Print Technology: FESPA Review

Four months on from FESPA, we talk to the team about what impressed them at the leading print technology event and find out how we could potentially invest in the future.

FESPA

 

Back in May, three of our factory staff won a trip to Germany to visit the world famous FESPA print exhibition in Berlin, along with QC Manager, Mel and Managing Director, Ian. The sheer vastness of the expo (10 halls) and the size of the machines was a real eye opener for them.

The displays and live demos from key players in the digital print, screen print and finishing industries fascinated the competition winners and they were able to see how certain machinery would benefit their day to day working.

The four areas that really stood out for our staff in terms of technology advancements were:

Digital Printing

The transformation of digital printing over the years has been amazing and at FESPA the team were able to witness the latest generation machinery in action. The range of colours which are now achievable with some printers is better than ever.

New achievements in technology were on display from many manufacturers, but the stand that impressed the team the most was from Mimaki. They were exhibiting a wide range of machines, from entry level to high end, where more intricate jobs involving fine detail can be achieved, such as art pieces and small logos. The team also found the Mimaki stand very impressive with everything laid out based around an airport theme.

The team also viewed the third generation digital printers from SwissQ which offers a tandem function as standard across its machine range. This massively reduces downtime and overall speed of production as the operator can load both the front and rear of the printing table, hence the tandem reference.

Mimaki Stand

 

Screen

The team were disappointed at the lack of new screen printing technology on view but what they did see was impressive in terms of scale.

The team were impressed by the speed of the CTS (Computer to Screen) process where the computer uses a digital file to instruct a spray-jet head to place the image using soluble wax onto the emulsion coated screen. This process saves a lot of time and effort, but due to the variation of screen sizes we use at Bex, it was felt it wouldn’t be suitable for us at this present time.

Another piece of equipment within the screen printing area which the team noted were dipping tanks used to strip and reclaim screens. This process alleviates the need for employees to do it manually, thereby improving health and safety in the workplace. And last but not least, squeegees! Did you know that the rubber used in the manufacture of squeegees (the devices used to push the ink through the screen) is variable and only the very best will do for Bex?

Finishing

The team all agreed that the finishing area, which included products from Zund and Trotec that we use day-to-day at Bex was impressive, but it was the laminating tables which really stood out for them. The tables were very large and backlit so the visibility is extremely good – great for quality control. On top of this, the rollers are attached to the whole table which aids speed and accuracy.

So, what’s next?

We’re constantly looking for new investments that will improve our services and the speed of delivery, so we are currently going through the process of reviewing some of the most interesting new machines before deciding where to invest.

Keep an eye out for investment reveals…

To find out more about the competition to go to FESPA, click here.