Gareth Ward is Ipex Future Innovations curator for Ipex 2014.
Ipex 2014 visitors will have the opportunity to view and learn more about printed products and technologies that are set for rapid expansion over the next few years. Covering photo products, digital print on packaging, 3D printing and printable electronics, the Future Innovations zones on the show floor will showcase examples of these products, as well as the technologies and relevant suppliers that will help print service providers expand into these areas.
The whole production chain – from websites to printing technologies, binding and dispatch – will be represented in the Photo Products Zone. Printers will also be shown how they can maximise profit margins by easily setting-up websites for consumers to upload pictures for photo albums, calendars and other personalised products.
In the Digital Print on Packaging Zone, visitors will learn about the range of opportunities that lies in this emerging market, which is often compared to where photobooks were a decade ago, while the 3D Printing Zone will address a technology that is both fascinating in itself and staggering in its potential. As a completely new field for print, it will focus on applications that printers can exploit for themselves and their customers.
Visitors to the Printable Electronics Zone will see examples of products that can be created using different printing techniques, including litho, flexo, gravure or inkjet. As many of the opportunities with printed electronics have now moved from lab testing to proof-of-concept production, this zone offers the ideal opportunity for printers to explore how they can get involved to deliver the high volumes of printed electronics the industry will require.
Gareth Ward, Ipex Future Innovations curator, comments: “These emerging technologies and processes offer a wealth of new and exciting opportunities – print service providers should definitely plan to spend time in the four zones during their time at the show, while it will also provide excellent insight for the marketing service community to understand the growing areas of applications that add value to the marketing mix. Ipex 2014 is the ideal event to investigate how the print industry will be influenced over the next few years, and to meet with relevant suppliers to ensure they’re fully up-to-date when looking at the future strategic direction of their businesses.”