Grow Your Print Business Offering With Promotional Products

Join the Sign Africa LIVE session featuring Uprint Digital Direct for an interactive Q&A session and live demonstrations on the ultimate solution to brand from home: the A4 CMYW Uprint printer. The printer offers an all in one printing solution without the need for multi-press machines, such as a pen press, mug press, plate press or cap press.

Meet the experts to assist you with the ultimate all in one print solution to grow your print business offering and add value to your business.

The printer includes:

– PrintPro software.
– Chemicals: 1 litre activator.
– 1 litre Nitro X.
– 1 litre PPX.
– 1 litre XXX.
– 3mm rubber mat.
– Spray gun.
– Black magnetic pads.
– Handheld press.
– Silicone pad.
– 100 sheets yellow paper.
– 100 sheets Marine A+B paper.

Uprint’s patented chemicals will allow you to brand extremely durable logos onto difficult surfaces like stainless steel, aluminium, glass, the inside of ceramic mugs, coated wood, all plastic surfaces, cell phone covers and many more. Brand more products than any other technology and add value to your existing business. The hand held press allows you to brand on any part of a cap, bag, sports ball, shoes and any other material that can’t fit in a standard heat press and cap press.

Date: 22 September
Time: 11am

Register here for your free seat. Seats are limited.

(+27 31) 562 0580

Roland DG Corporation Releases New Densitometer

The VW-S1 specialises in density measurements required for colour matching and is designed to be easy to operate by simply tapping the tip of the VW-S1 against the relevant colour in the colour chart specified by VersaWorks 6 and pressing the button.

Roland DG’s inkjet printers are bundled with its VersaWorks 6 RIP and print management software that provides a broad range of functions to streamline users’ printing operations. According to Koji Takahashi, Project Manager at Roland DG Digital Printing Business Division, one of the important functions of VersaWorks 6 is colour matching, which accurately controls colour differences between printers. The colour matching function between printers is valid only when using the same model printers with the same ink type and configuration. Files must be printed with the same print settings, including ‘Media Type’ and ‘Print Quality.’

Its process involves printing a colour chart for each printer that needs to match colours, then measuring the results with a spectrophotometer to generate individual values that are compared and automatically adjusted for. Using a spectrophotometer is considered essential for this process.

‘Until now,’ Takahashi said, ‘users needed to purchase their own commercially available device. Customers complained about the cost and the difficulty of learning another device. In response to customer feedback, our new VW-S1 densitometer was developed for VersaWorks 6 based on the concept of being affordable and easy to operate for anyone.’

Measurements can be completed quickly, with a 4-colour chart taking approximately one and a half minutes, and a 6-colour chart taking around two minutes. ‘The device is also ultra-compact,’ Takahashi added, ‘with a size similar to a penlight, which makes it easy to use and store just about anywhere.’

‘If you produce volume work from one client with multiple printers, or print a large, combined graphic with two printers, the final output from each printer needs to be as consistent as possible,’ Takahashi said. ‘The VW-S1 makes it easy for anyone to do colour matching with reliable printing results. It can also be used to match the original colour of a printer that is slightly off compared to when it was installed due to aging or replacement print heads, which provides peace of mind to clients when printing repeat jobs.’

‘We will continue meeting the specific requirements of our customers in order to increase the quality and efficiency of printing operations and we hope to contribute to the development of even more creative business opportunities in the future,’ added Takahashi.

Roland DG
Tel: (+27 11) 875 9300

Multi-Purpose Graphics Are Not Always Suitable For All Jobs

A multi-purpose graphics film could seem like a good deal, but you may end up spending more money and time than you bargained for. Jerry Hill from Drytac explains why.

The term ‘multi-purpose’ sounds great. One product for different applications, helping your business keep costs low and stock keeping units (SKU) simple – what’s not to like? However, in reality, that smart multi-functional product will be better for some jobs than others, in terms of appearance, performance, cost efficiency and longevity. This might seem like an acceptable balance, but some products claiming to be effective across multiple applications might do well for some jobs but perform downright poorly for others.

This is especially important when choosing graphics media. The type of product, and particularly its adhesive element, should be dictated by the application’s environment and required longevity. A multi-use product might perform well for a few weeks but may cause problems if left in place for months, after which the adhesive will fail. In the case of floor graphics, curling edges would pose a safety risk aside from looking unsightly. Conversely, the product may be designed for long-term or permanent use when the application is short-term. If so, you will spend more time and money removing it than you expected.

Naturally, the cost to your business, in money and time, is the big factor. Nobody likes paying more or taking longer to get results. It is therefore understandable to look at the price and ease of use of graphics media developed for indoor applications and hope it will work just as well for outdoor graphics, for example. However, in this case, the indoor product will lack the weatherproof adhesives specifically engineered for exterior use, meaning it may simply fail. A specialist outdoor product would cost more but will offer peace of mind that results will last. Again, the reverse can be true: one product could be priced correctly for floors and the specialist adhesive this application requires but overpriced for walls where this adhesive would be too aggressive.

Indeed, even for indoor applications, the product must be compatible with the intended surface. In addition to remaining safely in place, it should be cleanly and easily removed at the end of the project. Products that are designed for high-tack applications such as brick can also work on windows, but be aware: apply it to drywall or plasterboard and it may never come off without pulling the wall surface away with it.

Alongside its suitability to do a job, consider the aesthetics of the product. There is a fantastic variety of textures and finishes available for graphics. Why restrict yourself to a matte finish when you could choose glossy, or even sand, linen, canvas or woodgrain effect?

If you are still leaning towards a product marketed as multi-purpose, consider a loaf of sliced bread. It is perfect for toast in the morning, but how about as a hot dog bun? You could use it, but why would you want to? It completely changes the experience. That sliced loaf might be ideal for the children’s packed lunches, but would you serve it at a dinner party? What if you or your guests have a gluten intolerance, or you simply want to serve something more special with your soup? One product might seem to tick all the boxes, but in reality it needs more thought. For a graphics application, just like in a bakery, the best thing since sliced bread might be a lot more sophisticated.

(+27 10) 020 9999

OneVision Announces New Software Release

OneVision has developed its prepress software Asura over the past months and has equipped it with three new, powerful functionalities.

In the field of direct mailing or dialogue marketing, but also in the production of books, brochures and other print products, images are often repeated in files. This causes unnecessarily large file volumes. With the new ‘Embed recurring images only once’ function, identical images are embedded only once. For all other occurrences, ‘Reference XObject’ elements are being created that reference the embedded image. This allows file sizes to be significantly reduced and processing times of subsequent systems to be accelerated.

Print service providers send their customers proof sheets of prepared print files for print approval. This is intended to avoid costly and time-consuming reprints. With the improved functionality of the VDP module, colours and fonts contained in the print file can be used as properties. This information can be used in many different ways, including for the dynamic generation of proof sheets. In addition, the file properties enable routing within the workflow and hence ensure a dynamic and smooth file preparation.


Five Benefits Of A Heat Calender

Heat sensitive inks printed on dye sublimation transfer paper turn into gas under the influence of heat. They are are then transferred on the fabric by a heat calender (oil heated). The inks are in this way fixed on the fibres of the fabric.

Most performance fabrics today are polyesters, and to maintain the fabric’s integrity, the dye-sublimation method is the best one. Performance fabrics have been developed to evaporate sweat to the surface and are extremely durable, yet stretchy, light and in an abundant range of finishes.

Thanks to the heat of the oil calender, the pores of the polyester open up. This means that it is possible for the ink to be transferred to the polyester fabric and the colours in this way are very vivid and bright. This is not possible for materials such as cotton, paper or wool, which scorch and burn when exposed to temperatures required to activate dye sublimation inks (typically 180°-200°C /356°-392° F).

The textile applications made by dye-sublimation are many:

– Sports garments.
– Bags and fashion.
– Home textile (curtains, cushions, etc.)
– Soft signage (exhibition stands, shop decorations and flags).

Five reasons to choose a heat calender for dye-sublimation:

1. Brilliant and vivid colours all the time as the colour penetrates deep into the fibre with the heat of the calender.

2. High quality printing: the details are accurately reproduced, the sublimated fabric is durable over time, and can be washed several times while maintaining its characteristics intact. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

3. It does not have limits during production, it manages small to big volumes as well as single pieces (i.e fashion applications).

4. Environmentally-friendly: textile is preferred to traditional PVC based graphics, especially for soft signage applications, because it is reusable, and it can be folded and transported with ease.

5. A variety of textile choices – no need to dry nor treat after the dye-sublimation process.


Tel: (+27 11) 451 8600

BCN3D Announces Next Generation 3D Printing Product Line

With the new Epsilon Series, BCN3D provides industrial power for the seamless daily operation of applications such as low volume production, functional end-use parts, and manufacturing aids in the workbench segment.

‘With new integrated solutions in both the desktop and workbench segments, BCN3D has a range of products that will take the business to a new level. We are also working more closely than ever with an unparalleled network of sales and support partners to ensure the best possible experience for our customers on a local level,’ explained Xavier Martínez Faneca, BCN3D CEO.

The flagship model Epsilon, is now renamed Epsilon W50, and is joined by the new Epsilon W27, providing the same functionality but with a smaller build volume (50 litres vs. 27 litres).

The new Smart Cabinet completes the Epsilon ecosystem, offering seamless integration with the BCN3D Epsilon printer and boosting its performance. Its filament humidity control keeps materials in optimal condition, and an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) protects the print job at all times, eliminating the risk of losing a print job due to power outages.

The Sigma Series now consists of the Sigma D25, the next generation of the Sigmax R19, replacing the acclaimed Sigma and Sigmax 3D printers. Known for the IDEX (Independent Dual Extruder) system, unique to BCN3D desktop 3D printing technology, and large build volume, the Sigma D25 takes up the mantle of the Sigma series whilst offering improved functionality.


Re-engineered with state-of-the-art features, the new Sigma D25 provides full accessibility for easy workflow. Developments include enhanced heat distribution, a refined calibration process, new embedded electronics, a refined extrusion system and reinforced axes. It is engineered to provide maximum productivity for applications such as design prototypes, functional prototypes, and for educational and research purposes.


Screenline Wins Gold At FESPA Awards

Johannesburg-based Screenline won a gold award for its Budweiser fridge door display in the ‘Display and POP on Plastic’ category at the recent FESPA 2020 Virtual Awards.

This vacuum formed and selectively lit fridge door cover has been created by screen printing multiple layers of red, metallic silver and opaque black. It has subsequently been vacuum formed and fitted with clear laser cut raised LED backlit lettering. According to the FESPA Awards judges, it is a great example of how the combination of printing, forming and integral lighting can stimulate brand presence at the point of sale.

‘Our client required a solution to enhance the look and feel of the fridge door as a point of purchase display and to draw customers’ attention to the brand,’ said Nico de Greef, Screenline marketing director. ‘The final outcome was striking and eye-catching with this new cladding. It was imperative to use the right substrate that could handle the vacuum forming depth and strength for use on a daily basis. The layers of ink were key to a successful outcome as we had to ensure that the light should not seep through internally from the fridge and only where required. This was not as simple as initially thought, especially when vacuum forming, and your ink getting stretched. So this was only achievable with the use of a screen printing method and multiple ink layers.’

‘I’d like to thank everyone involved with this project. Without the experience and support, we could not have achieved such great success. Especially during Covid-19, this achievement was a morale booster and something for our company and staff to be proud of. The success has motivated us and given us all a push forward to fight these difficult economic times. My advice is to stay focused as tomorrow is another beautiful day,’ added de Greef.

The awards were open to print service providers (PSPs) and sign makers looking to highlight outstanding projects. This year’s programme received entries from 27 countries across the 18 categories. The winners were announced during an online ceremony hosted by FESPA’s Technical Support Manager, Graeme Richardson-Locke, in lieu of the live Gala Awards event, which which would have taken place during this year’s Global Print Expo in Madrid.

Best in show digital award: The Look Company’s entry titled ‘Anoc World Beach Games’.

The categories ‘Packaging on Paper and Board’, ‘Packaging on Plastics’, ‘Wrapping’ and ‘Printeriors’ were new to this year’s Awards scheme, recognising four important growth applications for speciality print and signage businesses.

Among this year’s entries, the judges selected two to receive Best in Show Awards for truly outstanding examples of print. These are Christian M. Walter – Taller de Serigrafía-Edición from Spain, for the entry ‘New York de Sergio García Sánchez’ in the Serigraphy and Fine Art category, and The Look Company from Qatar for its Roll-to-Roll Printed Textiles entry ‘Anoc World Beach Games’.

Best in show screen award: Christian M. Walter – Taller de Serigrafía- Edición’s entry titled ‘New York de Sergio García Sánchez’.

Members of the FESPA community selected the People’s Choice Award from the shortlisted entries, with Sakawa Printing Company from Japan taking this honour for its Japanese Fishes Calendar in the Creative Special Effect – Paper, Board and Plastics category.

People’s Choice Award: Sakawa Printing Company’s entry titled ‘Japanese Fishes Calendar’

New to the 2020 Awards is the Judges’ Award for Innovation, which was handed to HAAS Die Werbemanufaktur from Switzerland for its 3D Printed Beer Bottle Breaks Through Glass entry in the Direct Printing on Three-Dimensional Products category. Graeme Richardson-Locke, FESPA Awards Judge, commented, ‘This entry was selected as winner of the Judges’ Award for Innovation for being a brilliantly executed and creative concept using a combination of 3D printing, vinyl wrapping and detail fabrication.’

Judges Award for Innovation: HAAS Die Werbemanufaktur’s entry titled ‘3D printed beer bottle breaks through glass’.

Entries were also invited for the Young Star category, for junior print industry employees, trainees or students aged between 16 and 25. The 2020 Young Star winner is PVG’s Maharashtra Institute of Printing Technology in India for their entry, ‘Save Tigers Before They are Silenced Forever’. ‘This student’s work shows ambition in reproduction and design, using four colour processes and special effect varnishes,’ Richardson-Locke said, explaining why this entry was awarded Gold.

Christian Duyckaerts, FESPA President commented, ‘Championing print excellence and promoting the unique power of print is central to FESPA’s mission. With the FESPA Awards, we want to inspire our global community to keep developing fresh ideas and using advances in technology and materials to add new dimensions to the work they produce for customers, as a foundation for continued growth. Judging this work is a privilege because it reminds us that print – in all its many forms and applications – is creative, beautiful and, above all, effective. We extend our congratulations to all our 2020 winners.’

Click here to view all the 2020 winners.

Tel: +27114772286

Solimar Systems Releases New Features Within Transform Engine

The new features in iCONVERT enable rapid onboarding of Intelligent Print Data Stream (IPDS) jobs including those with embedded PDF content. Users can maintain production processes with the confidence that iCONVERT is providing seamless data transformations in the background.

This latest functionality delivers new methods for handling embedded PDF object container resources, as well as enhancements to iCONVERT’s configurator, enabling customers to reduce set-up time and further streamline the data conversion process for increased productivity.

This solution is a modular component of the Solimar Systems Chemistry platform and provides print centres with flexible and effective IPDS conversions and control. To support workflows that mix IPDS and PDF (object container) content, iCONVERT offers two approaches to rendering PDF resources.

For any kind of output (PostScript, TIFF, etc), iCONVERT, together with Solimar’s Library Services product, can rasterise the PDF resources and present them as images in the output. For PDF output, iCONVERT can pass the PDF resources to Rubika and Rubika can interleave the PDF resources with PDF content created by iCONVERT from the native IPDS commands. This second method preserves the structure of the original PDF resources and can be especially useful when a subsequent process is for archiving or for a highly colour-sensitive printing workflow.

‘Since the launch of iCONVERT in 2000, we’ve continued to enhance and develop new functionality to address the latest challenges in complex and demanding printing environments,’ explained Mary Ann Rowan, Chief Experience Officer, Solimar Systems. ‘The product creates optimised output that drives reprint workflows, electronic delivery communications and archive storage systems. With this new functionality, customers will find it even easier to realise these benefits and enjoy fast, seamless document distribution to their printers, presses and e-presentment systems.’


Wrap Of The Week: Cazzmania

Sign Africa takes a weekly look at some of the most unique wraps. This week’s wrap features a Lamborghini Aventador S.

It was wrapped using 3M IJ180-114 (Tricalore design) with matte lamination 8520 and 3M Satin Black (for the roof).

If you would like to feature in our weekly highlights, send your eye-catching wraps to

+27 (0) 82 602 1836

Fujifilm Installs Superwide Format Solution

Over the years, German company Fokina has built up a diverse portfolio of print and production machinery. One installation in particular is helping to drive quality standards even higher – Fujifilm’s superwide 5m Acuity Ultra, which was installed in March 2020.

One of Germany’s leading providers of large format photographic printing, as well as screen, digital and textile printing, Fokina GmbH is a full service provider for a range of sectors, including point of sale, retail, public facilities and exhibition stands. ‘Our investments in high-tech machinery, qualified employees and intelligent management systems are paramount to our success as a business,’ said Sven Breiter, CEO of Fokina.

‘Companies from all over Germany, the EU and around the world are supplied with our products, so being highly efficient and putting the customer at the top of our priorities is our motto.’

Fokina’s high quality banners, textiles and wallpapers are some of the company’s most popular products. When Breiter noticed demand increasing in 2018, he knew that adding more printing equipment would be necessary to meet these requirements and ensure the company could fulfil its customer’s needs. It was then that he was introduced to Fujifilm’s Acuity Ultra, and he never looked back.

‘We first noticed the Acuity Ultra at a trade fair in 2018,’ Breiter said. ‘We were immediately impressed by the print quality and the speed, so we kept in contact with Fujifilm after the event. We even visited their Advanced Print Technology Centre in Brussels where we saw the Acuity Ultra first hand. Witnessing its print quality for ourselves reaffirmed our initial view that it was the right machine to add to our already impressive production portfolio.’

For Breiter and his staff, the Acuity Ultra is fitting in very well at Fokina. ‘The team working with the Acuity Ultra are very impressed by the quality it produces as well as its high speed. It’s also incredibly versatile, ink consumption is low and its 5m width has provided us with new business opportunities that we would otherwise not have been able to secure. The combination of the high quality and productivity that it offers is exceptional.

‘We are a family-run business always looking to future-proof ourselves. The print market is highly competitive, and at Fokina we always want to provide the best products at the fairest prices. The Acuity Ultra allows us to do that. It fits in perfectly with our other print equipment here, and has become the heartbeat of our business.’

Breiter also has high praise for the Fujifilm team, ‘The sales and support staff at Fujifilm have been excellent from day one. They are very knowledgeable and always available to talk to us. We’ve always felt in good hands, which is essential when you’re purchasing new equipment. The Acuity Ultra was our first ever purchase from Fujifilm, and we envisage it won’t be the last.’

Nils Gottfried, Segment Product Marketing Manager for Wide Format Inkjet Systems at Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe said, ‘Fokina has a varied range of customers in the large format market. The excellent services it offers as well as top level products means it will attract both new and returning customers. We’re delighted the Acuity Ultra has so quickly assumed such a pivotal role in the business and we look forward to working with Fokina as their business develops and grows in the years ahead.’

Tel: (+27 11) 430 5400