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.

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 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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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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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 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 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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