While unseasonably cool temperatures greeted me on my arrival to New Orleans for SGIA 2011, it certainly didn't slow me down when it came to the first day of the show.
A few notes from my meetings over the course of the day…
SGIA opened the first day of the Expo with a press breakfast and overview of the show. Michael Robertson reported that 36 percent of attendees registered for the show were first-timers. It makes me wonder
- what is different about New Orleans and SGIA this year to warrant such a high number of first-time registrants and
- what market segments these folks have come from.
I didn't get the chance to ask Michael, but it's on my list of questions I need to follow-up on with SGIA.
Dan Marx continued the morning with a show overview—450 exhibitors, 30 educational sessions, and 6 demo "no sales" educational zones—PDAA, Narrow-Format, Digital Apparel Production, Screenprint Apparel Production, Industrial and Printed Electronics, and Digital Signage. He also went into some of the results from the recent Market & Product Trends Survey. Top three markets: Retail Corporate branding Non-profits.
Top three applications
- Window Graphics
- POS/POP Signage
"SGIA is very optimistic about the show and the industry," said Marx during his remarks this morning. "This segment continues to grow and SGIA offers the widest view of the industry."
A New Take on Old Printers
One of the more interesting concepts I'd seen in a long while was the one offered by Printer Evolution. Former EFI VP of Sales Kevin Sykes mans the reigns as CEO and co-founder along with Mike Mills (another former EFI VP on the engineering side). Greg and Tara Lamb (Global Imaging) are on-board as equity partners—and provide exclusive distribution for new printers released by Novus Imaging (another new company co-founded by Sykes and Mills). With Printer Evolution, they are giving new life to old printers. With the Vutek 3360 as the base—for the frame—Printer Evolution provides a full field upgrade kit, changing over these older printers into something new with brand-new technology. The new Evo33 printers have completely upgraded electronics and motor control systems, along with new printheads and a "wrapped" or skinned printer which provides the final make-over for these older printer models. This model was originally conceived by the Lambs with the help of their other companies including Global Garage and Panoply Supplies.
Through Novus Imaging, two new printers are entering the market. The Synergia H/UV (in beta beginning 11/10/11 and shipping by the end of the year) is a UV printer priced at $525,000. The Synergia H/AQ (priced at $649,000) is a aqueous resin printer with a unique AquEpoxy ink. This binary epoxy ink is a two-part solution (colorant + reactant agent) that, once combined on the substrate, mixes to form an ink that is "glued" to the substrate. Both printers feature Spectra grayscale printheads, use Caldera RIPs, and are available through Global Imaging. An upgrade path is available for PSPs purchasing the Synergia H/UV to upgrade to the AQ model when it becomes available in 2012. The beta for this unit is set for January 2012.
Look for additional products in this line at ISA and a European introduction at drupa 2012.
During EFI's press conference, Scott Shinlever (Sr. VP/GM of EFI Inkjet Solutions) talked about how EFI was the "little big company" and how its GS series has matured over the years, aiding in the industry's move from screen to digital. New products on the show floor include: GS3250LX (hybrid printer), GS5000r (roll-to-roll 5m), GS3250r (featuring a "money mode" of more than 1,000 sqft), TX3250 (3.2 m direct-to-fabric or transfer paper textile printer), Rastek R3200 (a 3.2m eco-sol printer under $150k), and the Jetrion 4900 digital label printer (recently released at Label Expo).