By Industrial Print Staff
The International Sign Association (ISA) held its main event—the ISA Sign Expo—April 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Pushing visitors to “go further,” the event attracted more than 20,600 attendees and close to 600 exhibitors. Some main show themes centered on efficiency and productivity—doing more with less. Heavily represented on the show floor were tools, solutions, and hardware related to textiles.
Above: Pushing visitors to “go further,” the ISA Internations Sign Expo attracted more than 20,600 attendees and close to 600 exhibitors.
The show floor was big—clocking in at 235,000-plus square feet; which made for a lot of news to cover!
EFI featured some of its newest devices, including the 126-inch EFI VUTEk h5 hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll UV printer built for efficiency and profitability. The EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i fabric printer offers inline calendaring at fast production speeds. It is a 133-inch aqueous dispersed dye-sublimation (dye-sub) printer.
Epson joins the print-and-cut revolution with the announcement of the SureColor S-Series Print and Cut models, which include a FC8600-130 cutter from Graphtec America to provide an end-to-end solution that delivers accuracy with high image quality.
Newcomer Fluid Color showcased its portfolio of devices from the ZR roll-to-roll series and RH/ZH hybrid series to its RF/ZF flatbed series. According to the company, it’s making waves in the industry with its wide color gamut.
Gerber Technology highlighted two Gerber MCT Cutters on the show floor. The company announced ImagePerfect, by Gerber, which is a set of specially formulated materials designed specifically for digital inkjet printing. With first-class printability, remarkable text definition, and a large color gamut, ImagePerfect from Gerber is a high-quality option for a range of applications.
HP Inc. announced the HP Stitch S series of printers. With this new endeavor, the company’s goal is to make textile printing more accessible, sustainable, and limitless. The 64-inch HP Stitch S300 and the HP Stitch S500 printers are equipped with HP dye-sub inks able to print either transfer or direct.
Mimaki USA, Inc. debuted the JFX200-2513 EX, successor to the JFX200-2513. The flatbed adopts a new draft mode that enables a maximum print speed of up to 12 boards per hour. Its three staggered printheads also allow for simultaneous printing without sacrificing speed.
Mutoh America, Inc. brought its entire arsenal to the show, but specifically announced the new ValueCut II cutters as well as its UV ink being GREENGUARD GOLD certified. Mutoh’s US11 UV LED ink received Gold Standard for Chemical Emissions for Building Materials, Finishes, and Furnishings and is certified for Decorative Wall Applications.
Onyx Graphics, Inc. previewed ONYX 19—which launched officially at FESPA. The next major release is available for the full range of ONYX solutions including ONYX Thrive print workflow software and ONYX RIP products.
Roland DGA Corporation highlighted its newest products in the booth. These included the TrueVIS VG2 series eco-solvent wide format printer/cutters, VersaSTUDIO BT-12 direct to garment printer, VersaUV LEF2-200 flatbed UV printer, and DE-3 DGSHAPE rotary engraver. Visitors also got a peek at the new Texart RT-640M multi-function dye-sub digital printer.
SA International unveiled Flexi 19, with a 30 percent increase in speed compared to older versions of the sign making software. In addition, new tools include those focused on business enhancements, a font finding tool, as well as the ability to cut by layer or color.
With a decidedly Swiss theme, Zünd demonstrated its D3 L-3200 digital cutter in the booth. The first day of the show it worked on cutting out mini-ski graphics from corrugate board.
Media vendors were also widely represented from rigid substrate manufacturers like Vycom Corp. debuting a booth made entirely out of the company’s product portfolio to Plaskolite showcasing its OPTIX-DA lineup. ORAFOL Americas highlighted ProSlide, which is its newest adhesive technology that makes repositioning easy. Fisher Textiles brought apparel fabrics from its Digital Apparel lineup—ET 4000 Board Short, 3600 Towel, and ET 3400 Fleece. Top Value Fabrics’ booth had visitors reaching for their sunglasses with bright backlit signage and tropical furniture. Ultraflex Systems, Inc. included magnetic signage and backlit fabric in its display space.
Reason to Celebrate
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, ISA had its own exciting announcement. The association plans on co-locating ISA Sign Expo 2020 with Impressions Expo in Orlando, FL April 1 to 4, 2020 at the Orange County Convention Center. Impressions Expo is the premier trade show for the imprinted and decorated apparel industry. Combined, the co-located event will consist of 350,000 square feet of space filled with vendors.
“Bringing these events to one location allows attendees the opportunity to explore exciting ways to expand their businesses,” says Lori Anderson, president and CEO, ISA. “Both are thriving industries that offer creative ways to grow and serve clients, especially for printers who already have some of the necessary equipment.”
The crossover between the two shows is evident. With digital printing making inroads into decorated apparel and garment decoration, the co-location makes good business sense. “We are looking to add value to the attendee. Neither show is cannibalizing the other,” explains Brandon Hensley, COO, ISA.
The future looks bright for ISA Sign Expo. We look forward to learning more about the organization’s partnership with Impressions Expo throughout the next few months. To hear about how the co-located 2020 event will benefit attendees, visit industrialprintmagazine.com and listen to our latest podcast with Lori Anderson, president and CEO, ISA.
Jun2019, Industrial Print Magazine