IPG attended the SGIA Expo last week for the first time to see what all the fuss was about. The specialty graphics show has been growing each year in popularity and size, as the demand for signage, vehicle wraps, printed textiles and garments has intensified. This year's show was packed with thousands of attendees (23,864 registered to attend). They roamed the aisles, attended the scores of educational sessions SGIA offered and networked with other specialty graphics professionals.
For those more familiar with Graph Expo, the SGIA show floor had a familiar look to it, though with a lot more equipment, it seemed. Massive grand-format printers, carousel-style screen presses, rows of automated embroidery machines stitching patterns, garment printers and many other devices, familiar and strange, filled the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. There were 545 exhibitors in all. (One big difference from Graph Expo: that gang of badge-scanning guards that blocks entry to the McCormick Place show floor was nowhere to be found in Atlanta; a woman in a chair casually glanced at badges as attendees filed in.)
All the familiar purveyors of wide-format printers were at SGIA—Agfa, EFI, Canon, Epson, Fujifilm, HP, Mimaki, Mutoh, Ricoh, Roland, Screen and Xerox—joined by countless less familiar companies. Most were debuting something new at the show. Demos of textile and fabric printing abounded, as did displays of imaging on more rigid substrates. Package prototyping was a common application on display. SGIA featured three special zones—a Textile Printing Zone, a Garment Zone and a Sustainability Zone—where visitors could browse displays of similar equipment and systems.
After a morning awards ceremony on the show's second day, keynote speaker Garrison Wynn offered some advice spiced with humor to attendees. People want to feel that they are being listened to and that their ideas matter, he noted. By doing this, you gain their trust and they will stay loyal to you, he said.
IPG will include details on some of the new wide-format systems that debuted at SGIA in our next issue. In the mean time, here are some of the winners of SGIA's Product of the Year competition:
- Digital Inks: Sawgrass SubliJet-HD Sublimation Inks for Virtuoso SG 800 Printers
- Finishing - Laminates, Adhesives, Films, Coatings: EFI Armor coatings
- Flatbed/hybrid (under $100K): Mutoh America ValueJet 1617H
- UV Flatbed ($100K-200K): Agfa Graphics Anapurna M2540i FB
- UV Flatbed ($200K-500K): Agfa Graphics :Jeti Mira
- UV Flatbed +White ($100K-200K): EFI H1625 LED
- UV Flatbed +White ($200K-500K): EFI VUTEk H2000 Pro
- Small Flatbed (Industrial/Small Item Decoration): Mimaki USA UJF7151plus
- Roll-to-Roll Solvent/Latex (under 80˝): Hewlett Packard HP Latex 370
- Roll-to-Roll Solvent/Latex (over 80˝): Mutoh America ValueJet 2638X
- Roll-to-Roll UV (under 80˝): Mimaki USA JV400SUV-160
- Roll-to-Roll UV (over 80˝): Durst Image Technology Rho 312R
- Roll-to-Roll Direct Disperse Ink on Textile: Durst Image Technology Rhotex 322
- Roll-to-Roll Dye Sublimation on Textile: EPSON America SureColor F9200
- Roll-to-Roll Dye Sublimation on Metal: Sawgrass Virtuoso VJ 628
- UV Hybrid/Flatbed High Volume Prod. Class: Agfa Graphics Jeti Tauro H2500