Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 in Amsterdam – an overview

The inkjet, signage and textile show recovers despite notable absentees

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Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP
Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP

Held for the tenth time in Amsterdam, the Fespa Global Print Expo, together with the adjacent European Sign Expo, Personalisation Experience and the inaugural Sportswear Pro, has been slowly recovering from the dip following it (their) cancellation in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Estimated at around 12,000, visitor numbers remained below pre-pandemic levels, but the show represented a comprehensive range of equipment and consumables in the large format, signage, display, and textile segments. And despite the fact that the upcoming Drupa with its intention to show inkjet signage and textile printing inhibited some of the machine manufacturers – such as Durst, HP, Fujifilm, Canon, Thieme and several Asian companies from taking part.

Agfa launched three presses at the show, the Jeti Condor RTR5200-S, a 5.2 meter-wide roll-to-roll printer that can print at up to 672 square meters an hour, the Jeti Bronco H3300-S, a 3.3 meter-wide hybrid printer with speeds up to 248 square meters an hour, and the Anapurna Ciervo H3200, a 3.2 meter-wide hybrid printer with speeds of up to 209 square meters an hour. Agfa’s Jeti Condor appears to be an upgraded version of the EFI Vutek Q5r, following Agfa and EFI’s recent announcement of a strategic marketing agreement including the expansion of their respective portfolios and OEM agreements.

The Agfa booth also included a Jeti Tauro H3300 hybrid press with speeds of up to 905 square meters an hour and the flatbed Onset Grizzly X3-HS with speeds of up to 1,450 square meters an hour and multiple automation options. The latter was mounted with an impressive unloading robot, in action throughout the four days of the show.

The Bullmer stand at Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP
The Bullmer stand at Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP

EFI highlighted three significantly upgraded printers, the 3.2 meter-wide EFI Pro 33r, a roll-to-roll printer with Ricoh 5pL Gen-6 printheads, and the 3.3 meter-wide VUTEk Q3h X and Q3h XP hybrid presses based on Agfa’s Jeti Tauro 3300-HS with speeds of up to 905 square meters an hour. Another printer at the EFI booth was the 3.5 m-wide VUTEk Q3r roll-to-roll press with speeds of up to 558 square meters an hour. Demonstrations also took place on an EFI Reggiani ecoTERRA textile printer and an EFI Nozomi 14000 SD single-pass printer for corrugated sign and display/POS graphics.

Brother showcased a line of several GTX600SB garment printers, its latex printer WF1-L640, a GTXpro with camera system for garment printing, and a GTXDTFR2R roll-to-roll DTF printer. Brother also showed multiple desktop machines at its booth – the HAK-100 desktop hot foil printer, the PrintModa Studio fabric printer, the SP1 sublimation printer, a small Skitch PP1 embroidery machine, a ScaNCut cutting machine; and productivity improvement solutions centered around the Myze production management system for on-demand production – the PR1055X sewing and embroidery machine, the GTXproB garment printer, and a model of the fully automatic garment printing line 2000.

Korean DGI/d-gen had three presses on show, the 3.2 meter-wide Teleios Grande H12 with speeds of up to 132 square meters an hour, the 3.4 meter-wide Papyrus Grande K with speeds of up to 90 square meters an hour, and the 1.6 meter-wide Hercules II with speeds of up to 130 square meters an hour.

Epson introduced two new printers, the A4-size SC-V1000 flatbed printer for all kinds of substrates up to 7cm thick, and the entry-level SC-F1000 DTG printer for printing on fabrics. Other printers on the Epson stand were the DTG hybrid SC-F2200, the photo and fine-arts printer SC-P5300, and the SC-F100, F500 and F6400H dye-sublimation printers.

Mimaki came to Fespa with the 2.5 meter-wide JFX600-2531 flatbed printer with speeds of up to 200 square meters an hour, together with a new cutting table, the CFX-2531, part of the modular CFX series of cutters. Mimaki also showcased a high-speed upgrade to its Kebab system used on the manufacturer’s UJF series of flatbed printers for printing on cylindrical objects.

Mutoh showcased its XpertJet 1462UF flatbed press, which was previewed at last year’s Fespa Global Expo and which can print at up to 1,420×700 mm on substrates or objects up to 15 cm thick. The Mutoh stand also included the XpertJet 1641SR Pro and XpertJet 1682SR Pro sign and display printers.

Ricoh launched several new printers, the combined DTF and DTG printer Ri 1000 with speeds of up to 130 sheets 40×50 cm an hour, the DTG printer Ri4000 for polyester fabrics, the DTG printer Ri 1000X for cotton fabrics, and the TF6251 flatbed printer. Ricoh’s Pro Latex L5160e roll-to-roll extended-gamut printer was also at the booth.

Roland DG had a large booth at the show, showcasing the recently launched VersaOBJECT EU-1000MF flatbed printer, the VersaOBJECT MO-240 direct-to-object printer, the VersaSTUDIO BD-8 flatbed DTF printer, and the BN2-20 desktop eco-solvent printer/cutter, next to its proven TrueVIS VG3-640, LG-640, MG-300 and AP-640 as well as DG Dimense’s Dimensor S, a water-based printer for textured printing.

swissQprint focused its presentations on the 3.2 meter-wide Kudu flatbed printer capable of speeds of up to 304 square meters an hour, and the 3.4 meter-wide Karibu 2 roll-to-roll printer at speeds of up to 330 square meters an hour.

Next to the many wide-format output devices, the exhibits at the Fespa show increasingly include ancillary and OEM equipment, and first of all, feeding, cutting, and finishing equipment. Bullmer, Kongsberg, Sei Laser, Zünd and many others presented their latest cutting systems, with platform sizes of up to 3×5 meters. Among the software companies at this year’s event, Caldera, Corel Draw, Onyx, Optimus, and XMPie are noteworthy.

Some of the usual substrate manufacturers (Mitsubishi, Avery-Dennison, multiple Asian and Turkish companies) didn’t attend this time, but Ahlstrom, Felix Schoeller, Sappi, and UPM Raflatac reported presence, as well as many Chinese companies, particularly for sublimation blanks and the like. The ink manufacturers present this year included Agfa, Inx, Magenta Vision, Mutoh, Print-Rite, Sun Chemical, and a few Chinese and South Korean companies.

The Indian exhibitors

Indian exhibitors at the show, some of whom decided to attend at the last minute, totaled 11. These included, Aerolam Decoratives based in Ahmedabad showcased sign making tools, aluminium profiles, banners and display materials.

ColorJet from Noida, one of India’s top manufacturers of inkjet printers, focused its presentations at one of the show’s largest booths on its range of textile printers, in particular the launch of its 1800mm-wide Earth 32i. Equipped with 32 Konica Minolta print heads and running at up to 2500 linear meters per eight-hour shift, its post-print polymerization process at 160 degrees is to ensure optimal colour fastness. The company also claims that the water consumption of this machine has been reduced to one fifth as compared to comparable printers in the market.

Ex-Cel at Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP
Ex-Cel at Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam Photo IPP

Ex-Cel Plastics Limited, a subsidiary of Maharashtra-based Jain Irrigation operating from Ireland, showcased its complete range of PVC foam and solid sheets in 15 different colors for signage and display applications.

Global Nanotech from Ahmedabad had three categories of dye sublimation inks on show as well as a-wide range of water-based pigment dispersions for digital inks used in various applications such as flexible packaging and textile printing.

Shiva Texyarn from Bangalore came to the show with its Intensipix coated fabrics used for printable wallcoverings, canvases, and PVC-free eco-friendly banners used in digital printing, interior design, and outdoor advertising.

TechNova Imaging Systems based in Taloja/Maharashtra had a booth with its range of substrates including PVC-free print media.

Vama Prints from Mumbai had a booth presenting their heat transfer consumables for textile printing.

At the European Sign Expo section of the show, AriHant LED from Surat and Neenjas Technologies from Noida exhibited their respective LED modules, drivers and signage accessories. A Belgian signage manufacturer with operations in India, Cosign, showcased a panoply of Fingerpost directional signage as well as displays, poster frames, led modules and sign making tools. At the Personalisation Experience show, Cre8iveSkill from Nagpur presented its design and pattern making software and 3D scanning capabilities. Also present was Fespa Member Association SPAI, promoting its Screen Tex India Exhibition.

The Fespa show(s) numbers

Fespa Global Print Expo is the world’s largest exhibition for large format digital imaging and screen printing. Traditionally based on screen printing for industrial and outdoor applications, it rapidly adopted industrial-wide-format inkjet technologies for textile, outdoor, point-of-sale and other display purposes, and also covers a large range of pad printing, textile embroidery and signage technologies. It is organised by the federation of the same name, which includes close to 40 member associations. From 1963 to 2005, the main exhibition was held every two to four years at changing locations in Europe. As of 2005, it has become an annual four-day show, mostly in Germany or the Netherlands, with additional events in India and, since 2008, other global locations.

Ron Fespa table
Fespa’s flagship event before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 2006 and 2016, the main show was alternated several times by smaller Fespa Digital events attended by approximately half the number of exhibitors and visitors.
Source: Fespa. © IPPStar

This year’s show in March was covered by 576 exhibitors, including 115 at the European Sign Expo, 27 at the Personalisation Experience, and a mere 18 in the Sportswear Pro section. With 246 booths, Asian companies represented again the largest part, i.e., almost half of all exhibitors. Companies from mainland China and Hong Kong had taken 131 booths at the main show (i.e., 35% of the total 470), 61 at the Sign Expo (50% of the total 115), and 6 at Sportswear Pro (30% of the total 18). Companies from South Korea had 19 booths at the main show and 7 at Sign Expo, companies from India had 8 booths at Fespa Global, 2 at Sign Expo, and 1 at Personalisation Experience. Companies from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Pakistan occupied a total of 9 booths at the four sections of the show.

Fespa Global Print Expo will be back in Berlin from 6 to 9 May  2025, together with its European Sign Expo and Personalization Experience sections.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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