Caldera Announces Support Of EFI VUTEk Printers With New Drivers

EFI VUTEk Qr printer series can now be used with CalderaRIP software. In essence, Caldera supports EFI VUTEk Qr, with a new driver for CalderaRIP Version 14.

EFI’s new printers feature advanced roll-to-roll LED technology to achieve superior print quality and higher productivity. These qualities suit a wide range of applications requiring premium printing quality (commercial displays, graphics and signage) as well as high-volume production environments. The VUTEk Q5r can print up to 672 square metres per hour, while the VUTEk Q3r prints us to 558 square metres per hour. Additionally, the EFI VUTEk printheads ensure outstanding results with smooth shadows, gradients and transitions.

Driving EFI VUTEk Qr printers with CalderaRIP software is the best way to make the most out of an investment. CalderaRIP embeds the first-class ICC profiling engine, the X-Rite i1Prism Profiler as well as premium colour management tools. Achieve unmatched colour precision and meet customers’ expectations at all times.

Furthermore, the RIP software is an innovative, versatile and multi-brand solution that integrates seamlessly in any wide format Print and Cut environment. As CalderaRIP focuses on customer success and performance, it supports more than 1450 printers from major manufacturers such as EFI, HP, MS, Epson or Canon. Caldera is fully scalable and allows users to drive several Print and Cut peripherals with only one RIP licence.

Moreover, Caldera is known for its commitment to productivity and comes with a range of features and options to boost production speed and ensure valuable time-savings:

– The Hardware Acceleration option optimises the usage of CPU and GPU cores in order to boost the ripping speed and overall efficiency of the hardware.
– The Smart Hotfolders algorithm enables parallel job processing to save 35% time on PDF workflows and 60% time on TIFF workflows.
– The Smart Import feature automatically extracts meta-data from the filename (number of copies to print, targeted printer and presets) to speed up job submission of traditional file-based workflows. Smart Import is available to Caldera customers with a subscription to CalderaCare.

Tel: 011 789 1222

There Is Greater Potential For 3D Printing In Africa


Bradley Pulford, VP and MD of HP Africa, outlines how digital manufacturing and 3D printing can support African economies. He also gives his predictions on the development of the digital manufacturing sector in 2021.

Africa started to deploy 3D printing over a decade ago and today there is even bigger potential for additive manufacturing on the continent. The rise in 3D printing also means that there is greater demand for customisation, meaning that manufacturers will need to produce personalised products on a mass scale at competitive prices.

Nine out of 10 global respondents (91%) in the HP Digital Manufacturing Trends Report noted that they would pursue mass customisation if they could personalise parts via 3D printing. Case in point: SmileDirectClub is digitally transforming the $12 billion orthodontics industry using 3D printing to print dental aligners and Cobra Golf is disrupting the sports industry by building on a rapid shift toward product personalisation to produce a first of its kind 3D printed commercial putter.

There will be an uptick in new software innovations that provide manufacturers with the tools and infrastructure to enable digital manufacturing at scale, leading to greater productivity. Advancements in software and data management will continue to drive improved system management and part quality, leading to better customer outcomes.

Fifty five percent of global respondents in the HP Digital Manufacturing Trends Report reported that ‘accelerated innovation’ will see the most advancement over the next five years, followed by 52% who said quality management will advance data and software and 50% who agreed data and software will enhance design for additive capabilities.

The $50 billion health and wellness industry is poised to see the most advancement in 3D printing in 2021. There is nothing more personal than the human body, and the opportunity to deliver highly personalised 3D printed parts such as orthotics, footwear and other applications that integrate biomechanical data will be critical. These materials provide health and wellness professionals with ultimate control over the components produced and limitless possibilities in design.

In South Africa, we collaborated with our partner Mentis 3D to increase production of 3D designs to meet urgent healthcare needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mentis 3D’s full range of HP MJF machines are being used to produce high volumes of medical materials like face shields, goggles, cloth face mask clips and a large variety of Venturi valves with different specifications for respirators.

Africa’s 3D Printing Potential Realised

Fifty-five percent of global respondents in the HP Digital Manufacturing Trends Report predict that the health and wellness industry will achieve the most innovation in the next five years.

We will also see significant interest in digital manufacturing technologies across regions when it comes to economic growth, and it is no surprise why: manufacturing is the engine that supports entire economies and ecosystems.

Nearly all global respondents (99%) of the HP Digital Manufacturing Trends Report believe that digital manufacturing technologies can lead to economic growth. Manufacturers are backing this belief with their budgets, with nearly three quarters (71%) of respondents planning to invest in digital manufacturing technologies by the middle of 2021, and 85% indicating their company is planning to increase its spending on 3D printing.

Africa’s 3D Printing Potential Realised

To continue advancing the industry and grow the population of practitioners, digital manufacturers must offer more professional training to more workers, and collaboration is fundamental to 3D printing. As companies look to deliver more value to end companies, they will form new alliances and operate within new ecosystems.

Two-thirds of the HP Digital Manufacturing Trends Report’s global respondents (64%) said more professional training services should be offered to further 3D printing. Additionally, cross-sector collaboration is critical to the future of digital manufacturing, according to 85% of respondents.

Sustainability continues to be a key metric for business operations. As small businesses, governments and large enterprises increasingly assess and track their environmental impact, digital manufacturing is expected to play a key role.

Half (50%) of the report’s global respondents indicated 3D printing’s ability to reduce waste, lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and promote a circular economy. In addition, 3D printing enables localised manufacturing, helping reduce the complexity and environmental impact of supply chains.

When it comes to new materials and tooling capabilities, 3D printing not only is a more precise mechanism, but it also supports designs and structures that are complex and customised, making fabrication seamless. From reduced costs to improved functionality, new tools are a promising source of innovation that will continue to grow in popularity in 2021.

According to the report, heat-activated 4D printed parts, in particular, will show the most innovation and advancement in 3D printing over the next five years. Nearly half (48%) of global respondents say these ‘smart’ parts have the most potential for advancement among 3D printing technologies.


Trotec’s Artificial Leather Ideal For Laser Engraved Labels and Tags

Laser engraved labels and tags for clothing, decorative items, bags, or furniture – imitation leathers have become an indispensable part of eye-catching designs. LaserLeather is a high-quality artificial leather that shares the look and feel of real leather, but requires less maintenance and is very easy to process.

Trotec Leather Features Wide Range Of Applications

The unique feature of the leather is the two-layer colour structure as well as the specially selected colour combinations, which offer a wide range of applications. Two-tone LaserLeather is an imitation leather tested by the company’s experts, where a fine laser engraving brings out the second layer of colour. This two-layer laser material looks very stylish and is available in many different colour combinations. Detailed laser engravings and fine laser cuts can be created very quickly with easy processing. By adding a name or design, the imitation leather can be refined and personalised very easily.

From bags, backpacks, labels, jewellery or a stylish pencil roll – the LaserLeather can be transformed into many unique items due to its easy processing. Follow the step-by-step instructions for your own personalised pencil roll and download the free template.

Trotec Leather Features Wide Range Of Applications

The company’s experts have tested the LaserLeather and have summarised the most important processing tips on machine set-up, software set-up, and determination of cutting and engraving parameters. Read tips for leather processing with the laser.


Tel: +27 87 550 6300

Trotec setting new standards

Using Workflow To Adapt To Change In A Print Environment

Solimar Systems outlines how leveraging workflow software technology in the print environment can help businesses adapt to change.

Like many around the globe, the print production and digital delivery industries continue to feel the winds of change in 2021. For those running printing environments, the challenges of managing print production continue. These challenges include unplanned variation in the volumes of work as well as staffing and facility access issues. In addition, clients are seeking new content and messaging capabilities while being better able to monitor the status of their work.

The shift to remote working in the last 12 months has been easier to manage for workers that typically do most of their work from an office; however, the print industry has requirements for operators and skilled workers to be onsite working with equipment on the production floor. Staffing challenges have forced some companies to change their hours of operation.

Solimar believes there are two key things every print production environment should consider. First, an organisation should be able to select and get started with a modern and flexible print management solution without needing a significant investment in professional services. Second, an organisation should be able to efficiently integrate PDF workflows to support forward-looking revenue opportunities for both printing and digital communication.

Your next step? Analyse your workflow: spend time to revisit how work, orders and jobs come into your print production environment. Track how jobs are received and processed (both manual and automated steps); how problems or concerns are resolved and how work is completed and delivered via print and electronically to the final customer. You will find opportunities where having more automation, visibility, remote control and reporting would be very beneficial to your business.


Kornit Digital Enables Business To Keep Up With Print-On-Demand Garment Orders

For Spain-based Rafa’s Textiles, implementing Kornit’s digital production technology was the best means to meeting challenges and capitalising on new opportunities in e-commerce. The technology has enabled them to keep up with print-on-demand orders.

The company recently acquired a third Kornit Avalanche HD6 system for single-step, on-demand direct-to-garment (DTG) digital production, spurred by business growth resulting from increased e-commerce engagement in the past year.

Sergio Alfaro Lloret, Technician at Rafa’s Textiles, attributes his business’ success despite recent market disruptions to their focus on e-commerce, which aligns with buyers’ increased preference for web-based purchasing.

Rafa’s Textiles personalises T-shirts and all kinds of clothing with screen printing, direct (digital) printing, silkscreen transfer, sublimation and embroidery, serving European-based B2B clients who sell via web stores, both integrated with Amazon and independently. There are no colour limitations, and handfeel and durability are retail-quality. On a typical day, they will handle 200-300 print-on-demand orders, though those numbers spike with key holidays. This past Christmas, for example, saw a peak of 1300 orders in a single day. Regardless of volume, with digital production capabilities in-house, these orders are printed individually within 24 hours and shipped directly to all customers.

‘We chose the Kornit system mainly because of its pre-treatment system, which increases production capacity,’ said the technician. ‘When we found out about this new system whereby you put the shirt on and the pre-treatment was done inside the same machine, we immediately thought the time-saving was enormous. The quality is even better than screen printing, and they are totally ecological, so everything is perfect.’

‘Kornit Digital has helped us considerably to increase our business,’ he added. ‘For anyone who is considering the options of using Kornit printers or other brands, it is clear Kornit has no other type of competition. There is no one who can match them.’

‘The pandemic economy has accelerated digital transformation, and print shops like Rafa’s Textiles, which implemented agile, versatile, eco-friendly digital production technologies were ahead of the curve and are thriving as a result,’ said Chris Govier, KDEU Managing Director. ‘Kornit is proud to deliver the technologies that empower producers to demonstrate why on-demand e-commerce is the way forward.’


Grafityp Announces HP Latex Print Media Certification

HP has thoroughly tested the polymeric, special formula, cast and PVC-free Grafiprint print media on their various HP Latex printers (300 series and 500 series).

HP was very satisfied with the print results, and has certified Grafiprint print media. On its ICC website Grafityp is happy to offer users the ICC profiles, which allow them to get print results on Grafiprint print media. Download the HP certificates.


LG Introduces LED Signage Displays

The GSCA Versatile Series is an ideal solution for rental and staging applications where the display needs to be constructed for a temporary deployment and later dismantled and removed.

The GSCA Versatile Series allows users to combine 1:1 (500mm square) and 2:1 (500mm x 1000mm rectangle) cabinet options to create custom displays. Because the cabinets come equipped with open frame construction, modularised data and power, comfortable carrying handles and hand actuated locks, installing and dismantling this 5000-nit LED signage display is simple and requires no additional tools. The two GSCA models each feature an IP65 front/rear rating and are available in 3.91mm and 4.63mm pixel pitches.

Another solid option for rental and staging professionals, the GSCC Essential Series is engineered for ease of assembly, quick maintenance and customisable screen ratios, and comes in a choice of 6.66mm, 8mm and 16mm pixel pitches. This series features the same simplified installation and dismantling mechanisms as the GSCA models. A separate power and control unit design allows for easy maintenance. The GSCC models feature IP65 front and IP54 rear ratings.

Rounding out these new outdoor models is the lightweight, 10.41mm pixel pitch, IP65 front and rear rated GSCD Ultra Light Series, giving installers and end users additional options when weight is a concern. The lightweight cabinet helps reduce the weight load when a large LED signage display is installed. The display’s power and control units can also be removed, making maintenance easy.

The new line displays have been designed for use at arenas, stadiums, retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools, transit centres, hotels and more. With standard pixel pitches ranging from 3.9mm to 16mm, the six models in the GSCA Versatile Series, GSCC Essential Series and GSCD Ultra Light Series are built for vibrant outdoor viewing with webOS control, remote diagnostics and failover protection. All three series have an optional 90-degree corner design feature that makes it possible to display virtually seamless content even when installed around corners.

The front and back of each series cabinet is IP rated for outdoor use, enabling stable operation resistant to weather and harmful outdoor environments. For ease of maintenance and serviceability, each series offers either front or rear access, so customers can choose installation options based on the application environment. They are also protected by failover technology that automatically rolls over to a 16GB internal memory, in the event of a media player failure. The failover alternative itself could be made up of individual files, a URL or even a separate media player being pulled from another port.


The Right Content Management Systems For Digital Signage

According to Digital Signage Today, the best way to deliver content is to use a content management system (CMS). While there are many options out there, there are two main features you need to look for to ensure a CMS will work well for your business.

A simple user interface (UI)

You might think you need a complicated system so you can deliver different types of content, analytics and other features. However, when it comes to the user interface, the simpler the better.

There are a few reasons why this is important. First of all, you need to be able to figure out how to use the CMS quickly, so you can get to pushing out content. Second, you need a system that is going to be easy to teach others how to use. Employees come and go and responsibilities change. You do not want to put someone new in charge and find out it will take at least two weeks to train them how to use it.

Now of course a simple UI does not mean that the CMS itself is simple. It can have complex features – users just need to be able to figure out how to use those features easily.

One CMS for your network

The second thing you need to look for is a CMS that can handle your entire network of displays. For example, you might have a variety of displays, ranging from simple LCD advertising displays to LED video walls and your CMS needs to be able to handle all of those.

Beyond the hardware itself, you will need a CMS to handle all of your individual content needs. For example, if some of your displays simply deliver weekly sales messages and others change content based on audience analytics, you want a CMS that is flexible enough to handle both of those. If you purchase multiple content management software solutions, it is going to have a major drain on your wallet.

Of course, there are other things to look for with a good CMS, such as a cloud option, support for various resolutions and more. This is just a good starting point for when you are searching for the right solution for your digital signage.

This article was sourced from Digital Signage Today.

Drytac Material Used For Window Graphics Project

Vancouver-based Premier Graphics used Drytac SpotOn White Matte to complete a window graphics job for plant-based vegan food business The Very Good Food Company.

Premier Graphics was approached by The Very Good Food Company and construction firm Pacific Solutions Contracting to produce window graphics to cover up building work taking place at a retail location in Mount Pleasant, a neighbourhood in Vancouver.

The project challenged Premier Graphics to create graphics that offered a high impact and high contrast design, but also allowed adequate ambient light to pass into the building to assist with ongoing construction work inside. The graphics also needed to cover window panels measuring 6.4m tall.

Premier Graphics selected Drytac SpotOn White Matte monomeric PVC film, a solution that is designed for short-term applications such as point of purchase retail signage. The film features a ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables easy bubble-free application on a wide variety of smooth interior surfaces, windows, glass and more.

‘As our vertical panels of material were so tall, having a material with minimal stretch and good adhesion during cold temperatures on our install day was crucial for a great final product with minimal seams,’ said Premier Graphics’ General Manager Taylor Sellinger. ‘The film met all the challenges we needed it to and our panel registration was completely accurate, even while working with such long individual panels.’

Drytac Material Used With Window Graphics Project

The graphics – which were printed using an HP Latex 365 device – will only remain in place for six months. As such, Sellinger said it was also important that the material could be easily removed without leaving any residue on the windows.

Drytac Material Used With Window Graphics Project

‘For the six months the graphics will be installed for, we are confident they will look great the entire time and remove completely trouble-free when that day comes. Our team of six full-time installers are ready to meet any challenge, but SpotOn makes those challenges so much easier to tackle.’


+27 10 020 9999

Show Print’s True Potential To Your Customers


According to Head of Marketing at Canon South Africa, Jimmy De Waal, while marketers are keen to capitalise on the cut-through value that printed communications bring to the table, they are looking for more guidance from their print service providers (PSPs). They want creative ideas that they have not considered, approaches targeted to their customers’ preferences and advice on how to deliver ROI.

Despite 46% of marketing budgets being dedicated to digital media, nearly 50% of brands are using print frequently in their campaigns, according to a Canon Europe Insight Report. With digital fatigue amongst consumers continuing to grow in light of recent global events, now is the time for print to step into the spotlight.

A clear opportunity exists for PSPs to build a more consultative relationship with their customers. By listening more closely to the needs of your print buyers, you can move beyond having a transactional conversation about the brief.

Marketers want your expertise; they are keen to be shown how to make the print elements of their campaigns more impactful and effective. By coaching your customers on how to achieve a better return on their print investment, you will cement the relationship and attract more repeat business. And by adding value that translates to better commercial outcomes for them, you have a chance to escape the commodity pricing trap and command higher margins.

Demonstrating print’s value

Today’s communication buyers want more innovative marketing strategies. They are looking for fresh ideas that will impact their target audience, while using a mix of technologies that seamlessly move consumers between online and offline worlds. But they openly admit to lacking some of the skills and resources they need to do this in-house.

This is where the opportunity for you lies – actively work with your customers to find the creative solutions they need and to support them with ideas on how to integrate print more effectively within their wider campaigns. It is time to be multi-channel. Help them to understand print’s role in the customer journey, demonstrating its place in the context of an omni-channel campaign and the value it can deliver against investment. Highlight the many touchpoints where different printed formats can complement their digital activity.

With creativity at the heart of marketing campaigns, print is just one way that brands can differentiate themselves from others. Show your customers how you can make their marketing stand-out by using a variety of textures and finishes – something digital media cannot offer. The door is wide open to offer imaginative print solutions to help them get noticed.

But what is even more important to your buyer is that you are accountable. Be ready to help your customer prove print’s ROI in commercial terms, linking it to their business goals. By shining a light on other integrated campaigns you have worked on, you will illustrate how you can easily help them connect print and digital media and enhance the customer journey.

Another way you can add value and maximise impact is to include the use of innovative digital technologies such as augmented reality (AR). Brands are forever on the look-out for new ways of using technology in their marketing campaigns in the hope of engaging prospects and driving them into a customer journey where they can be tracked and nurtured as a lead. You need to speak the same language as your customers, so it is worth investing time to really understand the touchpoints where print can act as a gateway to digital.

Build your knowledge of the devices – from QR codes to embedded codes linking to AR content – that can be incorporated into printed marketing assets to prompt customers towards mobile and online experiences. Over time, by growing your expertise in this area, you have the potential to add measurable creative and commercial value for your customers and change the dynamics of the relationship to one where you are a creative partner, not only a supplier.

Group Joos, a Canon customer in Belgium, has found just that. Business owner Alex Joos told Canon, ‘Over the last five years we have introduced the use of augmented reality with personalised print. The growth of this market is quite slow, however, offering these new technologies has changed the perception of us as a business. It shows that we can advise and think further than just print. This is where all PSPs need to be. They need to educate and show their customers print’s true potential.’

Seeing the value beyond print

Print is your bread and butter, so focus on the qualities it has that digital is often missing, like its visual, emotional and tactile impact. If brands want to make a statement or convey quality, then printed communication is the way to go. You need to be confident and champion its advantages.

It is clear that print buyers want you to be more consultative and proactive, asking questions to understand their brief. By becoming familiar with their commercial objectives, you will be able to see where you can offer added value services and solutions. So, get under the skin of their campaigns and seek to understand their wider marketing strategy and performance metrics. This proactivity will set you apart.

You want your customers to see you as a collaborative, trusted advisor and for them to approach you for ideas and information, not simply just bringing you orders. By getting in front of them and demonstrating your creative skills and ability to maximise campaign effectiveness, you have a chance to pull their focus away from digital media and back to print.

Adding unexpected value and stretching the boundaries of your customer conversations, you will set your business apart from the rest and keep the growth opportunities coming. Do not wait and become complacent. Now is the time to close the gap between what your customers want and what you deliver.

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