By Digital Output Staff
Been to Vegas lately? If you have, there is a good chance it was to walk the floor or better yet purchase some of the newest products on display at the 2014 SGIA Expo. Held from October 22 to 24, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the show broke records on opening day—with over 22,000 registered attendees and 541 exhibitors flooding the hall, according to reports from SGIA.
Digital Output can attest to the masses of people who attended. It was close to impossible to squeeze through the packed aisles throughout the first day. Many a visitor was stopped and focused with rapt attention on whatever product was in front of them, whether it be some of the newest substrates—in the process of being wrapped on a car, draped and tucked over a display system, or coming off a printer; hardware of all sizes running roll to roll or board to board, many of which were operating with automated handling features; or software—from workflow to RIPs and even digital signage.
Various zones were placed throughout the exhibit center. Of note is the homage to fabric, as two sections were specifically devoted to this substrate.
The Digital Textile Printing Zone
The Digital Textile Printing Zone played home to the entire textile print process from the fabric itself to print, transfer, cut, sew, weld, and accessories. Tips and tricks for the many environments digitally printed textiles are found in—fashion apparel, interior décor, signage—were scattered throughout the zone. Speakers held sessions daily on topics including dye-sublimation (dye-sub) print techniques, performance fabrics, sustainability, and fabric treatments.
Matic held court in the Digital Textile Printing Zone while demonstrating its newest piece of equipment, the Helios laser cutting machine, which is distributed by Media One Digital Imaging Solutions, LLC. A projection system ensures correct measurements every time.
Fabric suppliers, whose products were not only shown being printed and finished in the area, were also showcased in applications throughout the zone and the entire expo floor. Aberdeen Fabrics, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Beaver Paper & Graphic Media, Fisher Textiles, Pacific Coast Fabrics, Top Value Fabrics, and Verseidag seemee all exhibited the breadth of their textile portfolios.
The Garment Zone
The Garment Zone also showcased the possibilities of fabric, while not as expansive as say a large backdrop or a run of fabric used in apparel, the intuitiveness of the collective partners located in this section shined through.
PrintForm, partnering with Mimaki USA, Inc. and Rickshaw Bagworks, promoted its user-friendly Web to print system. Attendees were invited to upload images onto a predefined template to create a customized tote bag.
Digital Output captured the entire process from design to creation in real time. A graphic of our choosing—an image of a special superhero—was placed in a template, the file RIPped, and then sent to a Mimaki TS500-1800 dye-sub transfer printer. The paper was then transferred onto a Fisher Textiles fabric using a Practix Manufacturing transfer press distributed by Axiom America. Using a laser cutter the outline of the tote was detached from the excess fabric in no time at all. The last step involved industrial Juki sewing machines to piece the bag together.
The result is a finished, one-of-a-kind tote helping raise awareness for Menkes Syndrome, which is a rare disorder. You can learn more at superteddyfish.com.
Accolades were found near and far at the show, for example many an exhibitor displayed signs announcing Digital Output Readers’ Choice Top 50 awards in their booth. In addition, the coveted SGIA Product of the Year competition concluded with the announcement of the winners.
The consumables side includes Prism Inks in the Digital Inks category for its MAP (Metal and Plastic) Inkjet Ink.
In the Media – Vinyl and Media – Non-PVC (Non-woven) categories AlumiGraphics, a division of Floor Signage LLC took home top prize for its AlumiGraphics Smooth.
Visual Magnetics won in the Media – Films category for its new VM-CHALKboard PLUS. In the Media –Vinyl (Pressure sensitive) category Dreamscape was honored for its Brilliant Self-Adhesive.
Addressing the popularity of textiles, the Media – Textile category was a competitive group, with Heytex coming out on top with its digitex decoflex product.
First-time exhibitor, New Hampshire Plastics, won in the Media – Rigid category for its eco-HIPs product.
In the Finishing – Laminates, Adhesives, Films, Coatings category Marabu North America was honored for its Marashield UV-Curable Coatings.
Looking to hardware, Safety Speed Manufacturing won the Finishing – Equipment category for its SSC 165H Panel Saw & Dust Free Cutter.
Roll-to-roll (R2R) printers—under 96 inches—were broken into two groups, aqueous and UV, with Epson and Mimaki winning for their SureColor T7270 and JV400SUV-160 printers, respectively.
R2R printers over 96 inches were divided between solvent/latex and UV categories. Mutoh America, Inc. won in the solvent/latex category for its ValueJet 2638 printer and CET Color in the UV space for its Q5-1000h.
For flatbeds, in under $200K, Canon Solutions America (CSA) won in the UV Flatbed and UV Flatbed + White categories for the Océ Arizona 318 GL and Océ Arizona 318 GL with White Ink Option, respectively.
Over $200K, CSA won again for its Océ Arizona 6170 XTS in the UV Flatbed + White group. For the over $200K UV Flatbed category, Agfa Graphics was honored for its Jeti Titan HS.
A Love Letter Indeed
Debating on whether there was an overarching theme to the 2014 SGIA Expo, we decided it could be summed up in one word—busy. Vendors certainly kept themselves and attendees active with the introduction of new products and services, partnership announcements, and the continuation of digital into new, impressionable markets.
Wide format digital print is used for more than signage. As the association who put on the trade show can agree—with the SG in SGIA standing for specialty graphics—it knew a long time ago the effect digital print would have on various verticals. Digital Output is excited to continue to report on these advancements in the coming months. We will see you next year as the trade show moves to Atlanta, GA from November 4 to 6, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Dec2014, Digital Output