InPrint Italy promises to be the keynote industrial printing event

Written by Colin Gillman on 27 October 2016.

Moulded Sign LUS 350 Ink 1 web resized

From 15 to 17 November InPrint Italy will bring to Milan the whole gamut of industrial printing, showcasing its three macro sectors: functional, decorative and packaging from across some 120 exhibitors. 

‘Functional’ printing is present in almost all objects in everyday use. Mobile phones, washing machines, dishwashers, cars, computers, smart technology and consumer electronics all employ industrial printing as part of their manufacturing processes. At InPrint Italy this sector is represented by companies such as the French firm Ceradrop, which designs and markets digital printers designed exclusively for the printed electronics industry and Smart 3D printing, and is able to offer new opportunities for feasibility studies and product launches. From the United States comes Engineered Printing Solutions, recently acquired by Xaar, specialising in industrial inkjet integration with a strong focus on direct to shape. And then there is the Italian company Seristampa, noted for printing logos and stickers for multinationals in the car and motorbike industry, as well as manufacturers specialising in household appliances, fashion, etc.  

Another leading sector is ‘decoration’. Industrial printing is very closely involved in the creation and decoration of flooring, textiles, wallpaper and even furniture. For flooring, for example, digital printing offers clear advantages over traditional printing: print can actually be applied to a substrate for application to the finished surface, vastly increasing the opportunities and encouraging ‘on demand’ production, without storage. This means that production itself becomes much more efficient, the products can be made to order and, last but not least, designers have more creative freedom. Take, for example, the applications that Canon is exhibiting at InPrint Italy for flooring, textiles, ceramics and cork. No less impressive are the textiles and leather exhibited by Agfa Graphics. Inca Digital will demonstrate its capabilities as a company specialising in the development of industrial inkjet technology solutions, while Heidelberg is bound to catch the eye with the launch of the Omnifire 1000a direct to shape industrial inkjet machine. Also worthy of attention is the Italian company Metis Systems, noted for its scanners used in artistic reproduction and which has recently achieved significant 3D printing innovations thanks to an agreement reached with Kuei, another exhibitor at InPrint Italy.

The third sector to benefit from industrial printing is packaging. Think about all the things we consume and the way they are packaged. How have they been packaged? What do the markets and retailers require for their packaging? What functionality should they have? As with the most recent media, packaging has an added value for the marketing and distribution process sectors. Intelligent packaging helps the market to sell more units. What does the packaging have to offer in terms of what we eat and drink? Innovative packaging increases sales. With the innovation of special inks for screen printing on luxury products and direct to shape technology, this sector is becoming increasingly interesting and positive for the industry. Among the exhibitors at InPrint Italy are at least three Italian companies that are leaders in decorative printing: Martinenghi, with its Michelangelo, the revolutionary digital printing press for hollow articles (tubes, cans, etc.); Sirpi, which for 50 years has been developing water and solvent-based and UV-curing applications for a wide variety of print media; and ThallosJet which specialises in research, production and marketing of printing products intended for industrial and biomedical applications.

Moulded Sign Before and After web resizedMimaki will be at InPrint showcasing its solutions for industrial print applications made possible by its innovative portfolio. Taking centre stage will be the new UV flatbed UJF-3042 MkII and UJF-6042 MkII printers that provide excellent ink adhesion to acrylics and many other materials, including glass, metal and resins. They are also ideal for producing membrane switches or wallet smartphone cases that must be pressed or folded. Also on show will be the company’s UJF-7151plus that will run thermoforming ink – a unique, stretchable ink suitable for a wide range of thermoforming applications, especially those requiring exceptional hardness and durability such as automotive parts. The ink is available in CMYK, white and a unique clear ink that can also add texture. A Formech 508FS vacuum forming machine on the stand that will also help visitors experience the entire thermoforming process.

What links these three segments is an increasing need to respond to changing demand from consumers. Manufacturers are requiring more innovative technology that enables flexible production, an ability to print short runs and a need for mass customisation. Digital inkjet production is responding to this demand and is positioning itself as a genuine new option. At InPrint Italy all this will be brought together in three days of exhibitions, seminars and discussions that are certain to inspire the manufacturing sector, thanks to the presence of innovative industrial printing technologies, products and services and the focus on the up-and-coming Italian market, recognised worldwide for printing on textiles, ceramics, wood, packaging and other manufacturing sectors.


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Anybody who has run a printing business for any time will at some stage ask themselves the question “How do I get more customers?” The trouble with this is it’s a perennial question that has no right or wrong answer. You could always start by learning to think differently and...

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