A noticeable aspect of this year’s FESPA is in the apparently high numbers of third-party ink manufacturers and suppliers that are exhibiting. Unlike shows of yesteryear where we seemed to be inundated with Chinese alternatives, many of these after-market products are relatively local with companies such as Sun Chemical, Triangle, Nazdar and Bordeaux among those offering formulations that are intended to lure users away from their OEM suppliers.
So today’s ink-jet technologies are far removed from those of yesteryear in terms of performance and reliability. Where once visitors to FESPA viewed most things digital with an air of scepticism, the reality now is that digital processes have matured to become part of most people’s everyday production capabilities.
In an ironic way, considering its screen process origins, FESPA has become custodian, nurturing and promoting the digital printing industry through its regular events. At the outset this was a brave step but, now, it is accepted as the norm. And, although the wow factor has gone from ink-jet processes and their related technologies, there is a still a strong draw from the graphic arts and industrial sectors to learn about new technologies.