is capable of firing drops from 3.4 pl up to 49.5 pl. Especially the capability to fire larger drops is essential for speedy dye sublimation applications compatible with lower print resolutions.

The Mutoh ValueCut VC1300 cutting plotter can cut a broad range of sign making materials ranging from self-adhesive PVC to sandblast, up to a maximum thickness of 0.8 mm. The ValueCut drag knife cutter series has been designed with home, office and professional users in mind and is available in three models: ValueCut 600 (media range: 50 - 770 mm) and ValueCut 1800 (media range: 300 - 1900 mm). The cutting force up to 600 g guarantees optimum cutting results on a wide range of materials. Cutting speed is adjustable up to 1080 mm/s at a maximum acceleration of 3 G, which enables a cutting speed up to 1530 mm/s and an acceleration of 4.2 G in diagonal movements.

Enabling kiss-cutting, contour-cutting and through-cutting, the new machines are targeted at traditional lettering jobs as well as automated print-to-cut applications. ValueCut VC1300 will cover a wide range of applications, such as window displays, vinyl stickers, vehicle graphics, car stickers, point of purchase signs, safety signs, etc.

Blue Rhine, the Gold sponsor for SGI Dubai 2019, is one of the leading distributors of all signage and advertising materials in the GCC. Along with the major attractions in the digital printing industry, Contra vision is among the top suppliers which whom they have been associated for many years.

Performance HD White on Black from Contra vision delivers ravishing Print images in High Definition. This polymeric calendared vinyl is a white on black 40% transparency (60/40) perforated window film for one-way vision graphics. Its unique features include World's smallest-ever perforations which create minimal disruption to the graphics. This result in stunning High definition quality images with much greater detailing than ever before, also providing a smoother see-through from inside.

The 1mm diameter holes are 60% smaller in area than standard one-way vision products. This break-through micro perforated window film delivers the clearest and sharpest images to one side and from the other a noticeably improved see-through compared to any other perforated films available. The 180micron thick German-engineered polymeric calendared vinyl is Formed by laminating white and black layers together to give optimum consistency and printing performance. The product is REACH compliant, avoiding the use of potentially harmful substances.

The polymeric formulation ensures minimal shrinkage after installation to avoid dirt-attracting adhesive from becoming exposed. The clear, solvent acrylic adhesive is optimised to give easy, low temperature application, reliable adhesion and quick and clean removal when required. The refined texture and superior appearance will make your display stand out. The refined texture and superior appearance give a new dimension to the earlier perceived image quality of perforated window films.

Please Visit the Blue Rhine stand for more information on this amazing perforated window film.
Stand Details:D-59, D74, HALL-7, DWTC Dubai.

ColorGate acquired by Ricoh

Ricoh has acquired German software provider ColorGate in a deal worth around €10m (£8.7m). Ricoh said the acquisition was intended to strengthen its industrial printing business and that it was particularly attracted by ColorGate's specialism in colour management. The transfer of shares is expected to be complete on 30 November.

ColorGate previously collaborated with Ricoh on the new Pro T7210, the manufacturer's first wide-format UK flatbed, which entered UK markets in September. Priced at £200,000 in full configuration, it makes use of a RIP from ColorGate. Discussions over a potential acquisition began around six months ago.

A Ricoh spokesperson said: "There are obvious business synergies in the activities of Ricoh and ColorGate. Leveraging the breadth of Ricoh's market reach and ColorGate's industrial software competence was key in this decision. Software is an essential part of the total solutions Ricoh is committed to offering customers and partners in this business area.

"In February this year, Ricoh announced its growth strategy plan, Ricoh Ignite, which sets out its intention to reinforce its value offering by expanding its printing technology portfolio. The investment in ColorGate is the latest part of this plan.

"By combining ColorGate's proprietary software technology with our own industrial printers, Ricoh will provide solutions covering the whole printing workflow from pre-press to post-press."

ColorGate currently employs 35 members of staff at its Hannover, Germany base and Ricoh has no plans to make changes to this structure.

Ricoh's next move is to fully integrate ColorGate into its offering, so the manufacturer becomes a "one-stop-shop for analogue to digital conversion".

Markets primarily targeted by ColorGate include décor and textiles, specialising in colour management and workflow software to standardise and automate the digital process.

ColorGate's brand identity will remain following the completion of the acquisition.

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Col.Art invests in Agfa Graphics Anapurna H2500i LED printer

Col.Art Publishing and Advertising LLC, located in Dubai, have invested in a wide format Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED press.

Speaking about the investment, Rajesh K Kutty, managing partner, Col.Art, commented, "We were looking for a hybrid printer which we could print on rigid substrates as well as on roll-to-roll. In addition, whenever I saw some prints, printed on a flat media or substrate I used to wonder how the quality could sustain without the lamination. When I made a visit to SGI Dubai I saw a sample and was told that the sample was printed directly with UV process. This is one of the reasons I went for the machine. Again, the curing is UV based so the process is faster. Since, I am catering to retail industries; the customers have frequent requirements with changes. The machine allows me to eliminate the time spent on laminating and mounting. It can print on any substrate that is less than 5cm, so all these multi-function features were very attracting."

He further added, "Instead of going for four smaller machines it's better to go for a higher end machine from an excellent brand. Agfa has a great reputation for product innovation and quality in the industry. This made us to directly select the product. The parent company gave us a good deal for this machine and even the machine was in our budget. We wanted to invest on a reliable source when spending more than half a million. In addition, it is always understood that there is no good time for investment. The goals are not shorter and I believe that in the next 4 years this machine will yield good returns. Earlier machines were having bulb curing but this machine is having LED curing which is an added advantage." Talking about the product, Rajesh Patki, AGFA Middle East FZCO, said, "We will be using Col.Art facility as our local demo centre to showcase all the required samples and demos to perform the prospect around our region. Also as AGFA demo unit, we will display the samples produced by Agfa printers. Agfa Dubai office welcomes Col.Arts & team to Agfa family."

Kutty also mentioned by having this Agfa printer, they are very much gained and comforted by down time of printing on vinyl and mounting on rigid surface, where in here it is directly on the rigid surfaces.

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SGI Dubai 2019 exhibitors

Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC, gives an open talk to Venkat Raghavan, assistant editor of PrintWeek MEA.

Volumes have become shorter and shorter, publishers and advertisers are looking to attract dedicated groups of people, so in which way the event would be helpful for the visitors and exhibitors?

SGI Dubai has been a good partner for advertisers and publishers. While the market situation has caused some organisations to cut down on spends, it has also made many organisations invest strategically in ways to improve their business outcome. For example, print media has been engulfed by the digital media to some extent in publishing but in advertising, marketers know the importance of the written word and how to strategically utilise it to achieve sales.

The best way to counter-balance decreasing volumes is to increase your target audience, reach out to demographics that were beyond your scope. SGI Dubai 2019 would be the perfect way to reach out to your audience in the greater MENA region.

Due to heavy competition the margins went down that enforce many print shops go to the new market niches. So what is your opinion on this?
Competition that sustains on margin cuts isn't sustainable. In the end, those with fatter wallets will survive. To be able to survive competition a print shop needs to innovate and rise from the clutter to distinguish itself from the rest. Reaching out to new market niche is one such way. Participating in SGI Dubai can help the exhibitors to expose their brand and business to a new market that may have not been accessible to them before.

Do you think that the printers/brands have to adapt to the latest technologies? How to stay in front and embrace the change? ?
The printing industry like any other business must adapt itself to the evolving technology and what it has to offer. And not just technology the industry must respond to the current trends that are visible in the market.

For print shops to stay relevant, they need to make capital investments in the latest machines that serve their customer's purpose.

What different ideas you are planning to bring in the coming edition?
We would like to keep that as a surprise. However, with regard to the show we are looking at a growth in LED, Textile, Retail, Digital signage and several other segments within the show.

Do you think that Sign, graphics, and visual-communications companies have unlimited opportunities to decide what and how they want to print?
Signage and specifically digital signage have huge opportunities in the region. The consumer consumption pattern for digital media has grown rapidly here and marketers are looking at fully optimising their communications to stay ahead of the pack. That's not to say that print communications have mellowed down completely.

Companies are looking at finding the right balance of print and digital media to attract customers to their brands. This provides the signage and graphics companies with a huge potential for business.

What was the outcome of the last edition and have you changed your approach after getting the feedback from the industry?
We have a dedicated feedback system in place that is fitting appropriately into the event, during and once it gets over. We have had positive feedback from the exhibitors and the visitors and also constructive feedback with regard to our show. We are operating here for the last twenty two years and we have learnt from each show and we will be continuing to do the same in the upcoming years. We always value the feedback which we receive from our global, regional and international exhibitors and incorporate their valuable feedback always to further strengthen our show.

What do you think about the overall Middle East and Africa market and where it will be heading in the coming years?
The experts for the printing industry are optimistic about the Middle East market. Smithers Pira data expects the market to touch $54.0 billion in 2022. With Expo 2020 Dubai in the pipeline, the whole industry is looking eagerly to reap its benefits.

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EFI unveils single-pass Reggiani BOLT Digital Textile printer

The brand-new, next-generation, single-pass EFI Reggiani BOLT textile digital printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. made its debut recently during an open house event at the EFI Reggiani facility in Bergamo, Italy. The advanced, ultra-high-speed digital single-pass printer has the potential to revolutionize the textile printing market, providing users with high uptime and reliability, outstanding performance, superior printing uniformity and accuracy, long printhead life and minimal maintenance needs. The EFI Reggiani open house has created huge interest in global textile market opportunities, with nearly 300 customers and journalists attending to see the new BOLT in action.

"The innovative development of our new single-pass printer comes from Reggiani's speed of innovation in digital textile printing, its 70 years of history, and our proprietary knowledge of high-volume analog rotary printing," said EFI Reggiani vice president and general manager, Adele Genoni. "Our EFI colleagues' proven, worldwide expertise in single-pass technology and, most importantly, EFI Reggiani's serious commitment to listening to and addressing our textile customers' needs, have allowed us to achieve incredible results with our newest print technology. The EFI Reggiani BOLT re-writes the rules of digital textile single-pass printing, delivering superior throughput and quality with a highly competitive return on investment for customers. We are excited to bring this technology to our customers and see their businesses succeed and grow."

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HP new print consulting services

HP Inc. unveiled a range of new services and solutions to help businesses gain more flexibility and scale. The security technology and enterprise expertise includes a powerful new HP FutureSmart firmware release for HP Enterprise-class printers and MFPs, Immersive Analytics Service and the integration with both McAfee Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) – an industry first for print devices.

"Empowering customers to take full control of their work environment is central to our office reinvention strategy," said Tony Bssat, head of printing Middle East & East Africa at HP. "The services and solutions unveiled today provide a step forward in seamless intelligence and industry-leading security solutions."

Building on its office printing momentum, HP today unveiled the following services and solutions:

HP FutureSmart 4 Firmware: This new version of firmware for HP Enterprise-class printers and MFPs delivers productivity with a cleaner and more intuitive interface for users. The update features new capabilities, including Serverless Job Accounting that enables printers to record analytics without requiring a central server and empowering select print settings to be mirrored via USB to new printers – vastly speeding setup.

HP FutureSmart 4 will ship with new HP devices including the HP PageWide Color 755dn, PageWide Color MFP 774dn and dns, and PageWide Color MFP 779dn and dns. Customers that own HP devices with HP FutureSmart firmware as far back as 2012 models can be upgraded to the new HP FutureSmart 4 version.

Microsoft SCCM integration: Strengthening HP's industry-leading security arsenal, HP is the first print OEM offering integration with Microsoft SCCM. This integration enables IT management to use one tool to configure printer security in concert with all other SCCM-connected devices on the network. McAfee SIEM integration: To expand threat monitoring, HP has also achieved certified integration with the SIEM tool McAfee Enterprise Security Manager. McAfee SIEM provides actionable intelligence to prioritise, investigate and respond to potential malware attacks on HP printers. Immersive Analytics Service: Leveraging HP Labs' advances in visualisation and analytics, this new component of HP's Business Intelligence Services provides customers with a more immersive view of the key driving factors in their print environment. Through this in-depth engagement, HP consultants can help customers quickly pinpoint behaviors to accelerate digitisation, efficiency gains and risk reduction.

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Mutoh unveils new hybrid ValueJet

Mutoh has launched its latest ValueJet wide-format digital printer, the VJ-1627MH, which comes fitted with a specialised hot air knife media drying system.

The entry-level hybrid roll-to-roll/flatbed is a 1.6m system intended to directly replace the ValueJet VJ-1617H in Mutoh's portfolio and sits alongside two other hybrid models, the VJ-1626UH and the VJ-1638UH. It is available immediately.

The flatbed uses Mutoh's own MP-31 resin-based inks that are dry immediately and comes with two rigid tables as standard. Prices start at €24,995 (around £22,000).

"Our hybrid printer addresses the needs of people wanting to move to direct-to-rigid printing but who do not have the budget nor the volume to equip themselves with a true flatbed," said Mutoh marketing coordinator Dirk Devroye.

"With our entry level hybrid VJ-1627MH, existing roll print providers can optimise their production and widen their range of application possibilities. It is the only printer on the market offering hot air technology capable of printing directly onto the widest range of rigid and roll substrates. "The new printer is equally suited to existing sign and display print shops for the production of both indoor and long term outdoor prints, as well as to graphics companies looking for a digital solution for proofing or short run production of packaging prototypes or customised labels, even for industrial printers specialised in thermoforming."

It can run either CMYK or CMYK plus white as standard an, according to Devroye, is well-suited to packaging prototyping, fine art, rigid blanks, banners, signage, thermoformation and shrink applications, The stretchable and shrinkable MP-31 inks use a corn-based solvent and are designed for applications such as car wrapping and will preserve the "natural texture and look" of substrates.

The ValueJet VJ-1627MH offers a 20% speed boost on its predecessor, offering up to 12sqm/hr in CMYK with resolution up to 720dpi. Automated media height measurement and semi-automated cleaning cycle capabilities have also been added.

With speedy switching between rigid and roll, the five-colour machine can be equipped with a 30kg take-up system to roll up finished prints.

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