Neschen Announces Eco-Friendly Point Of Sale PP Film

Neschen increasingly focuses on green product alternatives. Its new eco-friendly PP film features exceptionally easy application. The innovative dot adhesive allows a bubble-free application, even for untrained individuals, and residue-free removal – ideal for short-term promotional campaigns at the point of sale. 

With the new UVprint PP easy dot® matt, customers benefit from a polypropylene film with a very homogeneous surface. The more rigid PP polymer enables using ten percent less material, thus reducing waste. Besides being an eco-friendlier choice, Neschen’s portfolio addition has virtually no shrinkage. The special feature of easy dot® films is their extremely easy handling.

The new film offers photorealistic printing results and is optimised for UV-curable inks. The water-based adhesive and the PVC-free substrate make the new easy dot® an environmentally friendly product. It is available in sizes of 50m x 137.2cm and 50m x 160cm.


Sharp NEC Announce Large Format Digital Signage Displays

One key feature of the new large format MultiSync® ME Series digital signage displays is the option to mount the display in either landscape or portrait orientation. This allows for flexibility to display content in different ways, depending on the wall space or needs of the customer.

These standalone displays provide corporate, education and retail environments with a powerful digital signage solution, offering customers the technology they need to display clear and vivid UHD content. The ME Series products focus on maintaining proven NEC quality while also providing a cost-conscious digital signage display integrated with the latest standards.

These displays were also built for extended 18/7 operations and contain a full scheduler that allows for programmable daily on/off times if necessary. On top of this, the ME Series was built with external control capabilities in mind by allowing full control options via both the LAN and RS232 interfaces. This allows for full compatibility with NEC NaViSet Administrator 2 software as well as other third-party control systems.

‘Recognising that the market is evolving and display needs are changing, we realigned our mainstream product category to meet those dynamic requests,’ said Ben Hardy, Senior Product Manager for Large Format Displays for Sharp NEC Display Solutions. ‘Building this new series with the expected quality and modularity of NEC products in mind, we are thrilled to provide our customers with the high-quality, competitive and trustworthy display solutions they have come to expect. We are eager to continue offering products that fit their specific needs while maintaining our unparalleled support.’

Part of this evolution for NEC includes increasing the modular capabilities of the product line by offering the ability to enhance its displays through multiple integrated professional technologies. All MultiSync ME Series displays accept the Intel® Smart Display Module small or large through a clever mechanical and electrical design for sleek all-in-one intelligence and interoperability in a small form factor setting.

This allows for seamless implementation of Intel processor-based PCs and other peripheral devices without having to deal with the hassles of mounting external devices or running video or audio cabling. On top of this, the ME Series expands on the success of earlier display lineups by allowing for the optional implementation of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 directly into each display (available Q2 2021). The greatly outperforms previous versions by offering gigabyte network speeds, faster CPU processing and true UHD/4K support.


Video: Laser Engraving And Cutting Coasters

In this Sign Africa Live video, Trotec Laser South Africa demonstrate how to create coasters using different materials, through laser engraving and cutting.

The materials that can be used include acrylic, wood and cork, and the settings in the machine vary according to which material is being engraved and cut. Health and safety tips must be observed too, such as ensuring clean equipment, good extraction and the right choice of materials.

(+27) (0) 87 550 6300

Durst Announces Printing Workflow Software Partnership

The partnership between Durst and PrintFactory delivers a tight integration between the printing workflow products. This means more customers can choose Durst printers to work alongside their existing devices – there is no need to manage print jobs via different systems.

The Durst software ECO system ditigises the e-commerce, prepress and print process. All products offer a browser-based interface for maximum flexibility and an interface to share data with other software solutions. Durst will now be using the PrintFactory API to provide customers in mixed print environments with superior workflow software.

With the Pixel to Output strategy, Durst expanded its offer with software solutions for printers to deliver complete solutions from Pixel to Output. PrintFactory’s colour management technology and high-speed, XML-centric RIP will be pivotal in ensuring an even wider audience can take advantage of those Durst characteristics.

PrintFactory’s RIP-based software connects multi-manufacturer environments seamlessly. The suite of workflow software supports over 2000 printers and cutters, and delivers an Editor, Calibrator, and premium Layout tool alongside the API-integrated RIP.

Erik Strik, CEO of Aurelon (the team behind PrintFactory) said, ‘This is a great partnership for us as it confirms our focus on colour quality is the right direction. With PrintFactory’s VISU colour engine as a part of the workflow, Durst operators can be confident of not only reducing the time spent achieving colour consistency, but also in reducing ink and media costs.’

Michael Deflorian, Business Development Manager Durst Professional Services, said, ‘We have been looking for workflow-based software that has a robust, scalable API and allows Durst Workflow users to drive printers of other manufacturers with the same software. It is not just about having a smooth workflow, it is about finding affordable software and hardware that can support a growing business. Our customers choose Durst for the long term. Software that we recommend has to deliver on a promise of quality and reliability, and PrintFactory meets that criteria.’

PrintFactory software delivers on increased productivity, guarantees lower ink costs with no detriment to print quality, improves margins thanks to reduced waste media, and ensures consistent colour, time after time. The company’s partnerships with device manufacturers bodes well for not only standard markets, but also for industrial scale operations.


Metamark Vinyl Enhances Gym With Colourful Mural

Metamark’s material was used for a gym mural, applied by UK-based The Print Town. The Print Town printed the detailed design on Metamark MD5-H vinyl, choosing the gloss variant for the ‘pop’ it lent to the mural’s carefully managed colours. It is laminated with a protective layer of Metamark MG700 in matte to tame the reflections in the well lit environment.

Under the mural is an OSB clad wall. The surface of the OSB wall was prepared for the high-tack vinyl decor it would receive with Metamark Silver Bullet, an easily applied and environmentally responsible coating that transforms viable surfaces to enhance the adhesion levels the applied graphics can achieve.

The new gym has boxing rings and all the attendant hardware that top fighters need to do their work and, thanks to the creative efforts of Sean Mortlock and his team at The Print Town, the facility has a great ambient atmosphere too. The Print Town has transformed the gym’s cavernous interior with a landmark-scaled boxing-themed mural.

The Print Town has been around since about 2013 and relatively recently crossed the line into providing wide format print. Before that, Mortlock got ink under his nails in the world of commercial offset print and so he knows a thing or two about colour and how it works.

The mural was designed in house at The Print Town and features an amazing array of boxing news from the current and past era. Seen from a distance it is a busy and very colourful collage of bewildering detail. Looked at more closely it gives up a great deal more detail thank to Mortlock’s printing expertise.


Stratasys Upgrades Printer For 3D Printed Bone Models

Despite the high demand for bone models, traditional model options have serious shortcomings. The medical industry has traditionally used human bone from cadavers, or legacy 3D printing solutions, all of which have proven inadequate. Stratasys Ltd. has enhanced its J750 Digital Anatomy 3D printer with advanced bone capabilities that do not just look real but are actually biomechanically realistic, backed by clinical research.

Human bone is expensive, difficult to obtain, and hard to acquire with the precise pathology characteristics needed, such as with tumours or reflecting different ages. Off-the-shelf manufactured bone models also lack those patient-specific characteristics, and other traditional 3D printing solutions are biomechanically unrealistic. In contrast, whether inserting a screw or drilling or sawing a bone, medical professionals can expect haptic feedback from Digital Anatomy models that is very realistic, and each model can be created from an actual patient scan.

The printer’s software upgrade enables the systems to mimic porous bone structures, fibrotic tissue and ligaments so medical professionals can create models that behave just like human bone. The Digital Anatomy printer was first introduced a year ago, with an initial focus on mimicking soft cardiology tissues, such as hearts and blood vessels, using powerful Digital Anatomy software and materials like GelMatrix™ and TissueMatrix™.

The technology has helped healthcare providers improve surgical preparedness and medical device makers to conduct testing and train medical professionals on new devices. BoneMatrix™ material with the enhanced software capabilities extends those benefits to orthopaedic applications.

‘We believe that better preparation leads to better clinical outcomes,’ said Vice President Osnat Philipp, who leads the global healthcare team at Stratasys. ‘The mechanical properties of bone are so fundamental to the ability of our skeletons to support movement, provide protection for our vital organs and ultimately affect our quality of life. Being able to 3D print models that are biomechanically accurate and unique to each patient is critical to that preparation.’

3D-printed skull and spine models for physician training workshops allow doctors to practice cutting and drilling bones, said a medical director at a children’s hospital in Florida. Her focus has been on using state-of-the-art simulation to transform pediatric training and education. ‘The opportunities seem endless to me because doctors can ‘operate before they operate,’ she said. ‘It’s going to decrease surgical time, it’s going to decrease morbidity and mortality, and help us decrease anesthesia time, which is better for brain development.’

While the 3D printer itself is cutting-edge technology, it’s the Digital Anatomy software that unlocks its power. More than 100 sophisticated presets have been developed and refined through years of expert testing, in partnership with top academic medical centres and hospitals around the world. For example, intervertebral discs can be printed normal or degenerated. The joints between vertebrae can be printed in varying degrees of stiffness. The denser structure of skull bone is differentiated from general bones. Long bones can be printed with varying amounts of marrow. Different combinations of materials are produced at a 3D voxel level to ensure the right biomechanical properties.

Researchers at the Computational Mechanics and Experimental Biomechanics Lab at Tel Aviv University conducted a clinical evaluation of the characteristics of bone models that were 3D printed on the Digital Anatomy system, specifically focusing on how accurately they replicated screw pull-out force and driving torque using cortical and cancellous screws. The 2020 study concluded that orthopaedic screws pull-out force in the 3D printed models had a similar haptic response to human cadaver bone.

A second study conducted this year by researchers at the Technion Institute of Technology’s Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory in Israel demonstrated the mechanical accuracy of 3D printed spine models compared to cadaver spines. The study was able to demonstrate that the 3D printed models of lumbar vertebrae accurately represented the range of motion compared to published literature on human spines.


Folex Optimises Film With UV Protection

Folex has announced that its films for demanding surfaces now include UV-protection. In addition to outstanding functionality, optical quality and mechanical resistance, the film now also exhibits high UV stability. The film can be used for industrial signage and more. 

The product’s high transparency enhances the appearance of printing inks. With GO-HC NQ (new quality) Folex has optimised the tried and tested, clear scratch-resistant polyester film GO-HC with a UV protection already proven with other films. The film can also be used for input systems, labels and other demanding surfaces.

The fact that important information can be printed on the reverse side of the film and the front is scratch-resistant not only raises the reliability of the end product but also increases its service life.

Warning/hazard notices, e.g. on signs, remain legible longer with this type of printing than if the sign is printed on the front. This great scratch protection is achieved by means of front coating with a specially developed hard-coat. Thanks to its high chemical resistance, the scratch-resistant polyester film is a real alternative to window printing.

Due to the homogeneously closed surface, the product is also very easy to clean and disinfect. It is thus a popular item for applications in the medical field. In addition to all these interesting properties, the GO-HC NQ is made with a UL-certified base film.


Scratch-resistance: the hardness of this product is 3H. The product can be used indoors and outdoors.

Printinability: the rear side of the film has a clear coating for ink adhesion to ensure permanent printing with conventional and UV curing screen printing inks. Folex have also had good experience with digital printing with many digital printing systems.

Suitability for textured printing: the scratch-resistant side of the film can be textured, which is excellent for enhancing the aesthetic appearance of product designs. This can be done by applying various structure lacquers by screen printing. The lacquers are cured with UV light. Folex has already obtained very good results in tests of various lacquers

Chemical resistance: Folex obtained outstanding results in tests exposing GO-HC NQ to chemicals and foods. Tested under conditions, reference DIN 42115 revealed no noticeable changes to the surface, i.e. no haze, layer separation or similar.

Processing tolerance: die-cutting, embossing, laser cutting and gluing.


Vehicle Wrap Of The Week: Speed Graphics

Sign Africa takes a weekly look at some of the most unique wraps. This week’s vehicle wrap features a Volkswagen Caravelle wrapped in Hexis Pearl Grey gloss vinyl (7-10 year).

The vehicle before it was wrapped.

Wrap Of The Week - Speed Graphics

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

+27 (0) 73 737 8160/+27 (0) 64 809 0202

Ikonos Announces Large Format Printing Papers


Constellation 700 is the new blueback type for additional printing methods. Printable with eco solvent, Latex and UV curable inks, the blueback also characterises optimal opacity and is designed to withstand all the processes demanded from large format outdoor adverts.

Constellation 415 is the first whiteback in the Constellation family. Suitable for solvent, Latex and UV curable printing methods, the paper weights 150g and has very good physical properties.

Ikonos is in the process of switching the production towards eco-friendly products. The new Constellation blueback and whiteback papers are the expression of this policy.

The general effort is to replace PVC plastics with PP, PE or PET foil, wherever it is possible and justified. The production of the company’s papers follows the strictest practices set by the EU. The materials are recyclable and biodegradable. They also are 100% vinyl-free.


Vpress Announces Web To Print Engine

Vpress has now revealed its new Dynamic Editor 4.0 web to print engine, which enables customers to enhance their value delivery, reduce unnecessary support hours spent on each account, and thus increasing their profitability.

‘This Web to Print engine is fully integrated with the Coreprint Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, and its powerful user interface has been designed to ensure you can empower your customers creatively, without the need for extensive training and set-up,’ said James Hall, Technical Director of Vpress. He added, ‘More important than that, its intuitive and adaptive features significantly reduce the time you will need to spend supporting customers on the phone and through email.’

Issues with artwork resolution, poor design and misuse of brand guidelines all require teams team to intervene and perform multiple manual tasks to set it right – reducing productivity and efficiency to keep the customer happy. Dynamic Editor 4.0 addresses this.

Craig Smith, Global Product Manager at Vpress, explained, ‘Dynamic Editor 4.0 delivers unparalleled levels of performance and creativity for the user, whilst conforming to a definable brand control framework. Built from the ground up using the latest technologies, it is mobile responsive, available across multiple devices and browsers and ensures availability anytime and anywhere.’

Smith explained some of the key features of the platform and how it can add immense value to the service businesses offer customers, ‘The experience of using it is live, dynamic and efficient, improving the overall appearance of the design work, but without compromising on product quality or brand integrity. Templates can be put together very quickly and easily, enabling the user’s creative control to be completely configured as part of a simple set-up.

‘As with the text, users can select from a set of curated approved image content and use the intuitive tools to make changes quickly and easily. This is critical, as it means even users with little or no design experience within a wider team can crop and realign images or change opacity levels — all while being kept within the safe guard rails of the templates’ brand guidelines and the appropriate level of creative freedom they have been given access to.’

As Smith pointed out, the feedback from Vpress focus groups was overwhelmingly positive about being able to make a change to artwork live and see it take effect instantly, while knowing that images, text and colour can all be adjusted without fear of causing an issue.

For those buyers who are new to this technology, they can complete the personalisation of a product via a ‘guided pathway’, where the software steps through every stage with the inexperienced buyer so they can be confident they have not missed any areas of the template. For those buyers who are experienced or have used the dynamic template before, they can switch to Advanced Mode, with a minimal user interface, and select any object on any page at will to make their required changes.

‘Whilst delivering unrivalled controlled personalisation opportunities and brand management capabilities, it is still an easy to use and intuitive process for the print buyer,’ said Smith. ‘The buyer can edit proofs live within their browsers, whilst allowing brands to protect specific aspects of the proof without hampering their creativity.’

While any dynamic template can be opened up to become a non-restrictive creative tool where desired, Dynamic Editor 4.0 gives brands much greater control over the content produced without impacting the fully immersive design environment.

Once the initial template is created, the system guides the user seamlessly through the steps needed to adapt and update artwork, keeping its brand colours spot on, logos and graphics in the right proportions, and all the while ensuring that which is dispatched to the printing press will render perfectly.

Hall expands on why this new release is such a powerful new tool for its customers, ‘Ultimately Dynamic Editor 4.0, in conjunction with Coreprint Web to Print software, reduces the time spent on manual touchpoints between you and the client. It also enhances the productivity of your client, creating an immense value add for your relationship. This is partly because their less-experienced team members can now be actioned to make basic updates to artwork and dispatch them without any worries they will make an error.’

‘The easier you make it for the customer to specify and send the print file to you, the more they are going to order from you. And by reducing manual interventions, you are increasing your profitability per client.’

The tools within Dynamic Editor 4.0 can be tightly controlled, ensuring that the content is moved only within set parameters, as defined by the brand guidelines. For instance, a logo could be fixed in the top right-hand corner, while an image could be resized and moved horizontally across the bottom of the user interface or text could be moved up and down the left-hand border.

Text size can also be predetermined, completely controlled by the user, or even automatically resized to fit the defined area. Fixed content can also be defined via dropdowns and date pickers to ensure correct values and formatting are adhered to.

Smith concluded, ‘Being housed within the Coreprint technology platform, Dynamic Editor 4.0 is also fully integrated with any Management Information System (MIS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), procurement or prepress workflow.

‘Dynamic Editor 4.0 is simply an immensely valuable addition to the Coreprint standard editor, allowing users to edit within the proof and make endless changes without the need to refresh the page after each field is edited and completed, saving a significant amount of time and effort for all involved. This tool ensures that brands are able to protect certain aspects of the design while still allowing users to be as creative as they want to be.’

Jean Lloyd Consulting
+27 (0) 82 315 3850

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