As we approach the end of another year, we have a natural desire to look back and consider how the next twelve months will pan out. But 2020's COVID-19 pandemic has turned any forecasts - and how many businesses in our industry operate - on their head. For this reason, it's even more important to learn from the changes we have experienced this year so we can prepare, as best we can, for 2021. Here are some lessons and predictions for the future.

Committed to meeting the needs of today’s print service providers, Epson today introduced the SureColor® V7000 – its first UV flatbed printer designed for printing outstanding-quality outdoor signage, promotional goods and more. Delivering bright, colorful, tactile prints with low graininess and smooth gradation, the ultra-productive SureColor V7000 4’x8’ printer brings a new level of image quality, productivity and convenience to print service providers. Capable of printing on a variety of rigid substrates up to 3-inches thick, the new Epson UV flatbed printer is a flexible, reliable, entry-level flatbed solution.

Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, is launching the newest family member of its highly-successful P5 technology platform for the large format printing market. The P5 350 HS new high performance printer will be unveiled in a virtual presentation at the Customer Experience Center Durst’s headquarters in Brixen, Italy, on December 3 at 16.00 CET.

Ricoh Canada Inc. has partnered with Ryerson University to drive greater print innovation within their creative and graphic programs. By integrating its Commercial and Industrial Print (CIP) technology into the general programs for the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Ricoh is committed to nurturing the graphic arts capabilities of both students and faculty staff alike.

Riding on international recognition of the ‘made in Switzerland’ brand name, the Swiss manufacturing sector possesses a strong competitive edge with advanced manufacturing capabilities, specialising in high quality and high value-added goods. Hence swissQprint’s world-class reputation for quality, reliability, technological innovation, craftsmanship and precision technology has resulted in a high demand for pre-owned swissQprint systems.

Riding high on the vinyl revival, Sound Leisure has been making jukeboxes in Yorkshire since 1978. Specialising in hand built and bespoke designed models, the family-owned business’s investment in a Mimaki UCJV300-107 printer/cutter has transformed its creative process when producing unique jukebox designs for its clients.

Commercial printing operations will investigate ways to reimagine a new future and build business resilience at Ricoh’s HENKAKU Live Goes Industrial. The Sign and Graphics and industrial print focused iteration of Ricoh’s successful HENKAKU Live webinar series will take place across EMEA from November to January 2021.

Abbi Signs likes to keep it in the family. This design and print business based in Widnes, Cheshire, was founded by John Goodfellow forty years ago, only these days he’s been joined by his son Steve, who is now Production Director and grandson Chris, Workshop Manager. Back in the day, there was a business partner subsequently bought out by John, after whom the company was renamed Abbi Signs & Designs after Steve’s youngest daughter.

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announced the release of the new “100 Series”, two entry level roll-to-roll inkjet printers – the UJV100-160 (UV model) and the JV100-160 (solvent model). The two inkjet printers strive to achieve high quality printing with high productivity, all at minimal cost to the user. The UJV100-160 is set to be commercially available in December 2020, while the JV100-160 is expected to follow in January 2021.

Global Graphics® Software has licensed the Harlequin RIP to Mimaki Engineering, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers, cutting plotters, and 3D modeling machines, to create the new RIP software RasterLink7 that will be available with Mimaki printers worldwide from December 2020.

It’s been a busy few months for Lentico. The lenticular print specialist has acquired plastic card manufacturer Plastic Data Card in a deal that was completed in September 2020. The acquisition will see Lentico Directors Andrew Roblett and Robin Sumner join forces to take on the business, production facility and expertise of Plastic Data Card, while pooling the newly combined resources to expand and target new markets.

Having won several industry accolades this year, including the ‘Innovation Award’ at the ISA UK British Sign Awards, it will come as no surprise that Signs Express Lancashire is continuing to build on its success with a purpose-designed unit upgrade. The new unit has been custom renovated to make it perfectly suited to their needs. Centre manager Matt Rutlidge explains: “The idea is that we'll invite customers to our new premises, and it will provide a full showcase of the services we offer and the work we produce.”

Print Service Providers can now benefit from highly flexible print production on roll fed media, as well as rigid media, with the Ricoh Pro TF6251 hybrid flatbed UV printer.

Roland DGA will be showcasing its advanced imaging technologies for eco-solvent, UV and direct-to-garment applications in the upcoming (October 26 - November 12, 2020) PRINTING United Digital Experience. Those attending this important virtual trade show can watch product demonstrations of exciting Roland DG devices, including the award-winning TrueVIS™ VG2-640 wide-format printer/cutter, the innovative IU-1000F high-volume flatbed UV printer, and the VersaSTUDIO BT-12 direct-to-garment printer.

Keypoint Intelligence has recognised the advances that Canon has made in production print with the announcement of BLI Outstanding Innovation Awards in Production Print for three Canon products: the sheetfed inkjet varioPRINT iX-series, the ProStream 1800 web-fed inkjet printer and the Arizona 2300 flatbed printer series. All the winners of these inaugural awards “feature technologies that improve output quality, enhance productivity, deliver workflow efficiencies, impact sustainability, and advance their product segments in meaningful ways.”

Roland DG have announced the launch of its new EMEA Virtual Showroom, an immersive digital environment for customers and dealers to explore its products and services. The first of its kind in the printing category, the new showroom is the next step in the digitization of the B2B sales journey, a trend that the coronavirus pandemic is set to accelerate.

French printing software company Caldera has announced the release of new Canon drivers for CalderaRIP Version 13.1. These new drivers expand the award-winning software’s long list of supported peripherals and further enhances its user experience.

The Tip Switch Vacuum (patent pending) by swissQprint operates selectively and powerfully to boost everyday efficiency. All swissQprint large format flatbed printers now come with this new system.

The PRINTING United Digital Experience, taking place online October 26-November 12, is readying the stage for a multitude of new technology to be shown, many for the first time in a global setting. Beginning October 26 with a focus on graphics and wide-format technology, industry leaders are showcasing the latest solutions in this space. Register today to see the technology in action. Registration is free and a single sign-up allows for complete access to the entire schedule of daily events.

Selectequip has purchased a Mimaki UCJV150-160UV roll-to-roll print and cut printer, and a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX flatbed printer from CMYUK. The decision to buy this powerful printer duo was in response to the dramatic upsurge in demand for COVID-related products and signage.

Brett Martin and swissQprint UK are pleased to announce a highly successful test of Brett Martin’s Foamalux products on the Nyala 3 flatbed printer at swissQprint’s new demo centre in Bracknell. The newly established UK subsidiary printed a striking 1220x1220mm image of mouth-watering macaroons in beautiful pastel shades which highlighted both the quality of the printing equipment and the Foamalux substrate.

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