More UV-cured printers than all other expos outside China put together.

Updated March 11, Feb 24, Feb 19, Feb 4, Jan 28. First posted Jan 22, 2015

Yesterday (March 10) was still set-up day, so most printers were still wrapped in shipping crates. But two of our team made a preliminary count of how many brands of UV-cured printers are here (total FLAAR team at APPPEXPO is six).

We counted over 90 potential booths with UV-cured printers. It will take two more days to check every booth, to see which models have UV-curing lamps). There may be 94 brands or more.

There were over 50 brands at D-PES 2015 (last week in Guangzhou).

If you count every printer expo in Europe, North America, Latin America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, we estimate that here are more brands at APPPEXPO than the brands at every one of these other expos put together.

Several clients have asked for a complete tabulation: every model, which printhead brand, LED or mercury arc, so over the next four days we will gather this information.

We will then tabulate which brands are new, which brands are absent, what is the percent of LED vs mercury arc, which printhead brands are hardly used any more, etc. You can write FrontDesk "at" to be invoiced to receive this information on TRENDs.

We are also tabulating every brand of solvent printer (here and comparing with other expos). Plus we make a list of every textile printer, what kinds of inks, as well as T-shirt printers (and what printhead is in each, or if textile, which are toner printers).

Also we list every single media and substrates company, which is thick and rigid, which is for 3D signage, etc.

As a result distributors and manufacturers have either pre-ordered our reports, or have scheduled meetings with our teams so the distributors (and manufacturers) can receive the data in real-time, in-person, here at the expo. Ink manufacturers in particular need the level of documentation that we provide.

New Technologies in Wide Format Printing

Posted Feb. 4, 2015

This lecture by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, at GOA in Miami (Friday, Feb. 27, 2pm) will primarily be on new trends in wide-format inkjet printing. This presentation will cover inks, media, substrates, textile printers, UV-cured, latex, SUV, Memjet, based on Dr Nicholas's 15 years in the industry.

SGI, known also as Sign Middle East, first printer expo for 2015

Updated Jan 16th, Jan. 2nd and again Jan 9th, 2015, first posted Dec. 11, 2014

Three of us from FLAAR were in Dubai to attend SGI 2015. Dr Nicholas then stayed two additional days to see more of the UAE and to take more photographs of Dubai to update our "lots of reasons to visit Dubai" (FLAAR Report) for 2016.

The expo was well attended all three days 11-13 January 2015.

SGI printer and signage trade show is organized by IEC; to learn how to attend for 2016, go to

You can visit our page about what we have seen on their expo in previous years.

Dr Nicholas and his team look forward to seeing you in Dubai for SGI 2016.

María Renée Ayau, FLAAR Reports, Technical Writer on Textile inks and DX Printers.
FLAAR Reports staff at SGI Dubai 2015.


More reviews of textile printer workflow for 2015

Posted Jan. 2, 2015

Lots of companies are asking FLAAR for help with printers for textiles and interior décor (wallpaper), so we are expanding our coverage.

We will also be adding pages on additional kinds of textile inks, including for silk. So lots of new pages for 2015, specifically reviews on aspects of printing more important than the printer itself: it is the ink and the media which are crucial to learn about.

Rumors of new budget-price printhead to replace Epson brand

Posted Oct 29, 2014

90% of Chinese printers use Epson printheads. A year or so ago Epson tried to make their heads nearly unavailable for after-market printer brands. This policy did not win many popularity awards around the world.

So clearly it would be very beneficial to the entire industry, to printer factories and to end-users (print shop owners and managers) if another brand of printheads could offer a printhead more reliable than Epson (meaning less clogged nozzles), and requiring less purging (purging helps you to spend lots of expensive Epson ink).

Two brands are now using Panasonic printheads but these are not well known and thus their performance can't be documented by FLAAR (we can only evaluate a printhead if we are at a demo room, at the factory, etc).

We hope to see such a replacement printhead by Spring 2014. We hope Panasonic does well but the new printhead is a different brand.

Advances in printheads and advances in ink chemistry are the two most important factors in the world of wide-format inkjet printing, so we at FLAAR Reports keep track of what is going on around the world. Dr Nicholas has been on airplanes probably over 200,000 km this year alone, to learn about what advances will provide more options for everyone.

We also learn which brands are, unfortunately, losing traction. It may be tough to obtain spare parts if a factory is no longer fully staffed or is no longer operating full time.

Glasstec 2014, in Duesseldorf, Germany, leading world expo for glass

Posted Oct. 16, 2014

Dr Nicholas flew to Glasstec 2014 in Germany this past october. In past years, Glasstec 2010 and Glasstec 2012 had many booths lots and lots of printers for glass, both in-line and wide-format. So naturally we expected lots of printer brands at Glasstec 2014.

Lots of printing company owners and also glass factories, who read FLAAR Reports, ask us for assistance printing on glass. Magazines also ask Dr Nicholas for articles about printing on glass. There is no expo in USA as good as Glasstec in Germany. And the last glass expo in Beijing was a disorganized disappointment.

Our primary interest is writing about the special inks, primers, and printers which are focused on glass. This is because glass is easy to print out, but very difficult to have the ink adhere.

SGIA 2014 opened last October in Las Vegas

Posted Oct 15, 2014

Four of us from FLAAR Reports assisted SGIA 2014. This is one of the few printer and signage expos which has survived (without dropping down in size). SGIA appears to be very healthy.

So far, in addition to SGIA, the only printer expo in the world which is really growing is FESPA in EU and APPPEXPO in Shanghai (APPPEXPO 2015, in March 2015, will possibly be larger than every printer expo in EU and USA all put together!).

Photokina, the largest digital photo equipment expo in the world

Posted Oct. 6, 2014

We flew from Sign Istanbul direct to Cologne, Germany to attend Photokina. Held every two years this is larger than all other photography expos in the world put together.

Although every year noticeably smaller, the crowds this year were enormous, so many people that often we had to find a back entrance to get in.

Three of us attended Photokina since FLAAR is focused on digital photography since the 1990's, and we were a photography research institute already back in 1969!

Eight years ago lots of wide-format printers: even Durst. Nowadays almost no wide-format printer booths are large except for Epson (they had the largest inkjet printer booth at the entire expo).

But several booths of wide-format media (about a dozen; but if you go to APPPEXPO in Shanghai in March 2015 you will find over 150 brands of wide-format inkjet media; actually at the 2014 APPPEXPO we found 171 booths for printable substrates and materials).

FLAAR will be issuing several reports on Photokina and adding a lot of pages to our later in October.

If you like photography, especially of tropical flowers, you will enjoy our

Already planning for printer expos in early 2015

Posted Oct. 6, 2014

Dr Nicholas will be giving lectures in Spanish at Graphics of the Americas in Miami.

Plus he will give other topics in English at GOA.

Here is a free download listing the topics in Spanish.

Sign Istanbul, 16th year, great place for international attendance

Updated Sept. 10, 2014
Posted Aug. 12, 2014

Sign Istanbul 2014-preview-based-on-2013 FLAAR Reports
Ceramics China 2013 FLAAR Reports wide format printers

Passed through Istanbul airport twice three weeks ago en route much further east to lecture on wide-format printing, and being in the airport reminded me what a dynamic economy and multi-national world center is here in Istanbul. The airport is friendly; takes about 3 minutes to get your visa (most countries don't need visa, but US citizens do).

Immigration line took about 3 minutes also (in other countries nearby up to an hour!).

FLAAR has been attending Sign Istanbul for many years. We have also attended other expos here, and thus quickly learned that the premier and preferred expo is clearly Sign Istanbul, capably managed by Tarsus and IFO.

Two of us are now at Sign Istanbul; then we fly to Photokina in Cologne, and then to Tecnargilla ceramics printer expo in Rimini, Italy.

Their web site is; click on UK flag to get English.

We look forward to seeing you in cosmopolitan Istanbul this week.

August is vacation month in much of the world, but not at FLAAR Reports

Posted Aug. 11, 2014

Although it is August, none of us at FLAAR are on vacation, though I will admit I spent several days studying archaeology including ceremonial occupation of caves the last several days south and west of the Caspian Sea.

I was invited to Iran to lecture at a special conference (all six hours of lectures were by FLAAR Reports). After this people in the world of printing here asked if I wanted to see the countryside, and since I am interested in archaeology, and in architectural history, we went for a four day adventure. I thank printer trade magazine co-editor Morteza Tafreshi for planning this remarkable excursion. And I thank Alex Jahanbani, ME Printer magazine, for additional cooperation and coordination.

What most impressed me were two completely different local styles of village house architecture: one carved from stone domes; the other with wattle-and-daub type mud houses. I am studying wattle-and-daub mud architecture also in Guatemala (houses of the Mayan people)..

Most of the people I met spoke English. Friendly hospitality in each village and city, so an enjoyable stay. Also visited the Mimaki distributor in Tehran for a site-visit case study (Tasvirmadar Co., courtesy of Mohammad Ashraf, Managing Director). We will be evaluating photo book printers there.

The lecture was sponsored by Toranj Group, Jalal Zokael, Managing Director. The overall event was coordinated by Vahid Pishan, whom I have met at various printer expos around the world in previous years.

In past years there have been all-day FLAAR lecture programs in Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia), and in Seoul, Korea. If your city would like a FLAAR seminar, for local university, local distributor, local printer association, contact us at for basic conference fee and airfare estimate.


Essential printer & signage expo to attend

Updated May 27, 2014; first posted April, 2014

If you want to learn about textile printers, 3D printers, UV-cured printers, then APPPEXPO is essential.

For eco-solvent, lite-solvent, or full-solvent: more brands than any expo in EU or USA (put together).

After-market ink is a great way to save money (if you select an appropriate brand). Lots of different brands of ink here.

For media, substrates; both roll-to-roll, thick and rigid: everything. Brands from USA, EU, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

These are a few of the reasons why FLAAR Reports sends a team of five to experience APPPEXPO every year.

If you are by yourself you can also enjoy being here: we send five since we have to take notes on every significant product at the entire expo. But if by yourself or one or two colleagues, you can see everything in the four days.

To get an attendee pass, sign up and register here:

Below are the new FLAAR Reports related with "what to expect" at APPPEXPO 2014

If you need our reports in spanish or russian please visit this site.

FESPA Digital 2014

Updated May 26, 2014. First Posted May 12, 2014

We enjoyed FESPA Digital in beautiful Munich, this past May 2014. Four of us from FLAAR assisted.

FESPA is the single most important international printer expo in all of Europe. It is helpful also to attend your local expos in your home country or nearby, plus APPPEXPO in Shanghai is highly recommended for July.

We have prepaired over 10 FLAAR Reports on what we experienced and learned at FESPA in late May. Here are the front covers of several of these. You can order them by writing

Media and Subtraces
Inkjet Ink 3rd-party, After-Market Inks
Inkjet Inks
Wide Format Textile Printers
UV Printers
Shanghai City as a destination
Honeycomb Sandwich Board Exhibitor List What to expect at APPPEXPO 2013
Media and Subtraces
APPPEXPO 2013 2012 Shanghai eco bio mild solvent printers
Aluminum Composite Material Potential for new applications for UV
Aluminum Composite Material Potential for new applications for UV

Signage printers, media, ink: everything for 2014

Updated twice in April, 2014, Previously updated Feb 2013; Posted Dec. 13, 2013

ISA International Sign Expo was in Orlando, April 23-26, 2014. There are many good reasons why you should have attended, because if your competitors assisted at ISA they will learn what is new and what is happening.

For example, how many printer brands now offer SUV ink? (much more than Mimaki)?

How does SUV ink compare with latex ink? Which are benefits of each? What are the weak points of each?

Most importantly, how does SUV ink compare with traditional UV-cured ink (mercury arc cured and/or LED cured)?

FLAAR sent 4 people here. We would not risk the airfare and hotel costs, and the time away from the office, if we did not felt ISA was well worthwhile.

Why so many from FLAAR at ISA?

Because just to study media and substrates it takes two days. For example, there are more booths with aluminum composite printable material at ISA last year than all other expos in USA and Western Europe put together! Only Sign Istanbul has close to the same remarkable coverage of brands of ACM (also known as ACP) on exhibit.

And inks: how do you figure out who really manufacturers the ink?

Printers: what about MEMS printhead technology and Memjet-based printers? What are the deficiencies? What are the benefits?

There was a lot to see at ISA every year, and Orlando is an easy place to fly to. So we hope you saw us at ISA, Booth # 3011. is their web site, definitely worth visiting.

María Renée Ayau, FLAAR Reports, Technical Writer on Textile inks and DX Printers.
FLAAR Reports staff at ISA 2014.


Advances and Trends in Wide-Format Inkjet BEYOND CONVENTIONAL PRINTING

Posted April 2, 2014

Last april in Dubai the Keynote presentation was present by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Reports, organized by Printing & Publishing Group (Dubai), April 9 (Wednesday), Le Meridien (Wasl Ballroom) Airport Road.

Also speaking were Mr Richard Sanders of Call Print (3D Printing Services) and on Digital Printing (Mr Phil Walsh, Kodak, UK). Contact Ms Roxanne Tandoc,

SGI-Sign-Graphic-Imaging-Dubai-Middle-East-2014-uv-cured-printers-textile-inks-media-flatbed-cutters-prepare-for-exhibitor-list-2015 PRINT2
Invitation English
SGIA-2013-exhibitor-list-uv-cured-printers-textile-printers-inks-media-flatbed-cutters PRINT2
Invitation Arabic

FLAAR at Graphics of the Americas

Posted Feb 11, 2014

At GOA 2013 in Miami Dr Nicholas Hellmuth presented two lectures: one in English, the other in Spanish.

*Expanded revenue from printing on innovative materials

*Impresion en cristal, en azulejos ceramicos,
La Realidad UV vs Tinta Inorganica


FLAAR Team at SGI Dubai 2014

Posted Jan 06, 2014

Sign Middle East (SGI Dubai) is the first international expo of 2014. 2014 it was held on January 7-9, so two or three weeks earlier than usual. Nicholas Hellmuth and Pablo Martinez arrived in Dubai after two days of flights; over 11 hours delays in airports due to winter weather in USA.

Dubai is a safe and friendly city to visit, with plenty of things to do, especially shopping. The giant airport has flights from all around the world.

FLAAR has enjoyed visiting SGI Dubai for many years and thus we have many friends at the distributors and print shops in the Emirates area.

Lots and lots of Chinese branded printers; more than any other expo outside of China, and many many brands of Chinese media, but almost no booths of Chinese ink manufacturers; whatever Chinese ink may be present is mostly rebranded with local names.

FLAAR will also make a list of every UV-cured printer, every textile printer, each T-shirt printer, all solvent printer brands, any water-based, plus latex (which most ink chemists consider very different from true water-based).

For 2014 FLAAR will cover the top expos around the world, starting with SGI, then GOA in Miami, then D-PES and Sign China in Guangzhou, then ISA in USA, FESPA Digital, and this year we look forward to attending an expo in Iran. Summer will be APPPEXPO in Shanghai, and then FESPA Africa. Then the autumn and winter expos.


FLAAR Team attended Sign Istanbul

posted Oct 10, 2013

We have enjoyed visiting Istanbul, exploring this remarkable city, and attending Sign Istanbul for many years. So two of us from FLAAR will be going to Sign Istanbul in late November.

Because there are so many expos around the world it is not realistic to attend all. But we find Sign Istanbul worth attending since it is international, relatively large, and thus offers a full range of signage and wide-format inkjet printer products.

What FLAAR evaluated at SGIA last week

Updated Nov 7, 2013, Oct. 18, 2013, Updated Oct 10, 2013; First posted April 10, 2013

Print shop owners, distributors, and manufacturers come to FLAAR to obtain a diverse range of information which is more realistic than press releases or canned “Success Stories.”

So at SGIA it is more realistic to actually inspect the printers, and to learn from end-users (print shop owners and managers). In fact we rarely do a full evaluation until we have been to the actual factory (of the ink, media, printer, or cutter). So we are on airplanes about 240,000 miles each year, since manufacturers wish to have us visit their factories and their demo rooms around the world.

But a trade show is an essential event, and we fully support the hard-working staff at expos such as SGIA.

We visited the booths of efi VUTEk, Dilli, DigiFab, GraphicsOne, KIP, Seiko, Splash of Color, YJ USA (ARIA for PE), and many others.

So many people arranged meetings with us that it was not realistic to inspect every product in all the other booths (even with four of us at the expo). But we did accomplish a lot and are now working on all our FLAAR Reports on SGIA.


Most recently updated October 6, 2014.

Previous updated May 27 ,May 26, twice in April, Feb 2013, Dec. 13 and Dec 4, 2013.

Go to news from 2002-2013



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Free Trade Shows Reports

  • SGI Dubai 2015, Sign Middle East Wide-format printers, media & substrates, Inks, Cutters, Coaters & Laminators, 3D Applications

  • APPPEXPO 2015 exhibitor list signage substrates media rigid roll to roll FLAAR Reports

  • APPPEXPO 2015 exhibitor list preview UV solvent textile printers FLAAR Reports

  • APPPEXPO 2014, Honeycomb Sandwich

  • APPPEXPO 2014, Aluminum Composite Panels

  • Wide-format, Inkjet, Printers, Inks, Media and Software, 2012 Drupa Dusseldorf trade show

    APPPEXPO 2014, LED & LCD Report

  • APPPEXPO 2014, CNC Routers

  • APPPEXPO 2014, 3D Printers

  • GOA 2015, Seminar Brochure

  • Sign Istanbul 2014, Exhibitor List

  • APPPEXPO 2014, Free Report

  • FESPA Digital 2014, Free Report

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  • FESPA Mexico 2014, Free report by Subscription

  • FESPA DIGITAL 2013, Free report by Subscription