image description

2018 All Rights Reserved By© FALAK HOLDINGS

Industry News

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.

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.

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.

Source -

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.

Source -

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.

Source -

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."

Source -

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.

Source -

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.

Source -

Under its 'Education For Life' campaign, Canon Middle East partnered with Al Sayer group and the Kuwait Teachers Society to demonstrate its suite of solutions that address challenges brought about by the changing needs of key education sector stakeholders – students, teachers, and administration.

One of the technology leader showcased its commitment towards enabling the digital transformation of the education experience in Kuwait at an event held at the Kuwait Teachers Society in Kuwait City. The speakers at the event CEO and board member of Al Sayer Group Mubarak Al Sayer, founder of Kashcool Faisal Alghadhouri, board member of the Kuwait Teachers Society and first advisor of computer curriculum at the Ministry of Education, Ali Ahmed Al Kandari, and business unit director, B2B, Canon Middle East - Shadi Bakhour.

According to the spokesperson, "The Kuwait Vision 2035 lays the framework to achieving sustainable development in the country and highlights the significant role played by education in enabling economic diversification, growth and social progress. As the student aged population continues to increase and with substantial investment from the government, the sector is poised for growth with Kuwait's private school market estimated to grow from $1.3 billion in 2015 to $2 billion in 2023, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As a key catalyst of the strategy, the government is promoting the use of technology in schools, supporting educational planning and management, with a view towards higher quality of education and future employability of the students."

"Canon has identified the education sector as one that can benefit greatly from a technology-enabled transformation, benefiting stakeholders of today as well as nations in future. Key areas of consideration that the education sector must consider in this transition phase are their strategies towards: student data management; the document-heavy admissions and enrolment process; differentiating the learning-teaching experience for students and teachers, and; ensuring competitive quality across all processes."

Ali Ahmed Al Kandari, board member of the Kuwait Teachers Society and first advisor of computer curriculum at the Ministry of Education, said: "Kuwait is well known for a rich tradition of valuing education, hence the development of the knowledge and skills of Kuwaiti youth remains a top priority today. The Kuwait Teachers Society is committed to supporting the Kuwait Vision 2035 to drive excellence in the educational sector right from improving the learning experience to enhancing the effectiveness of the system as a whole. Recognizing that a key facilitator of improvement is knowledge transfer across the sector and between public and private institutions, it is our pleasure to host the Education for Life roadshow with Canon to present the opportunities available to educators in the country to effectively transform the learning experience in the classroom and solve the challenges they face with the integration of new technologies."

Shadi Bakhour, business unit director, B2B, Canon Middle East, said: "With the prioritization of human development and social progress by the government in Kuwait, Canon aims to come alongside Kuwaiti leadership to drive the enhancement of the educational sector through the adoption of technology. Education for Life aims to creatively demonstrate the role technology can play in enabling organizations to innovate across multiple areas of process optimization, communication efficiency and educational personalization, ultimately unlocking higher efficiency and superior learning experiences. We are thrilled to bring this roadshow to this country in partnership with the Kuwait Teachers Society as we believe that our technology is uniquely placed to help students, teachers, and administrative staff, unlock the power of digital to better prepare tomorrow's workforce."

Canon's 'Education For Life' campaign comprises five key pillars, each of which impact multiple stakeholders and allow school management to build competitive differentiation and preference as a digitally-enabled learning environment. Those five pillars are Cost control, Security, Productivity, Integration and Sustainability.

The Canon 'Education For Life' roadshow was launched in Dubai and Abu Dhabi earlier this year, followed by Riyadh, Amman and today in Kuwait City. The roadshow will continue to be conducted in cities across the GCC and the broader Middle East region this year.

Source -

Progressive printers and Sign and Display specialists' needs for faster short run production, broader job capabilities and enhanced productivity will be met by Ricoh's two new next generation Ricoh ProTM L5130/L5160 latex roll-to-roll printers. These will be made available throughout Europe in early 2019.

The newest additions to its fast growing Sign and Display print portfolio are unveiled at VISCOM in Milan, October 18 to 20. They print at segment-leading speeds of up to 44sqm per hour in outdoor standard mode and 25sqm per hour in indoor standard mode. The series produces applications up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.

"These agile and versatile solutions are suited to a broad range of end use applications," says Graham Kennedy, Head of Commercial Inkjet Business, Commercial and Industrial Printing, Ricoh Europe. "The Ricoh Pro L5130/L5160 Series combine Ricoh inks, Ricoh print heads and Ricoh design, to empower users to deliver the kinds of applications their clients are looking for – quickly, easily and to a very high quality. We showed them at FESPA in May as a technology demonstration, and the feedback was extraordinary, so we are very excited about announcing them today at VISCOM."

The Pro L5130/L5160 series' speed combine reliability and media versatility to make it an excellent choice for today's print providers. Additional features include automated maintenance, a durable design, Ricoh's GREENGUARD-certified latex inks and industrial-grade Ricoh print heads. Its curing technology ensures jobs produced are output ready for finishing as soon as they are printed, while a three-way intelligent heater helps prevent melting or warping of thinner substrates.

With CMYK and CMYK plus white options available, high ink opacity and adhesion enable the production of crisp, clear prints for a variety of applications on substrates that range from wall coverings to window graphics to backlit day/night signage. Substrate flexibility is built in with support for two and three inch roll cores up to 200gsm and media up to 64 inches wide.

Source -

The Xaar 1201 printhead is opening up new markets for Chinese OEMs in wide-format graphics. Used in XuCheng's PRIMO X3500 flatbed industrial printer, the Xaar 1201 printhead delivers a high level of print quality and performance. Designed for easy integration by printer manufacturers, it features 1280 nozzles that jet variable drop-sizes. These produce high-quality graphics and textiles on a wide range of substrates at an apparent resolution of up to 1440 dpi.

The Xaar 1201 printhead is also able to print one, two or four colours, and can handle a wide range of ink types including UV, eco-solvent, aqueous and dye-sublimation.

"The Xaar 1201 is vital to our PRIMO X3500 printer," says James Zhou, general manager at XuCheng. "It delivers high-quality, stable printing and its ink versatility allows us to better meet customer needs, meaning it can succeed not only in Asia, but also in countries like the US. We are very happy that, enabled by the Xaar 1201, the PRIMO X3500 could be shown for the first time at SGIA. This is a real milestone for our business."

"This success is driven by two factors: firstly, how Xaar and HaoCheng, the company's master distributor in Greater China, work together to provide Chinese OEMs with the key resources (including training, electronics, inks and printheads) required to develop a printer; and secondly, HaoCheng's full integration support. This model facilitates shorter product development cycles and reduces time-to-market, and has already contributed to the Xaar 1201's impressive adoption-rate across Asia."

"The recent increase in uptake of the Xaar 1201 in Asia together with our partnership with HaoCheng is enabling Chinese OEMs like XuCheng to get ahead and move into other territories such as the difficult-to-penetrate US market," comments Simon Kirk, Xaar's senior product manager for the Xaar 1201.

Source -

Four Films Printing Group has added Xerox's iGen 5 Press to its fleet of printing presses catering to Kuwaiti customers. The investment in the new press is a result of its successful experience with the preceding model– Xerox iGen 4. Four Films will now be able to offer customers in Kuwait a complete web-to-print solution while simultaneously expanding their market presence regionally.

"The iGen 5 gives Four Films a competitive advantage in Kuwaiti market and allows them to expand their customer base, thanks to increased capabilities enabling a wider variety of jobs. Our customers recognize the productivity and potential return on investment that iGen 5 presents. The more time you can spend printing without setup, manual calibration, and rework interruptions, the more profitable you become," says Ayman Mattar, general manager at Alamana Industries that represents Xerox in Kuwait.

"Our digital printing journey started with Xerox equipment from the time we adopted Xerox DocuColor 2060 in year 2002, followed by the iGen 4 and now iGen 5 presses. We were the first to introduce digital printing in the Kuwait market and it wouldn't have been possible without innovative solutions developed by Xerox. We are very excited about transitioning our clients from traditional printing to the fast turnaround job with high-quality outputs that the new press offers," comments David Moujaes, managing director and partner at Four Films Printing Group.

The Xerox iGen 5 Press unites all the elements of the iGen family in a single, configurable platform so printers can choose the exact configuration they need to succeed. Press speed, number of colors, feeding, and finishing — all are integrated into an end-to-end solution as unique as the challenges and opportunities they and their customers face every day. In addition to the state-of-art digital printing capabilities, Four Films will enjoy business development consultancy provided by Xerox that will allow them to reach their highest business potential.

"New options with increased color gamut and printing on heavyweight media will strengthen our positioning and competitiveness within the packaging business. The new press will also unlock new production capabilities by adding a fifth color option and printing in orange, green, blue, white and clear. Our clients are looking to stand out with accurate branding colors, varied finished sizes, and specialty embellishment options," added Moujaes.

The opportunity for digital print gets significantly more compelling when embellishment is added to the picture. Incorporating a fifth print station into Xerox iGen 5 Press enables Xerox's customers to hit more PANTONE colours or apply a variety of special effects — all in-line — so they can meet growing demands.

The Xerox iGen 5 is the most productive digital press on the market, thanks to unprecedented levels of automation and intelligence built into the press from end-to-end. This automation radically reduces setup, improves image quality, reduces labour costs, and drives more profitable turnaround times. The impact is immediate and dramatic both in a print shop and on the business' bottom line.

Source -

SGI Dubai introduces the low price of USD 6240 for a shell space at the biggest event in the signage and graphic imaging industry in the MENA region. This low introductory price will include a 12sqm fully equipped booth with furniture, lighting and electric socket. Pay just a small price for attending the most anticipated show in the industry.

ME Printer speaks to Sharif Rahman, the CEO of International Expo-Consults LLC, to find out about the skillsets required to excel in the regional print industry and the ways to bridge the skillsets gap

Is there a shortage of skillsets in the regional print industry? Shortage of skilled professionals in the printing industry isn't limited to the Middle East region but is a globally prevalent phenomenon. In the coming decade, one of the biggest challenge in the print industry isn't technology or shrinking market size but the reduction in skilled work force. According to a report titled– The Future of Printing in the Middle East and North Africa to 2022 – the MENA region is set to expand from a value of $26.8 billion in 2017 at an annual rate of 8.7% to pass $40 billion in 2022.

Skillset shortage or not, there will be an increase in demand of skilled professionals in the market. Another factor is the World Expo 2020, scheduled to be held in Dubai which will create huge demand in the printing and signage market. Such demand will automatically translate to increase in skilled manpower in the region.

How can companies and their employees keep themselves updated about the latest technological innovations being introduced into the market from time to time? For most part, innovation in printing technology is a cyclic process in the industry. The printers and presses which are dealing the end consumer on a day to day basis are monitoring the pulse of the market. Based on their feedback, the manufacturers bring about minor but impactful improvement in their machines.

It is essential for the manufacturers to educate the printers and the end consumers of the latest in printing technology and how they will impact the market. Workshops and seminars are an ideal instrument for educating those already in your network. To reach out to a wider audience, participating in shows such as SGI Dubai lets the exhibitors inform and educate their target audience.

There have been instances of employees jumping ship as soon as the training period is done. Is this a major occurrence in this region? Such instances are known to happen in our industry. In terms of its frequency, I don't think it happens any more than in other parts of the world. However, there are steps that can be taken to avoid such circumstances.

How can companies make sure that employees stay with the company post the training period and do not jump jobs? For any organization, be it in printing or otherwise – how to reduce attrition rates is the million dollar question. These firms need to understand the requirement of their employees and not just motivate but also inculcate a sense of ownership of their work. Such practices will result in employees taking pride in their work and thereby reducing turnover numbers.

How can educational institutions make sure the skill gaps are addressed through their curriculum and training methods? In an ideal world, corporate and academia needs to align their interests and collaborate to resolve the current challenges in the industry. Such collaboration would result in a steady and skilled workforce supply, and in return the academia has more funds to research and innovate technological breakthroughs. Sadly such collaborations are few and far in between.

What are the key areas of expertise that are in demand in the print industry today? With rapidly evolving technology being an expert on one domain isn't enough anymore. Manufacturers are coming up with new features on their machines which utilize innovative technology like AI to make the printers more responsive and self-monitoring. Like the medical profession, printing industry also needs to keep themselves up to date with the latest technology to be relevant.

SGI Dubai has been the premier show for the industry in the MENA region. In its past editions, printing and signage solutions worth over AED 250 million have been on display and use on the show floor from around the globe. SGI Dubai is the perfect platform to introduce, expose and educate Middle Eastern stakeholders about the latest innovative products from all over the world.

Source -

Brother, an international brand that delivers quality innovative products in the printing and imaging industry among others, has confirmed participation in SGI Dubai 2019. Celebrating its 110th anniversary earlier this year, Brother which started from sewing machine repair business, now offers wide range of product portfolio; from printing devices to machine tools, having business across over 40 countries.

Dubai-based Jumbo Group has launched a new 3D manufacturing company and has inaugurated its first 3D application development centre in the Middle East.

The new facility, located in Jebel Ali Industrial Area has HP 3D printing solutions and other 3D products aimed at dental, architectural and other applications.

The facility will offer a range of services including training, business consulting for young entrepreneurs, proof of concept development, product design assistance as well as financing options for developing a business around 3D manufacturing.

It also houses equipment for post processing, finishing and painting of finished products. It will cater to entrepreneurs in UAE who are interested in launching business ventures with this technology but are limited due to the lack of financing, technical know-how, or business planning support, a statement said.

Jumbo also plans to expand its range of 3D printers to include the latest technologies for colour, metal and concrete in the coming months, it said.

Arvind Agrawal, head of Jumbo Group said: "Jumbo's 3D application development center will not only serve as a proof of concept for early adopters but will also act as an initiative to develop a community of collaborating professionals involved in 3D manufacturing in the UAE.

"We will shortly announce partnerships with several 3D printing bureaus who will be joining this community. The objective is to pool the knowledge, design capability, skills and resources to create an eco-system for faster adoption of 3D printing technology in the country."

Jumbo first launched its own 3D printing division in 2017, and later partnered with EnvisionTEC and HP to expand its 3D facilities in the UAE.

The new venture is in line with Dubai's strategy to become a leader in 3D printing, with plans to produce 25 per cent of buildings using the method by 2030.

Source -

With the print industry undergoing rapid changes, print service providers are on the lookout for the latest game changing technology and solutions to grow their business. Xerox Emirates launched the Xerox Iridesse Digital Production Press, a high speed, six-colour print engine in the UAE.

The one day event held at the Salsali Private Museum at Al Serkal Avenue, the region's foremost art hub was attended by over 150 customers & partners from across the UAE. Set up in an art gallery, attendees from the graphics art industry, commercial printing presses and various vertical segments had the chance to see firsthand the Iridesse' capabilities, workflow automation & striking iridescent colours and specialty embellishments never seen before in digitally printed pieces.

The event not only showcased the reveal & live demonstrations of the Iridesse but also demonstrated the capabilities of variable data printing using XMPie, augmented reality and business consultancy services.

The Iridesse is the first digital press that combines four-colour printing (CMYK) with the capacity to have up to two specialty dry inks in one single printing pass. Customers can create lucrative applications with spot colours, metallic and mixed metallic gradients and specialty enhancements. The secret to the Iridesse "wow" is Color FLX Technology which is a real time saver. A big part of Color FLX Technology is its EZ Swap capability, which enables fast, efficient Specialty HD EA Dry Ink changeovers so customers can vary and execute more high-value print embellishments more easily – with no maintenance or cleanup.

What's next? Going forward, white dry ink will also be added to the specialty dry ink lineup to accommodate printing on dark coloured or other specialty papers producing premium finishing and sense of seasonality of the printed images ultimately adding value for effective marketing activities.

This digital press is definitely a game changer for the printing industry!

Source -

Roland DG has launched an eight-colour eco-solvent printer that it claims "offers the widest colour gamut in its class for outdoor durable graphics".

The manufacturer commercialised its VersaExpress RF-640 8 Colour across Europe and further afield. The kit features CMYK plus light black, red, green and orange ink. It costs £13,000 with RIP software.

The company bills the machine as an evolution of its RF-640 dual-CMYK printer and claims it is "priced to be the industry's most affordable eight-colour printer".

Previewed earlier this year at Fespa, the printer boasts strong colour reproduction capabilities to accurately match and reproduce colours that were previously difficult to achieve.

Roland DG head of sales Rob Goleniowski said: "The machine meets the growing demand for high accuracy of colour, such as for sports with expensive sponsorship agreements, or with retail and exhibition suppliers.

"More clients want to achieve the kind of specific Pantone or corporate colours that a four-colour machine can do only to a certain degree and to a certain percentage of Pantone colours.

"This eight-colour model can hit 99% of Pantone solid colours and addresses the needs for the orange, green and deeper blue that other machines can't reach."

He added: "The colour has to be seen to be believed – it just jumps off the page. When we showed the machine at Fespa, it stopped people in their tracks. And it's really really affordable."

Head of business development and product management Paul Willems added the vibrancy of colour, detail and overall print quality created a "buzz" at Fespa.

"Green and orange are notoriously difficult colours to accurately reproduce, so these additions, along with red, offer enormous opportunities to printers working with corporate customers and major brands such as FMCG and sports companies," he explained.

"People producing branded signage, POS displays, vehicle wraps, and exhibition graphics will benefit from the RF-640 8 Colour's colour matching capabilities."

Red, green and orange extend the range of achievable colours across the spectrum, and with light black deliver strong colour and skin tones and smooth gradients for photographic reproduction.

Willems said this also makes the RF-640 8 Colour good for interior décor applications, fine art and image reproduction for hotel chains, museums, galleries, entertainment spaces or offices.

The VersaExpress RF-640 8 Colour is powered by ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 Special Plus RIP to boost productivity, job and colour management and deliver good overall performance.

Source -

LG is aiming to cement its position in the OLED display signage market by showcasing a 0.4mm transparent screen.

Ben Her, senior director for information display at LG Electronics Middle East and North Africa, told Gulf News that more and more people are moving to unique product requirements because everybody wants to show a difference.

"That is where OLED comes into play. People want to use the transparent OLED glass display to show content and it is focused on retail, public infrastructure, transportation as well as hospitality sectors," he said.

OLED technology emits light only when electricity is applied while LED requires backlighting. Without the backlighting, OLEDs are more energy efficient, thinner and easier to make. OLED TVs feature a true black background, something LED displays can't match right now.

"The rise in infrastructure expansions in the region and with Dubai aiming to be an entertainment hub by opening more theme parks and with Saudi Arabia opening more Cinema halls, there are growth opportunities for the display signage market," he said.

Moreover, he said that the advancements in technology offerings and the ability to show vivid video content by the retailers to attract shoppers' eyeballs is where the digital signage has seen a major deployment.

The 55-inch 4K one-piece transparent screen will be available in the second quarter of next year but LG did not disclose the price.

The company holds a world record for the largest video wall built from 820 panels of OLED signage at The Dubai Mall's Dubai Aquarium.

According to research firm International Data Corporation, the global market for digital signage will continue to grow at rates of 10 per cent and 12 per cent year on year in 2019 and 2020, respectively. IDC forecasts 3.5 million digital signage units to be shipped for this year and 4.4 million units by 2020. Ben Her said that there are different factors to drive the demand due to the Expo 2020 and there are many events that are coming up in the region which will also drive the demand.

Even though OLED has had limited success penetrating the consumer TV market, Ben Her said there have been some notable developments recently in the digital signage market, where the physical attributes of OLED screens offer the potential for marketing products in new ways.

Jeff Yang, the assistant research manager of WitsView, a division of market intelligence provider TrendForce, said that an OLED TV can be thinner with potentials in a constant optimisation of colour saturation and contrast but the lifespan of organic material and burn-in remain issues for OLED TV. Ben Her claims that the "screen burn in" issue was there initially but after removing certain components from the screen, their R&D department has innovated the product and now there is no issue of "burn in" in the commercial side.

"We are a global supplier of OLED to many top brands in the industry. OLED market share is increasing," he said.

Source -

HP and United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have conducted a highly successful operation to halt the trade of counterfeit HP and Samsung branded cartridges across both the UAE and internationally.

In April 2018, UAE officials carried out the major raid of several private residences and farms where significant volumes of HP and Samsung branded, illicit products were discovered, hidden in storage areas. As a result, the authorities seized over 46,000 ready-for-sale counterfeit toner cartridges and the criminal ring assembling and distributing the goods have been seriously disrupted.

Counterfeiting is a crime. For users, such illegal imitations can cause a multitude of problems that can cause performance and reliability issues. Should your printer break because of using counterfeit printer ink or toner, you could also have issues with your manufacturer's warranty becoming not applicable.

In contrast, original HP products are designed to meet HP's strict quality and reliability standards, based on a long history of inventing and testing. Original HP LaserJet and HP inkjet cartridges, unlike counterfeits, benefit from superior performance and consistent results.

"HP commends the cooperation and swift action of UAE officials and their determination to apprehend and prosecute counterfeiters who break the law. We are proud of our continued work to bring counterfeiters to justice, not only in the UAE but throughout the world," said Mathew Thomas, Managing Director, Middle East, Turkey and East Africa, HP. "Through our unwavering efforts and commitment to removing counterfeit products from the market, we continue to focus on the protection of our customers through our Anti Counterfeiting and Fraud Programme."

Across EMEA over the last five years, approximately 12 million counterfeits and components have been seized by local authorities, supported by HP. HP has conducted over 4,500 audits and inspections (CPPAs and CDIs) of partners' stocks or suspicious deliveries for customers.

Through HP's Anti Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) Programme, the company actively educates its customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies. It also cooperates closely with local and global law enforcement authorities to detect and dismantle illegal operations that produce counterfeit HP printing components.

Epson's portfolio of cartridge-free printers has been extended with two models which offers a new 5-colour ink system (L7160 and L7180), while ITS's stylish and functional next generation design is now accessible within the entry home range (L3110/1 and L3150/1 only).

For the first time users looking for a cartridge-free printer suited to both creative and office tasks will find the solution with the new Epson L7160 and L7180 3-in-1 ITS printers. Underpinning these models is a new 5-colour ink system which includes a black photo ink and a black pigment ink, great for producing everything from photos, drawings and diagrams to office documents. Supporting a range of tasks, these models provide mobile printing, a card reader, CD printer and double-sided printing. The L7160 supports A4 printing while the L7180 incorporates A3 too.

Also new are the L3110/1 and L3150/1 which add improved functionality and an enhanced, compact aesthetic to the entry level home range. Ideal for saving space in the home, these models feature Epson's next generation design where the ink tank has been moved from the side to the front offering a more compact and sleek aesthetic. This alteration also means it's simple to see how much ink is left via a visible display. Underpinning the modified design is an enhanced ink filling system engineered for mess-free refills. Great for busy households, spills are minimised with bottles that are easier to open, are squeeze-free and can only fill tanks with the corresponding colour. These 3-in-1 models both come with up to three years' worth of ink included, helping users to save up to 90% on the cost of ink. The L3150/1 also includes mobile printing features.

Jason Whiley, director of sales, Epson Middle East, says: "We are excited to launch the L7160 and L7180 as they fill a gap in our portfolio that is sure to appeal to creative professionals from advertising agencies and educational organisations to photographers. The new 5-colour ink system is just what they need to produce a variety of photos and documents, while the range of features will ensure every task can be completed easily.

"We're sure that the L3110/1 and L3150/1 are also going to prove really popular with home users. Our compact and re-engineered ITS design proved really popular across our business focused range, so we've rolled this design out so that home users can also benefit from its contemporary style and improved usability."

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East is setting its sights on leadership in the industrial printing market with the addition of MGI Digital Technology (MGI) products for commercial print, and packaging to its existing and growing portfolio. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East is based in Jebel Ali Dubai, UAE, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta, Inc., Tokyo, Japan. The company delivers services and distributes systems and solutions that fulfil all the requirements of the entire document life cycle for clients in the office and production printing area.

Konica Minolta, with 40.5 per cent stake in MGI aims to utilise skilled R&D power to develop unique products fulfilling customer needs in the digital professional printing market, said a statement from the company. Konica Minolta will further accelerate its initiatives for application development in the special printing systems including package printing, it said.

In response to the needs for decoration printing in the commercial packaging space. Konica Minolta's enhancement in the product line through synergy creation, including joint development with MGI, will give the company a solid and strong presence within the digital package printing market and drive expansion in the growth field of production printing (PP), it added.

During the past decade, Konica Minolta's PP business has increased considerably with global business development as the leader in the colour production field. Konica Minolta in partnership with MGI will further strengthen its production print and industrial printing business in the Middle East by leveraging the strategic alliance and introducing new solutions into the market.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East has planned to announce the launch of MGI machines in the coming month to address the digitalisation needs in the professional printing market.

In response to the demand for decorative printing in the labels and packaging area, the creation of synergy between Konica Minolta and MGI will strengthen Konica Minolta's leadership in the industrial packaging printing market and drive forward expansion in commercial printing, it stated.

Corporate vice president Peter Williams said the manufacturer was "still very much in investment mode" on inkjet technology and had developed new ways of working with smaller specialist and start-up firms in emerging areas of industrial inkjet printing, such as textiles and décor.

"If we are just supporting them [printhead partners] centrally then we have to select a small number of large winners, but that fails to pick up new applications that could be high-risk," he said.

Williams said the firm had leveraged existing skills and expanded the expertise within its Customer Experience Centre in Telford to provide "intimate" technical support to smaller developers.

This has involved assessing around 300 projects, with some 200 going on to receive test kits.

"Our aim is to reduce the risk barriers they see to digital migration, be that commercial, technical, or both, making sure Ricoh is their chosen partner," he explained.

Williams said the firm was working on "some very exciting projects".

"We are finding out so much about textiles, laminates and embroidery and becoming very knowledgeable, and this is allowing us to modify our portfolio."

An example is the embroidery product developed by Swedish innovator Coloreel. This uses Ricoh inkjet technology to produce multi-coloured designs using only white thread, by colouring the thread while it is travelling towards the fabric. (Sample output pictured below.)

Williams also said Ricoh was looking at the potential to expand its inks business.

"Currently we don't develop ink to sell generically but there's an opportunity there. One of the things we're looking at is should we or could we sell ink for ink's sake?" he said.

"Our ink scale is relatively small but we are already installing equipment at our site in Stirling to make ink for a specific application. Water-based will increase for sure, we're looking at what the likely rate will be and what the implications are on printheads."

Ricoh chief executive Yoshinori Yamashita has outlined ambitious growth expectations for the $2bn (£1.5bn) turnover Commercial & Industrial Printing part of Ricoh's business, and Williams said that the industrial printing side of the division had the potential to grow to become a $2bn-scale business itself by 2020.

On the commercial printing side, Williams said Ricoh would bring a B2 inkjet press to market "when we have a genuine commercially viable offering" with the right unit cost and media flexibility.

"It has to be duplex, we think. We will enter when we can do that successfully, and not dimming the lights when drying!"

Dubai, UAE, August 14th, 2018: Canon Middle East (CME), a provider of imaging technologies and services, signed a distribution agreement in Jordan with Logicom, a leading regional distributor of technology solutions and services.

As part of the agreement, Logicom Jordan will distribute and promote Canon's comprehensive consumer product portfolio of photo, video and B2C printing solutions to the entire Jordanian market.

Canon is already present in Jordan through its long-standing partner United Electronics Company (UEC), and the recent agreement with Logicom will further expand Canon's reach nationwide and position Canon as the imaging leader in the Jordanian market.

"For 80 years, Canon has been at the forefront of new imaging technologies, supported by our strong research and development capabilities, which has led us to be leaders in the imaging industry. Jordan has been an integral part of our growth and a strategic market for Canon Middle East," said Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, B2C business unit director at Canon Middle East. "Through our local partnerships with UEC and Logicom, we aim to become closer to our customers in Jordan and continue strengthening our presence."

Murad Mutawi, general manager of Logicom Jordan, said of the agreement: "We are proud to partner with Canon. With the company's comprehensive product portfolio of photo, video and printing solutions, we are confident that our network of committed channel partners will play a key role in increasing the presence of the Canon brand and its solutions in Jordan."

The partnership with Logicom will help increase channel coverage and support the vertical integration of Canon's solutions, co-selling alongside partners and creating dedicated marketing campaigns. In addition, dedicated Logicom teams will be on hand to provide technical presales support as well as training programs for customers.

Dubai, UAE, July 28, 2018: Peleman Industries, a leading provider of printed presentation and photo solutions as well as lay-flat paper technology, has introduced the most efficient way to create printed documents and photo books that lay flat, to the Middle Eastern market. Having long established a name for itself in the field of quality printed presentations through the UniBind brand, Peleman Industries is now further broadening its portfolio with the introduction of the Vpaper Tower.

Bringing a cutting-edge solution to the market, the Vpaper Tower has been designed to turn any double-sided printed or printable paper into lay-flat pages, one by one. To ensure that every single sheet of documents and books of all sizes lay open, Peleman Industries' innovative Vpaper technology relaxes the paper fibres through a three-step process, creating a supple hinge at the spine of the book.

As Bilal Selman, Business Development Manager, Middle East and North Africa region, Peleman Industries, pinpointed, Vpaper Tower is unlike any other solution in the market. "The Vpaper Tower turns ordinary paper into hinged paper thereby eliminating the need to invest in overpriced ready-made paper or to keep inventory of different paper types," explained Selman. "The Vpaper Tower combines three techniques: creasing, folding and pressing. The result is a high-quality book or publication that lays opens and stays open."

Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, Vpaper Tower offers a cost-effective solution for a wide range of applications from soft and hardcover photo books to short-run books, catalogues, magazines and more, ensuring a convenient and comfortable reading and viewing experience and giving book producers, print and publishing houses a competitive edge over their peers.

As Selman noted, the Vpaper Tower is particularly gaining interest from photo book software developers and producers who, thanks to the revolutionary Vpaper technology, can now also produce lay-flat softcover photo books, opening new avenues of growth and profit for them. "Making softcover photo books lay open is the talk of today. Now our Vpaper technology ensures that not only hardcover but also softcover photobooks lay open, heralding a whole new era in photo book production," said Selman.

Suitable for any paper between 70 and 250 g/m2 for up until 320mm x 460 mm, Vpaper Tower is profitable from just 1,500 books per month, guaranteeing a fast return on investment. Available through three different options, including rental and leasing programmes, Vpaper Tower can now be tested for a trial period without any risk or long-term commitment.