Color Concepts Announces Online Academy For Printing Industry Professionals

Color Concepts’ recently launched Online Academy platform features video training presentations and interactive webinars with printing and sales specialists.

The Color Concepts Online Academy includes training for sales professionals active in the large format printing industry. The Academy launches with the introduction of a comprehensive course for sales professionals: Inkjet Printing Fundamentals for Sales Teams, a semi-technical training that covers all the ins and outs of inkjet printing technology, ranging from printhead technology to an in-depth introduction to the product ranges of the largest printer manufacturers in the large format printing industry. It also covers selling techniques that will help translating complicated technical concepts into understandable sales pitches.

More information can be found at or by sending an email to:

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Brother Showcasing Textile Printing Solutions In Virtual Exhibition Stand

Visitors can virtually discover the advantages of Brother’s GTX printers as well as its offer of multiple textile printing solutions.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the company have decided to give its customers, partners and all interested parties the opportunity to virtually visit its FESPA exhibition stand (the event was postponed due to the virus).

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Absen Launches Fixed Indoor LED Solution

The Absen KL series boasts a high level of brightness, greyscale, contrast ratio and refresh rate. It is available in five pixel pitches ranging from 1.6mm to 3.9mm.

‘The KL series is a great LED option for wholesalers, distributors and project contractors who buy LED modules and the other components to assemble LED displays for diverse projects’, said Vandy Fan, the channel strategy manager at Absen. ‘KL is well suited for a wide array of applications, including various retail spaces, hotels, corporate, government, transport and more indoor environments. It holds a number of advantages. Using ready-to-use LED displays, instead of assembling components on site, not only helps save time and labour cost, but also secures the project quality, which in return could enhance the relationship between the contractors and the end users. KL will give module wholesalers and project contractors new and exciting ways to better meet system integration and the other permanent installation needs of their customers.’

With a reputation of providing high quality products, Absen chooses safe and reliable raw materials for its products. Products from Absen have been calibrated after going through a series of critical product tests, ensuring high visual uniformity over time and the ability to maintain products’ entire lifespan at component level. And with fine die-casting aluminium panels, which further ensures the flatness of screens, KL is able to deliver higher visual impact. In contrast, creating a screen with components from different suppliers poses risks to the quality of final installations and the visual experience.

KL is an all-in-one product featuring sleek and user-friendly designs. It allows for multiple installation methods including wall-mounting, hanging and floor installation, in use of the creative back channels or connecting pads. The product comes in standard size of 640mm × 480mm, with an extra option of 320mm × 160mm for customers in cases that need design flexibility.

To assemble an LED display with a lot of components takes loads of work and requires highly skilled engineers, which also leads to higher cost of labour and time. Absen’s KL is a front and rear installation and maintenance product with a depth of only 70mm and weighing at 7.8kg per panel. In addition, KL, as an all-in-one product, with power supply units, cables, receiving cards and the other key components inside, offers better installation and maintenance solutions for end users.

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Printing SA Outlines COVID-19 Labour Relations Matters

Printing SA has outlined more guidelines for labour relations – to observe for both members and non-members during these times of economic crisis in the face of COVID-19.

In an effort to assist its members in navigating the numerous regulatory and legislative amendments that have been implemented since the National lockdown, Printing SA has been fielding a number of questions from members asking for guidance on how to deal with some of these issues as it is indeed unchartered territory.

Its staff have been working tirelessly to seek clarity on these questions and to ensure that the advice Printing SA are giving its members is in accordance with the true interpretation of the law. Printing SA will continue to update its members as and when it obtains clarity for some of the outstanding questions that are not addressed in this communique.

1. How do we handle staff with flu-like symptoms either during or after the lockdown period?

In a situation where an employee has flu-like symptoms upon returning to work, or makes contact with his employer to report that he has flu-like symptoms:

1.1. The employer must, in terms of Regulation 4(1) of the Disaster Management Act, refer an employee to undergo a COVID-19 medical examination/screening, and an employee cannot refuse to consent in this respect.

1.2. The Employee must be advised not to go to their doctor, but to telephonically contact the Corona Helpline 080 002 9999, or the Whatsapp line on 0600123456. He/she will be screened and referred to the closest test centre or otherwise advised what to do.

1.3. Where an employee tests positive for COVID-19, he/she must be quarantined for the prescribed period. UIF benefits in this respect can be applied for as an illness benefit in terms of a special fund created for this purpose. The procedure for this is not 100% finalised at this point in time and some confusion exists. We hope to receive further clarity on this soon.

1.4. Should an employee not test positive, he/she can be treated for flu/similar illnesses and such can be dealt with under normal sick leave conditions as set out in the BCEA.

2. I cannot afford to pay staff during a shutdown period, what can I do?

In a situation where it is economically impossible to pay employees, a special fund under UIF has been created as per the COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme. Employers can apply for this by reporting their closure to mailbox Although not ideal, the principle of no-work no-pay can apply.

3. Can I request my staff to take forced leave?

The current status quo of the National Lockdown is on a no-work no-pay basis. Where an employer chooses to offer the alternative of taking annual leave in lieu of no-work no-pay and the employee agrees, whilst not ideal, the employee will at least be able to derive part of their income during this period. A consultation between the employer and employee is required.

4. Can I pay staff during the shutdown period and enter into an agreement to set it off against overtime still to be worked to ensure they are not out of pocket?

Yes, an agreement can be made, however, in accordance with section 34 (2)(d) of the BCEA, the deduction may not exceed 25% of the employee’s normal take home remuneration. The employer and the employee should enter into an agreement by which they set out the particular extraordinary terms from which this advance payment on remuneration is stipulated. It should further stipulate that since the lockdown period is treated as a no-work no-pay situation, the employer has agreed with the employee to enter into a remuneration advance agreement. The agreement should stipulate the terms and the recovery terms from future remuneration.

There are a few critical points to bear in mind:

a. Do not rush into this for the moment, as you may not be able to recover the money from future earnings, due to the employee leaving your business for whatever reason.
b. It would be advisable to first establish the full content of the Government’s Temporary Relief Fund and the procedures for claims and payments. If not done, the employee could earn more than what is due to him.
c. Remember that your monthly employees by now would have been paid for March and will have money to live from. The weekly paid employees would have had their payment in arrears for last week at the end of the week ending 28 March. Next week, the weekly paid employees will receive money as payment in arrears for the work performed during the week ending 28 March 2020. There is no rush to head into paying anything other than for work done right now. It gives you time to reflect as the Temporary Relief Fund procedures become clearer and then decide on a course of action.
d. Should you wish to pay your employees any money out of goodwill, it does not have to constitute full pay either.

5. How do I pay staff and what are the forms to use?

6. Days lockdown – is it annual leave or is it given days over and above normal leave?

7. Will the submission date for WSP & ATR to the FP&M Seta be extended or remain the same?

An application has been made to the FP&M Seta to consider a later date. Once a reply is received it will be made public.

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EFI Optitex Announce Agreement With Cycling Clothing Manufacturer


With London-based Rapha’s commitment to accelerating design processes and implementing advanced digital solutions, adding EFI Optitex 3D was the next logical step in ensuring the delivery of high-quality products, on time and on budget. Through the agreement, Rapha purchased EFI Optitex 3D solutions to enhance its design and production workflow.

Founded in 2004, Rapha’s cycling clothing collections are globally recognised for redefining comfort, performance, and style for cyclists from beginners to WorldTour professionals. EFI partnered with Rapha to boost the clothing manufacturer’s overall efficiency, enabling Rapha to gain a real competitive edge in the industry. The company first implemented EFI Optitex 2D solutions, and more recently augmented the software with EFI Optitex 3D solutions to integrate 3D digital design and prototyping into Rapha’s workflows. Rapha is currently participating in training and onboarding to implement EFI Optitex 3D Pattern Design Software (PDS) with photorealistic renderings and the 3D Design Illustrator (3DDI) plugin.

Today, Rapha is primed and ready to grow and embrace the power of an integrated 2D-3D workflow. With EFI Optitex 3D, Rapha will benefit from significant savings in sample production time and make quick adoption decisions. The company will be able to showcase true-to-life virtual samples within hours and work with a single digital asset, eliminating manual steps in the design-development process.

‘We chose Optitex 2D as our pattern cutting solution because of its intuitive, easy-to-use tools and functionalities, and its insight into implementing EFI Optitex 3D down the road, to serve as a single solution in helping us to reduce samples through fit assessment early in the process,’ said Rapha Head of Atelier Claudine Rousseau. ‘What’s more, investing in 3DDI will greatly help our graphics team to visualise graphic applications, and facilitate a more experimental approach. It will also minimise errors in communication with our vendors, saving time and costs.’

Rousseau added, ‘We are keen to work with EFI Optitex as a long-term partner to take innovative digital solutions forward, as we strive to maintain our reputation as a leading cyclewear brand.’

EFI Optitex General Manager Amir Lehr commented, ‘As an amateur cyclist and an avid customer of Rapha, I’ve learned to appreciate the functional fit, care for details and meticulous design Rapha provides. We share the objective of accelerating concept-to-delivery and customisation while maintaining strict quality control enabled by digitising the workflow, today, and well into the future.’

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Cutting Technology Can Stop The Spread Of COVID-19


As the Coronavirus is continuing to spread across the globe, Summa wants to use its resources to help to minimise the impact of the outbreak as much as possible. 

Summa Demo Room transformed into a high-volume production area

The Summa team is currently cutting thousands of mouth masks and surgical aprons with both Summa laser cutters and flatbed cutters. The project started when the company found an entrepreneur with her own shop, who brought together material suppliers to take care of the cutting part, as well as a large group of over 200 volunteers for stitching the products.

The urgently needed end products are then distributed on a daily basis to local hospitals and people on the front lines, such as home care, food stores, the staff at elderly homes and so on.

Besides protective materials, the demand for specific signage has increased as well. Examples include floor stickers to mark a safe distance of 1,5m, or window stickers to inform customers how many people may enter at once, flags and postcards. So be inspired and produce your own range of applications to support your community now.

Please always check your country’s regulations for producing medical protective wear and materials, such as the items below.

Mouth masks

Create mouth masks made out of breathable Tyvek material, strong enough for the straps to attach. Tyvek can potentially be exchanged for a woven polypropylene or polyester. A filter material needs to be put in the pocket for safety reasons. The design of these mouth masks has been approved by local medical institutions. In the download, you will find the cut file and instructions. Tyvek mouth masks can be cut with a Summa flatbed cutter or laser cutter.

Download: Zip file Tyvek mouth masks for stitchless use

Create mouth masks made out of cotton. The mask is made by stitching the front piece together with a copy of this piece. A filter must be put between both layers. Straps can be produced out of any material. The design of these mouth masks has been approved by local medical institutions. In the download, you will find the cut file. Cotton mouth masks can be cut with a Summa flatbed cutter or laser cutter.

Download: Cut file Cotton mouth masks for stitchable use


Help out nurses and doctors by providing them with surgical aprons. For this application, you can use PUL material, a textile where a polyurethane sheet is laminated on top. Read more about this material here:

Surgical aprons can be cut with a Summa flatbed cutter or laser cutter.

Download: Cut file surgical aprons

Window Sticker

Quickly created stickers for temporarily health and safety announcements. Easy to apply and remove by the store staff themselves. Choose bright colours of vinyl to make sure they catch the eye instantly.

Floor decals

Create floor decals to mark in shops to help customers keep their distance. You can use floor vinyl with a laminate, specific to stick firmly to floors, so additional lamination is not necessary.

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Ramco Unveils Touchless Facial Recogniton System

COVID-19 has brought the focus back on hygiene, and the concern around employee safety and health has gained paramount importance.

The Ramco Innovation Lab in Singapore unveiled an advanced facial recognition based Time & Attendance System – RamcoGEEK, embedded with Temperature recording and IoT sensor doors to enable organisations to move towards a ‘Touch-less’ attendance and workplace access.

The Ramco Innovation Lab unveiled the innovation, which drew upon its own facial recognition-based attendance system deployed across multiple organisations, and combined it with a thermal imaging device for temperature measurement as well as other associated software. This enables organisations to track staff or visitors with high temperatures that may indicate infection and build in operating procedures to avoid further contaminations caused by finger/thumb based biometric scanners.

RamcoGEEK for Attendance with Temperature capturing can:

-Detect and match the faces of staff members and mark their attendance along with temperature. Where facial based attendance is a privacy concern, enterprises can replace it with Voice to register access.

-System is linked to an IoT sensor powered door that can restrict access in case the temperature is higher than normal and auto apply leave on behalf of the employee.

-Communicate the information to HR and management in real-time.

-Track the movements of a high-temperature staff in the workplace.

RamcoGEEK for Visitors can:

-Send notifications when RamcoGEEK encounters a person with a very high temperature to the Facility Manager/Facility Admin.

-Track the movement of that person within that premise.

RamcoGEEK for Contact Tracing can:

-Send notifications/alerts to all those employees, customers, vendors and others who have interacted with the at-risk person, in the event any person develops COVID-19 symptoms/diagnosed.

-The Track and Trace system is capable of reading Outlook calendar, Credit card spend data, trip details from Uber Lyft and Grab (subject to permission) to identify people met, Hotels stayed, Flights taken, Taxi drivers used and use this information to help identify employees at risk.

-Reverse tracing can also be initiated based on data around positive COVID-19 cases from external environment – for instance, a positive case of COVID-19 at a restaurant can alert all employees who have dined at the restaurant to be quarantined (based on bills raised).

-Help HR set up its own procedures to seek recent movements of the affected person, based on the information provided by the attendance system.

-This piece of software could be leveraged provided RamcoGEEK could get access to the data specified above. And this data could be stored in organisation’s premises or could leverage Ramco’s cloud for storing the same.

-Support authorities with essential information, if needed (e.g., to facilitate contact-tracing).

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Mactac Launches Cold Temperature Industrial Tape Line

Macbond Arctic Cold Temperature Tapes are available in three product constructions: ARTX1162, ARTX1062, and ARTX1762. Each double-coated tape is coated on both sides with 2.0-mils of Macbond Arctic adhesive.

ARTX1162 consists of a 0.5-mil polyester carrier and a two-side silicone-coated 72# white poly-coated Kraft liner. ARTX1062 and ARTX1762 feature an 83# super-calendared Kraft liner and ARTX1762 has a polyethylene foam carrier.

Featuring the latest in Mactac’s proprietary adhesive technology, Macbond Arctic Cold Temperature Tapes can be applied at temperatures as low as -23 degrees Celsius (-10 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, Macbond Arctic boasts superior adhesive performance for an extremely wide range of temperatures, from -53 to 65 degrees Celsius (-65 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit).

The new tapes bond well to many grades of foam and foam rubber substrates and feature exceptional performance on low-surface energy materials. Furthermore, with built-in moisture resistance, Macbond Arctic tapes are designed to achieve and maintain a high bond in cold, damp conditions.

‘Mactac has a long history of developing innovative adhesive solutions to meet our customers’ needs and the new Macbond Arctic tapes feature one of our most robust adhesives yet,’ said Janet Page, Senior Marketing Manager, Mactac Performance Adhesives. ‘Macbond Arctic tapes offer exceptional bond and tack at very low temperatures, while also promising a broad performance range to match even the most challenging applications.’ The new tapes are offered in 152.4cm (60 inch) rolls and have a one-year shelf life.

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HP Stitch Ensures Accurate Colour Matching On Fabrics

The installation of the HP Stitch S300 will ensure Racesafe’s ability to print quickly and accurately, without compromising on customer demand for high-quality and precise finishes. The new machine will allow Racesafe to accurately match colours to registered shades from its old equipment in a straightforward manner.

Racesafe is a leading manufacturer of riding apparel, protection and silks in the UK and Europe, selling its range of equestrian clothing to a network of up to 200 retailers. Racesafe also offers one-off customised riding silks, such as hats and jackets, to its customer base, with each design being entirely unique to the jockey who requests it. The silks often feature branding and sponsors’ logos, and subsequently must be accurately matched in terms of colour.

‘As weight is a big factor in horse racing, we required a machine capable of printing onto lightweight fabrics like polyester-based satin,’ said James How, director of Racesafe. ‘Digital dye-sublimation printing was the obvious choice, and the user-friendliness of the HP Stitch S300’s interface means it can be operated even by our non-technicians. It’s far more intuitive than our old machine: it’s able to colour-match faster and more accurately, all while reducing floorspace with its front-loading design. It’s ticked all the boxes and we’re excited to explore new business avenues with this kit.’

The HP Stitch S300 series is a dye-sublimation textile printer capable of printing to both transfer paper and direct-to-fabric. With HP SmartColor, predictable colour is faster and easier to achieve than ever before with maximum efficiency and versatility.

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Wrap Of The Week: Wrapformula

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

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

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