It appears visitors were in a buying mood, with several of the 119 exhibitors reporting significant equipment sales and well-qualified leads during the three-day event.
Antalis hosts Kodak contingent
Antalis South Africa hosted the most prestigious Kodak team ever to hit local shores!
Philip Cullimore (MD, consumer & commercial businesses EAMER and chairman Eastman Kodak Sàri), Gustavo Oviedo (chief customer officer and general manager of Kodak’s worldwide regional operations) and Komal Sharma (sales director, consumer & commercial businesses MEA and VP EAMER) spent ten days with the jubilant Antalis team, recent recipients of the Kodak Partner of the Year award.
On the opening day of Africa Print expo, Antalis hosted a breakfast conference for key customers and the press, sharing key initiatives that have been implemented to establish Kodak as one of today’s most iconic brands.
Top of the agenda was Kodak’s focus on emerging markets and its intended growth path with Antalis in South Africa. ‘Geographical growth is vitally important to Kodak,’ commented Philip Cullimore during the breakfast presentation. ‘An emerging market such as South Africa offers enormous potential and we have ensured we’re aligning ourselves with the right strategic partner. Antalis has an excellent footprint in the local printing and graphics industry.’
Keith Solomon, director of Antalis, is equally impressed with Kodak’s committed support and excited about future prospects: ‘It’s satisfying to be in a position to host these industry leaders who are so generous with their time and knowledge. We were able to showcase the outstanding Kodak business opportunities available in our region and to hear how impressed the visitors were with the South African printing industry!’
For the second year running, Antalis won second place as the Best Large stand at Africa Print expo.
Show visitor numbers were up by 15% on last year, and the professional Antalis stand, expertly designed and assembled by Concept G, showed off a number of brands including Vutek, Epson, Hexacomb, Natura, Hahnnemühle and A Berger. Antalis also used the opportunity to launch Teco Media, Yupo Tako adhesive-free graphics material, a novel product that utilises a micro-suction structure allowing it to stick to flat surfaces without adhesive. The face film is 100% recyclable and can be reapplied.
‘Generating the level of interest we demonstrated in the technology and consumables takes collective skill and knowledge. Our lead list is full to over-flowing and, although it’s still early days in terms of quantifiable results, I’m humbled by the efforts and commitment of my team to our continued growth,’ declared Keith Solomon, director of Antalis.
Beswick laminators on show
Laminating was in the spotlight at the Beswick Office Products stand, with Kim Smit and Don Yates on hand to share their product knowledge with show visitors. Being put through its paces was the Komfi Amiga, a compact automated machine designed for lamination of smaller and middle-sized orders up to B2 format, printed using offset and digital techniques. The Amiga features automatic sheet feeding, laminating roll warmed by infrared heater, a rubber counter-pressure cylinder and automatic sheet separation using a built-in perforator. Also on show was the Vivid PolarSign cold, an entry-level laminating system that’s ideal for sign makers wishing to cold laminate and mount media up to 1 580mm wide. Designed to be functional and affordable, PolarSign provides a cost-effective finishing solution.
Fine finishing from Ipex Machinery
According to Paul Williams, UK-based product manager for Morgana Finishing Systems, there’s a global increase in demand for quality finished documents, which means printers need to become total solution providers.
In Johannesburg to support local representative, Ipex Machinery, during Africa Print, Paul shared his market views and expertise with customers at a breakfast presentation. ‘Digital finishing is becoming popular for several reasons. It’s ideal for short-runs, set-up is quick and cost and material waste is kept to a minimum,’ Paul explained.
Business was brisk on the Ipex Machinery stand as technical sales representatives, Sean Kelly and Sean Kleingeld, and Durban product manager, Lance Green, demonstrated an array of digital finishing systems from Morgana and Hunkeler, including creasers, folders and binding machinery.
Bruce Allen, Ipex Machinery MD, was pleased with the positive customer response and excellent feedback from the show: ‘Many customers made swift buying decisions at Africa Print this year. We sold several digital finishing machines on the stand and we’re hoping to build on the great foundation we’ve already established in this market sector,’ he comments enthusiastically.
Redefining the future of CtP
One of South Africa’s leading local distributors of colour management and digital print solutions, Digital Distributors, together with Kemtek, unveiled its revolutionary EFI Epson 7900 CtP solution at Africa Print.
‘We’re excited to offer this innovative and affordable direct-to-plate solution to South Africa’s smaller print shops,’ remarked John Panton, technical director at Digital Distributors. ‘Traditionally, CtP systems have been too expensive for smaller users, some of whom have to rely on outsourcing to plate bureaux. By using a special aluminium plate, heat curing unit and easy-to-fit plate guide, together with a standard Epson 7900 printer and EFI CtP Express Rip, printers now have a complete direct-to-inkjet CtP system,’ he confirmed.
According to John, offering simple, fast, high-resolution plate making in six to nine minutes/plate is not the only benefit of this plate making solution. Excellent print quality up to 20 000 impressions can be delivered.
Original Epson ink is used, making it possible to print high-quality press proofs, imposition proofs and even high-quality short-run posters on the same system.
‘The EFI Epson 7900 CtP solution won’t present any expensive maintenance costs and will deliver a high return on investment for smaller print shops, producing true aluminium press plates at a significantly lower total cost of ownership than other solutions,’ John explained. ‘It’s specifically aimed at print shops running one-, two- or four-colour presses and uses a standard Epson printer. The aluminium plate is placed inside the proofer where the EFI Express CtP Rip is used to image the plate on the Epson 7900, after which it’s fed into a drier to cure before being taken to the press.
‘We’re partnering with Kemtek, with whom we have a longstanding relationship, to bring this solution to the market,’ John added.
Kemtek draws the crowds
Kemtek Print Solutions showcased a line-up of global digital presses and finishing systems from HP Indigo, Scodix, Screen and Duplo at Africa Print.
Visitors swarmed around its impressive stand, eager to view the latest HP Indigo 5500 press in action, along with the Scodix1200 digital embossing press in operation at the adjacent Shereno Printers stand.
Kemtek also launched the ultra-high-throughput Screen Truepress Jet520ZZ printing system and featured the superior Duplo DPB-500 PUR binder finishing system.
A major draw for HP Indigo enthusiasts was the presence of Israel-based Ran Landau, HP Indigo & IHPS regional business manager Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, and Riki Tzirin, HP Indigo sales, who supported the Kemtek team during the show. ‘The Africa Print show is an excellent forum for local business owners to discuss current technologies and new trends and it’s all conducted in a friendly, informal manner,’ commented Ran. ‘We like to make direct contact with worldwide customers and, with our strong focus on high-end products, we and our local partner, Kemtek, can offer a total customer experience.’
‘There’s huge growth in the digital print market,’ Ran continued, ‘with end users requiring short-run print jobs with ultra-high quality. As a concept it’s good for the environment, with lower carbon emissions and waste than conventional printing.
HP Indigo’s liquid inks also provide the look and feel of offset inks, while web-to-print is taking the labour out of printing. It’s the future of printing, especially for the book market.’
By the end of the show there were any number of qualified leads for the Kemtek staff to sink their teeth into and an HP Indigo 5500, sold at the show, was ready to be shipped to its new home at Trident Press in Cape Town.
Show rewards for Konica Minolta
‘It was heartening to see the strength of the local printing market and the fact that businesses within this sector are experiencing positive growth,’ said Leon Minnie, product manager: production systems at Konica Minolta South Africa, following a highly successful three-day Africa Print show.
‘We really had a fantastic experience at Africa Print, meeting all of the objectives set before the show,’ Leon remarked. ‘First and foremost, we were able to create interest, demonstrate and promote our production machines. Secondly, we showed how our solutions and hardware work together to achieve results not possible on litho presses. Finally, visitors were made aware of our abilities and the quality and cost effectiveness of our solutions as well as our support and maintenance.’
Konica Minolta South Africa again hosted its popular breakfast event, this year featuring a presentation from Shaun Hennings of BMI Research on the ‘social media revolution’.
From a product perspective, Konica exhibited the award-winning bizhub Press C8000, and the only toner-based high chroma digital press, and the C70hc, featuring a special RGB colour gamut for RGB workflow such as photo books.
Also on show were Konica’s black and white production machines, the bizhub PRO B1051/B1200 and the B950, featuring a host of features such as perfect binding, GBC punching, saddle stitching, six different folds and suction-fed feeding trays.
‘The “solution corners” on our stand allowed us to demonstrate software solutions that can assist companies investing in digital technologies with new revenue opportunities. These solutions include transactional/transpromo, VDP (variable data printing), web-to-print, colour management and photo books. With these capabilities, it becomes clear that we’re a one-stop vendor and, with additional partnerships, we’re able to advise and assist even on off-line equipment,’ declared Leon.
Konica Minolta South Africa was presented with the Best Large Stand award. ‘This award isn’t only based on our stand design but also on staff appearance, professionalism, accessibility, brand identification, special effects and originality,’ Leon explained. ‘Being named as the winner in this category was certainly a feather in our cap at a very successful show. It proves the company is a cutting edge, innovative leader in the digital imaging market, constantly raising the benchmark in digital production equipment.’
Launch of Optimus Africa
Optimus has been supplying its MIS (Management Information System) products to South Africa for 25 years, with sales and support provided through a local distributor. However, Optimus recently decided to establish its own subsidiary in South Africa.
Comments group MD, Nicola Bisset, ‘South Africa is an important market not only for domestic sales but also as a gateway into the African continent. We’ve seen such an increase in demand for Optimus MIS, particularly since last year’s launch of Optimus Dash, that we felt the time was right to launch our own company.’
Optimus is increasingly aware that printers are demanding more sophisticated functionality from their MIS and the company is renowned for meeting the needs of all sectors. ‘There’s growing demand for integration between MIS and workflow solutions and these projects require expert personnel with committed and dedicated local support, which we can now provide with Optimus Africa,’ Nicola continued.
Nicola now takes the position of CEO of Optimus Africa with Colin Garde as MD.
Jason Garde is operations director and Tracy Savage heads up sales and marketing.
‘Since the inception of Optimus Africa, we’ve already signed up two new customers – RBE Stationery and IPS Finishers,’ Colin announced. ‘Both have purchased Optimus Dash systems and, with the extraordinary amount of interest shown in Optimus Dash at Africa Print, I’m looking forward to welcoming more new customers in the coming months,’ he added.
Re-Board’s eco savvy
Catching the eye of many a visitor was EcoBoard’s whimsical, dome-like stand, built entirely of Re-Board, a patented display structure manufactured from paper-based board with a specially-engineered fluted core.
Developed in Sweden, and cut and converted locally by South African partner, Shereno Printers, Re-Board can be transformed into numerous shapes. It’s lightweight, versatile and extremely strong and is ideal for displays, exhibition stands, signage and even furniture.
‘Re-Board is easy to assemble and great value for money,’ asserts Nico Potgieter, EcoBoard sales manager. ‘It can be printed and laminated and is easily formed into any curved shape. Best of all, it’s100% recyclable.’
Other noteworthy features are good planar flatness, thermal insulation and an embedded moisture barrier to protect the core. As a result of the latter, Re-Board’s physical properties don’t change in humid conditions, making it ideal for either indoor or outdoor use.
Form stable, it contains no harmful components and, because it utilises water-based adhesives, Re-Board can be recycled in normal waste paper streams.
A flame retardant version is also available.
‘Re-Board is the most versatile board material available today and uniquely responds to the market need for function and form, coupled with sustainability,’ claims Nic.
Shereno’s shining star
Winning the medium-size stand award at this year’s Africa Print was a feather in Shereno Printers’ cap.
Not only was this the company’s first showing at Africa Print, but its stand proved to be one of the busiest spots throughout the three-day event.
‘We’ve been astounded by response,’ declares Niran Singh, co-owner of Shereno Printers. ‘We couldn’t have wished for a better show and we’ve received numerous enquiries about the printing and finishing services we provide.’
Drawing the crowds was Shereno’s gleaming all-new Scodix 1200 UV DigitalEmbossing Press, supplied by Kemtek Print Solutions. The first of its kind in South Africa, this latest inkjet technology press is changing the paradigm for book cover printing and other applications where added-value effects can help to increase impact and drive sales.
The eco-friendly press performs digital embossing on demand with variable density, gradations and a high-gloss level. Capable of applying either glossy or matte effects on selected areas, the Scodix1200 adds tangible depth, texture and a whole new dimension to images and text on litho- and digitally-printed sheets.
‘The Scodix1200 press will change the way our customers see print,’ states Niran. ‘It replaces conventional embossing and offers top-quality print and texture, never seen before, for short or longer runs. It’s a whole new experience and the creative opportunities are endless,’ he enthuses.