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SGIA Expo 2014: Recap

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Asking questions, new directions for software, and the future of fabric printing.

This year’s thought-provoking SGIA show may have been held in a familiar venue – Vegas again, anyone? – but active buyers on the tradeshow floor and education sessions urging adoption of new sectors made for a productive show for attendees (and vendors, according to many of them), particularly those looking to branch out.

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New Inks from Bordeaux

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Plasma AR, AC, and Fuze Eco PR4 are new Mix & Match inks.

Bordeaux Digital Printink has added two UV-curable inks for the Fujifilm Acuity and Canon Océ Arizona printer: Plasma AC and Plasma AR. The new inks are part of Bordeaux’s Mix & Match concept, which allows for conversion from specified OEM inks to Bordeaux inks without the need to flush, replace parts, or perform new color profiles in most configurations. The new printer-specific UV ink, Plasma AC, is designed for greater adhesion, durability, and chemical resistance on sign, display, specialty, and industrial applications.

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Visual Magnetics Adds to Magnetic Receptive Print Media Line

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VM-PolyEight Plus, VM-PolyEdge, and VM-ChalkBoard Plus.

Visual Magnetics has added to its MagnaMedia line with three new options.

VM-PolyEight Plus is a 13-mil polyester film with a bright-white point, and is compatible with UV and latex printers.

The VM-PolyEdge line of value print media is compatible with UV, latex, and solvent printers, and features Micro-Iron technology that keeps the graphics surfaces clean with zero mark-off.

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Apply Yourself: Specialty Media Trend Watch

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Plus, Big Picture's 2014 specialty media sourcelist.

In the past six to 12 months, specialty media has been changing, from interest to options to applications.

“The introduction of technically advanced media that can be applied directly to difficult surfaces such as brick walls and other textured surfaces or that can perform in extreme conditions such as high heat,” says Micah Causey, vice president of business development at FloorSignage, when asked about the changes in this sector. “Additionally, the interest in environmentally safe material is increasing.

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An Audience of One

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The importance of being the company your customer knows and trusts.

“Ninety percent of my customers are family-owned businesses.” That’s what one supplier told me at Graph Expo 14, and I have to admit, I was surprised.

Family businesses face, well, let’s call them unique challenges: changing generational attitudes, a sense of responsibility that extends beyond the 8-5, and a personal-professional mix that can make it hard to leave work stress in the office.

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Picasso Meets Chicago

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One of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America’s top out-of-home projects.

“Picasso,” an Art Institute of Chicago advertising campaign, won a silver award in the Outdoor Advertising Association of America’s entertainment category. It was executed by creative agency Leo Burnett Chicago.

The OAAA’s 42 OBIE award winners represent a mix of client types, from the city of Denver to Hostess, but in nearly every category, there are DOOH options popping up everywhere. And, increasingly, these ads are part of a multi-platform campaign.

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Agfa’s Anapurna Line Grows

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M2500i model compatible with art reproduction, interior décor, ceramics, more.

Agfa has launched the Anapurna M2500i with an optional automated board feeder, which offers 6 ink colors plus white and is 98 in. wide. The company says the printer is designed to help PSPs expand their service offerings and can be used for anything from outdoor signage to niche applications, such as wood, ceramics, and architectural decoration.

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Durst Announces Rho 1312, Rhotex HS

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Wide-format printers offer faster print speeds, improved quality for soft signage applications.

Durst has added two wide-format printers to its product lines, including the 98-in. Rho 1312 and the 130-in. Rhotex HS. The Rho 1312, an expansion of the Rho 1300 line, features the company’s Quadro Array print heads, which apply 12-pL droplets and print up to 6600 sq. ft/hr. Designed for high reliability, smoother tones over large areas, and a high-gloss finish, the printer has a stronger vacuum and improved registration, the company reports.

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Graph Expo 14

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Short-run machines were all the buzz at the 2014 show in Chicago.

With printers and multi-function devices offering more and more flexibility in substrate choice, short-run machines were all the buzz at Graph Expo 14, as print shop managers and execs took to the floor to ask about warmup times, downtime when switching media, and service packages – a nice way of saying, “Who do I call when it breaks?” – to differentiate among manufacturers.

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Heavy-duty Roland UV Flatbed Launched

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Company announces printer for substrates up to 6-in. thick.

Roland DGA’s VersaUV LEJ-640FT has made its debut. The UV-LED flatbed is designed for product decoration and industrial applications, along with POP and signage products. It handles substrates up to 6 in. thick and 220 lbs. in weight, featuring white and clear-coat ink colors in addition to CMYK.

The LEJ-640FT has a 64 x 98-in. bed and includes Roland’s Automated Ink Circulation System to prevent unnecessary discharge and prevent pigment settling, the company reports.

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