Visitors to Ipex 2014, being held at ExCeL London, later this month, will see the printed products and technologies that are set for rapid expansion over the next few years. The Future Innovations Zone – located in the South Hall – will feature live demonstrations and expert advice from three growing markets – photo product printing, printed electronics and 3D printing.
The market for photo products – such as books, calendars and other promotional material – continues to enjoy explosive growth because of customer demand and the relatively high margins they carry. Visitors will see end-to-end workflow that demonstrates how printers can create a range of different high value bespoke products using digital images, facilitated by a collaboration between Ashgate, Duplo, Konica Minolta, Lumejet, Renz and Taopix, with staff on hand to explain the opportunities this market presents.
Meanwhile electronics can be a pivotal component of a printed piece to introduce an element of interactivity, such a posters featuring instruments that can be played, and packaging that lights up. With further advancements anticipated that could revolutionise the way electronic goods such as mobile phone and digital displays are manufactured, a selection of companies – including Ceradrop (an MGI Group company), Printed Electronics Ltd (PEL), Novalia and Ryedale Group – will be expanding on this exciting market and what it could mean for the future of the print industry. Ceradrop will be showcasing the benefits of printed electronics through its CeraPrinter X-Serie machine, while PEL will be handing out samples of printed circuits from a demonstration machine on the stand, as well as bringing examples of print and packaging that incorporate printed circuits.
The zone will also look at the rapid rise of 3D printing. Treating it as an extension of 2D printing, visitors will discover how a third dimension can enhance a customer’s proposition in packaging and high end printing, with London Graphics Systems and Hobs 3D on hand to discuss the design and creation of 3D technology for the print, packaging and media industry. The emphasis is on how 3D designand printing forms part of a 2Dworkflow rather than something far removed from the industry’s experience.
“We’re delighted to support the Future Innovations Zone at Ipex,” says Ben Fitzwilliams of London Graphics Systems. “With 3D printing ubiquitous in the news at the moment, we’re sure that many of the event’s visitors will have many questions about the potential of the technology and what it could one day mean for their business. We have created a specialised 3D printing division within LGS that is well versed in this area and consequently will be able to provide insights into this exciting field.”
Miles Bentley, Commercial Director, Lumejet, comments, “The use of photographic imagery in printed marketing literature has increased notably over the last few years, helping to consolidate print’s position as an important part of the marketing mix. This continuing trend, coupled with the emergence of photobook production as one of the fastest growing areas of the professional printing business, has resulted in new high margin revenue streams for print service providers. The Future Innovations Zone provides an opportunity for professional print providers to see the full value chain from creation to finishing and to see how easy it is to get involved in this potentially lucrative market.”
'We’re looking forward to participating in the Future Innovations Zone at Ipex 2014,” says Chris Jones, Novalia Printed Electronics. “The potential for printed electronics is enormous, and we’ll give visitors a taster of what can be achieved via Novalia’s interactive print applications at the event. Whether it is instantly downloading product information from a shop window via your smartphone, hearing additional content by simply touching a magazine cover or using printed adverts with a built-in social media sharing button, it’s an exciting field to be involved in, and we really hope the visitors will be as enthusiastic as we are.”
Trevor Crawford, Event Director, Ipex 2014 concludes, “Ipex explores all levels and areas of the print supply-chain that will be relevant to visitors now and in the future. Photo product printing, printed electronics and 3D printing are all very exciting markets that could generate new revenue streams for visitors. With inspiration a key theme of Ipex, the Future Innovations Zone provides a snapshot of what the future could hold beyond traditional print applications.”