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ON TEST: Jetrix RX3200

Having been impressed with the Jetrix flatbed he tested last year Nessan Cleary went to see if the new B - RX3200 Clean DC17226 PQroll-to-roll printer would be as good.

Korean company Inktec has built up a good reputation for its Jetrix range of UV-curable printers. Last year Image Reports tested one of the flatbeds and booked a return trip earlier this year when Inktec announced a couple of UV-curable roll-to-roll printers in the run up to Fespa 2015. The RX3200 on test this time around, is a 3.2m wide printer. There’s also a 5m wide version, the RX5000, which was shown on the Jetrix stand at Fespa 2015, though Ben Woodruff, sales manager at Inktec Europe, believes that the 3.2m machine will prove more popular here in the UK.

Over to you...Esther Butterfield, Sales director, Blink

Esther ButterfieldA - Esther
Sales director

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?

Blink has recently employed two new staff members to help with growth/sales. They have very diverse backgrounds and skills in print and POS because we feel our clients want to not only be talking to someone that knows how things are done but can actually do them.

What shade of green are we?

Mild green is the answer to that if the responses from the UK’s large-format PSPs to the Image Reports’ Widthwise Survey 2015 are anything to go by. So do the sector’s suppliers feel the same way?

For every large-format PSP with laudable environmental initiatives and practices there are hundreds without. This is not gut feel – extrapolated data from the Widthwise Survey 2015 shows it to be the case. So is this somewhat wishy-washy sectoral attitude reflected by its suppliers? Here we asked a cross section for their current view of the situation and how they expect to move forward in a world where a ‘doing less bad is good’ attitude is becoming increasingly outmoded.

Fabric print futures

Catherine Cresswell, industry analyst at InfoTrends, provides stats and commentary on the opportunities for graphic arts PSPs within the burgeoning textile print markets.

Digital textile printing is now firmly on the path to strong double-digit growth - in excess of 30%. This is evidenced by a record number of exhibitors at textile print shows worldwide, and InfoTrends is also hearing stories of growth from printing companies on a global basis in graphics communications as well as fabric manufacturing (denoted here as ‘decorative textile printing’).

Do the marketing math

Charlotte Graham-Cumming is a director at Ice Blue Sky, an inbound content marketing agency. She works with CMOs and business owners to help them develop marketing strategies, brand positioning and making the shift to inbound marketing. Here she provides tips on how to best allocate your marketing budget.

Marketing can seem like a black art, and deciding what you should be spending on marketing is often an exercise in sticking fingers in the air, the closing of eyes and vainly hoping for the best. As Henry Ford famously said: “Half of every dollar spent on marketing is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”

IR talks to ….. Andy Wilson, Co-founder, PressOn

PressOn has become a high-profile company within the large-format sector having made a number of C - P1010606‘firsts’ in terms of kit investment over the last few years, and having taken a decision to make more noise about what it can do. It’s a strategy that has put co-founder Andy Wilson centre stage, but is it paying off? I went to the firm’s new home in Chatham to find out.
By Lesley Simpson

Graham Clark MD, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Icon

Knowing when to merge and move on is something Graham Clark knows something about, having done it B - P1010611throughout his career, most latterly integrating McKenzie Clark with Icon under Chime Communications parentage. Understanding that bigger can make for better business has been a cornerstone of Clark’s career. Now managing director for Europe, Middle East and Asia at retail and live event branding giant Icon, he started off in the 1980’s as a photographer before joining Technical Colour Labs (TCL) in Clerkenwell, London, in sales because he found his “strengths lie in winning work rather than being behind the camera”. Before the end of the decade he had become MD and in 1990 embarked on his first business merger, with TCL joining forces with Professional Photographic Services to form McKenzie Clark.

Thinking Bigger: Mactac

Chris Martin,? country manager for Mactac UK, explains how it’s helping get the message out about the H - 20150514 092419creative potential of printable wide-format media.

Having served the Graphics Industry for over 40 years, Mactac has built its reputation on innovative, reliable products. At the heart of its development strategy is understanding what the end user wants so that it can deliver materials that exploit the company’s knowledge and expertise across its three business units - graphic and decorative products, technical tapes, and label materials.

Pushing fabric printing

Stuart Maclaren of Your Print Partner discusses the pros and cons of fabric printing – and why it’s A - Portraitworth taking another look at getting involved.

Your Print Partner has had the good fortune to become successful in the textile print market in a short period of time (see Now I think it’s only fair that I share some of the insight gained on that often painful, but worthwhile path.

Onwards and upwards

With Fespa 2015 done and dusted, Nessan Clearly reports on what it highlighted in terms of wide-K - Durst DC16881format inkjet technology development and trends.

The wide-format sector is becoming increasingly fragmented as the technology lends itself to an ever wider range of applications. This was abundantly clear at Fespa, where the show was nominally split into several parts, covering textiles and interiors as well as graphics and signs. But many vendors work across several sectors so that simple classifications can sometimes be confusing, making it hard to guess which hall any given vendor might be in.

3D or not to 3D?

Business writer Walter Hale takes a view on its relevance to wide-format PSP diversification.E - MakerBot Printing1

Don’t believe the hype. We’ve all come across that cliché. It certainly applies to 3D printing - although not in the usual way.

The hype doesn’t come close to conveying the potentially disruptive power of 3D printing. Here is a technology that can make replacement body parts, cars, spare parts for the International Space Station and, in China, 10 new houses in 24 hours.

ON TEST: Colorific Lightbar

This kit is an optional addition rather than a printer in its own right, but it’s in an interesting process as G - Lightbar Front DC16252 PQNessan Cleary finds out.

Most printers fit into an easily definable category, such as solvent or UV-curable, but for this month's test we've looked at a hybrid approach. The Colorific Lightbar is based around its UV Light ink, which is effectively a UV-curable ink in a solvent carrier - and thus promises to give the best of both technologies while eliminating their downsides.

The Red Carpet treatment

Lesley Simpson joined over 300 PSPs in Belgium last month as Agfa attempted to wow them with its A - Jeti Tauro rigid straight shuttlescale and scope. Here’s the upshot.

Displayways, Beautiful Design and Print, Kolor Skemes, McGowans … these and a handful of other UK companies were among 300 PSPs invited by Agfa to a Red Carpet Event at its home in Mortsel (Antwerp) last month for the European debut of the Jeti Tauro and Mira large-format printers.

Special: In praise of global perspectives and local initiatives

Ya?ar G?venen is the new president of Fespa. Here he sets out his stall in his own words.A -Ya ar G venen

I first attended a Fespa exhibition in Berlin in 2007. It was my first visit to such an impressive, international exhibition, and the scale of the opportunity for the wide-format print community blew me away. Not only the incredible technology innovation on show, but the chance to question and learn from ideas and practices being implemented in other countries.

Over to you...Mark Bradley, MD, Digital Imaging Services

Mark Bradley,A - MB
MD, Digital Imaging Services

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?

DIS was founded in 1997 as a wide-format digital graphics company with no direct links to the traditional print areas of screen and litho.

Riding with the free-riders?

Kevin Bray of K J Bray and Associates is the new environmental consultant to the Fespa UK A - freeriderAssociation. Here he asks if you should be delving deeper into rules and regulations governing the kit you discard.

It has become clear to me over the past few years that there are many in our industry who, perhaps through oversight, and hopefully only through oversight, do not comply with all so-called ‘Producer Responsibility’ legislation. From the outside, many of these regulations can seem somewhat esoteric and arcane, so non-compliance is often not entirely deliberate, but happens because it is easier to see them as someone else’s problem or responsibility. But it’s not.