Sonja Angerer: The last FESPA

The Hamburg edition (May 8th to 12th, 2017) was the last “FESPA” show – from 2018 onwards, Central European trade shows will be known as FESPA Global Expos.

FESPA 2017 took place in Hamburg from May 8th to 12th. When the show returned to Germany´s most important port city´s trade show grounds after a first encounter as FESPA Digital in 2011, it spread out into 10 halls (including European Sign Expo ESE, which has been considered a co-located show since FESPA London 2013).

FESPA 2017 was the last “big FESPA” show, as the FESPA and FESPA Digital events will be forged into one annual FESPA Global Expo show in Central Europe from 2018 on. FESPA Digital, dedicated specifically to digital printing technology, was introduced 2006 with an Amsterdam event and returned there 2016 for its 10th anniversary. Before the FESPA Digital shows filled up the gaps, FESPA trade show was only held every three years.

The Hamburg trade fair grounds are a mixture of older and newer halls, with the B halls across the street from the main entrance, easily accessible by a 1st floor walkway. However, with digital printing technology exhibitors spreading out in halls A1, B2, B3, B4, B5 and B7, some visitors had to accept long walks to see all their favourite manufacturers.





2016 was for many manufacturers a year when machine sales numbers in Central Europe in the Graphic Arts markets were considered quite low. Areas of growth for digital printing technology have been mainly identified in the packaging and industrial and textile inkjet markets, so it was a bit unfortunate that Interpack Show at Duesseldorf (May 4th to 10th, 2017) as well as Techtextil Frankfurt (May 9th to 12th) were held within the same timeframe as FESPA 2017. HP, for example, decided to also exhibit at Interpack´s Hall 13 (in the picture). Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann.



FESPA 2017 still saw a number of „firsts“ in the machine department, most notably Canon´s  European debut of its newly developed UVgel technology: The Océ Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll 64 inch printer works with a 4-colour set for up to almost 160 square metres per hour and was very well received.







HP showcased at Hamburg their new HP Latex HP Latex 300 Series Print and Cut solutions introduced at ISA Sign Expo 2017, as well as the new HP Latex 3200 and 3600 printers (in the picture). The company has between the three generations of Latex printers since their first introduction at Drupa 2008 sold 40,000 units so far worldwide. Photo: HP






Mimaki´s most prominent news for FESPA 2017 was the announcement of the 3D printer model 3DUJ-P with a maximum modelling size of 500 x 500 x 300 mm. Using UV inkjet technology and acrylic resin, it is able to deliver full colour modelling with up to 10 million colours.






Swiss printer manufacturer Swissqprint introduced their new Impala LED and Nyala LED versions of their popular UV flatbed machine range, using LEDs for pinning and curing. Alongside, a number of mechanical improvements have been made on the Impala LED and Nyala LED, for example the beam architecture has been reworked for even better stability. Photo: Swissqprint





Mutoh showcased a number of new machines at Hamburg, most notably their ValueJet 1948WX Industrial Dye Sublimation Printer with a staggered 4 print heads setup and large built-in dual heaters. At 1910 mm printing width (75 Inch), maximium productivity is more than 190 sqm/h, the manufacturer says. Photo: Mutoh






Lithuanian manufacturer Veiko showcased their Dimense technology at FESPA 2017: the Dimensor printer will be able to digitally print and emboss motives with up to 1mm height in full colour on dedicated Ecodeco materials up to 1,60 m wide. The technology is mainly targeting the wallpaper industry and will be commercially available by 2018. Photo: Veika





Tyrolian printer manufacturer Aeoon introduced their Titan family of flatbed printers at Hamburg to the Graphic Arts industry. With a bed size of up to 4.200 x 3750 mm (!) and a choice of UV-curing, pigment and hybrid inks, the range is mainly targeting industrial applications and will be built to order. The company, founded already in 2011, has a background in Direct to Garment (DTG) technology.




See you in Berlin!

The next central European FESPA show, already a “FESPA Global Expo”, will be held from Tuesday 15th through Friday 18th May 2018, at Messe Berlin, to be followed by a Munich event  in 2019.

Text and all photos, unless indicated otherwise: Sonja Angerer









Rob van den Braak

Printer’s devil (1964), phototypesetter, offsetprinter, teacher of graphic techniques, salesmanager, productmanager, trade journalist, founder of BlokBoek e-zine (2011). But above all husband, father, friend and lover of life in southern Spain (since 2010).

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