Cover story: Spread your wings and fly at PrintEx15


There has probably never been a more exciting time in print and graphic communications, with industry transformation well underway and a host of new developments and possibilities opening up for print. In this interesting environment, PrintEx15 has been designed to help businesses spread their wings and find the solutions to make their design and print workflow really ‘fly’. We take a look at just some of the highlights which await visitors when doors open at 10am on Wednesday May 13.

Several thousand business leaders from around Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific are expected to gather at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from May 13-15 for this pivotal show.

One of the key attractions of PrintEx15 will be the diversity of solutions on offer, with digital print engines, wide format printers and finishing solutions complemented by a wide variety of workflow, MIS and software offerings, peripheral products, consumables and business services. This will be complemented by an extensive education program, the PrintEx15 Forum Series, and expanded by the co-location with the Visual Impact sign and display expo, says PrintEx15 chairman, Phillip Rennell.

“Bringing the best of the industry together under one roof is what shows like PrintEx are all about, and we are very excited to see the calibre of companies that will be exhibiting on the floor in Sydney and the sheer scope of solutions they will be showcasing,” he equipment, particularly in the digital and wide-format sectors, visitors can expect to see plenty of finishing solutions, a wealth of workflow and management information technology, consumable products and ancillary systems, and business services tailored specifically for our industry.”

Many exhibitors already indicating that they will use the opportunity to launch brand new products for the show, he adds, making PrintEx15 an ‘unmissable opportunity for anyone serious about a successful future in the sector’. Rennell says, “As well as being able to see, compare and contrast offerings under one roof and gather ideas, information and inspiration, PrintEx15 will be a great opportunity to keep your staff up to date with the latest trends and solutions, and to catch up with colleagues and industry friends.”


Sydney Showground

Firstly, the new venue for PrintEx15, the Sydney Showground at Sydney Olympic Park, is superb, offering in the vicinity of 14000sqm of exhibition space within the exciting and dynamic Sydney Olympic Park environs.

Conveniently located close to a variety of transport options the Sydney Showground is in the heartland of Sydney’s print and graphic communications industry, close to major business centres and offers a wide range of accommodation, dining and entertainment options.

The exhibition halls themselves are expansive and well-resourced, the facilities excellent, and nearby restaurants, sporting facilities, parklands and other attractions of the beautifully planned Sydney Olympic Park precinct will provide plenty of interest during breaks from the exhibition halls.


Front End Focus

Given the advances in software, online and cloud-based solutions, it is perhaps unsurprising that the front end will be a real focus of PrintEx15, with MIS, workflows, colour management, W2P and digital storefronts expected to be a real highlight and many exhibitors in this space promising to launch completely new products at the show.

A host of suppliers will be at the show, including Accura MIS which will focus on its AccuraOnline solution with eDocBuilder plug-in, which the company says provides true, fully integrated MIS and W2P solution at an affordable cost. This will be complemented by the optional, fully integrated Production Scheduling module which provides powerful and easy to use production and planning tools to streamline production and enable better and more transparent customer service.

Agfa Graphics will showcase its new Apogee 9.0 PDF/JDF workflow software designed for traditional and multifaceted print service providers and Asanti Workflow for wide-format production, both products designed to automate the entire production process to optimise performance, while PentNet will also be there, with a new variable data module and online jobs board for its suite of products, which connect seamlessly with leading MIS systems.

Esko Graphics will be showing visitors how its products can help reduce time to market and raise productivity, driving profitability in print and packaging, while Quote & Print will demonstrate its totally rewritten and upgraded cloud-based PrintERP software, with modules to suit businesses including sheet-fed, digital, continuous and packaging.

Other PrintEx15 exhibitors with solutions in this space will include Objectif Lune, IQ Australia, Tharstern Australia, Dolphin Worx, Workflowz, Optimus, EFI and DES.


Comprehensive display

Several of the industry’s leading names have taken significant stands at the show to enable them to display and demonstrate their comprehensive product offering. Currie Group will be there with its largest exhibition stand ever – and for those who have been to previous PrintEx and PacPrint exhibitions, that is no mean feat.

Other big names will not be far behind in terms of area and variety, with market leaders like Fuji-Xerox, Konica Minolta, Hewlett Packard, Spicers Paper, Epson, Ricoh, Dainippon Screen, Agfa s, Starleaton, Neopost and WRH Global (formerly Ferag) all taking serious floor space to display their range of solutions for everything from offset and digital, to workflows, software, finishing kit and consumables.

Canon will bring together the technologies of Océ and Canon to showcase digital hardware, services and software solutions for the sheetfed, continuous, wide format, display graphics and photo printing markets.

A new name for most visitors will be WRH Global, but closer inspection will reveal the familiar faces and products of Ferag, which rebranded recently but still offers a host of solutions for the print, packaging and catalogue sectors – and hints that they may also launch an entirely new agency at the show.


Putting ink to paper

The heart of the industry is, of course, output devices and solutions, and here PrintEx will once again be well supplied, with the industry’s leading names joined by several exciting new niche suppliers with interesting solutions to enhance and expand

In terms of the world’s most popular print process, current indications are that the sheer size and installation requirements of offset presses means there may not be many actually on display, but offset will still be a huge presence at the show, with market leaders like manroland and KBA on hand to discuss their highly productive options, and an extensive range of consumables, supplies and ancillary products also at the show.

It is digital print engines, however, which are expected to have the numbers on the floor, with too many options on offer to single out any for special attention (check out the full list at to find out more about what individual exhibitors have planned).

Suffice to say, several exhibitors have indicated that the demonstration of digital presses and output devices will be a central theme of their stand and, again, many will feature entire workflows to illustrate the benefits of a totally integrated system.

Wide format will also be well represented, not just on the floor of PrintEx15 but with several options also expected to be on display at the co-located Visual Impact show.

Celmac will be focusing on wide format, showing the latest in market-leading HP Latex technology as well as the ATP Direct-to-textile printer, designed for the production of soft signage. A wide range of finishing solutions, media and laminating films, colour management solutions, scanners, RIPs and other tools will round out their display.

The high-speed six-colour Anapurna M2500i UV curable inkjet print system will be the centerpiece of the Agfa stand while PES will demonstrate the options available in the highly-acclaimed Durst range of UV and wide-format equipment, including flat bed and roll to roll UV models, fabric printers and garment, glass and ceramic printers. Colour management and ISO certification specialists Colour Graphics will also be offering free, detailed wide-format colour ‘health checks’.

The packaging, labels and flexo areas will also be well serviced. Among others, Label Print Systems, who will demonstrate digital and thermal printing systems from VIP Color, Colordyne Technologies, ASDI and Epson, while Rotary Engineering will be featuring solutions for offset, flexo, web, label and finishing applications, focusing on the latest in the Rotamag range, the 250QR press, 520QR flexo press line drive, and 340 SPF digital finishing line with laminating and cold foil options.


Finishing first

It’s not over till it’s over…and a job’s not done till it’s properly finished. Quality, productivity and profitability must extend throughout the entire workflows and efficient finishing solutions, which will feature on many of the stands.

As well as the large companies, all of whom are expected to have finishing on show as part of their integrated solutions, Starleaton will showcase its latest systems for cutting, printing and laminating, and Pelikan Artline will also demonstrate a range of innovative finishing solutions.

Spicers will showcase the fast and accurate Elitron ‘wonder cutting machine’ in concert with its Airo PanelTM automatic unloading device while Agfa will demonstrate its new flexible and productive Acorta automatic cutting and finishing plotter, which it says will help businesses add value to their wide-format print output.

Renz Australia will also use the platform provided by PrintEx15 to launch new additions to its range of high quality, German-engineered laminating, PUR binding and automatic punching products, as well as case-making and photo book solutions.

More finishing solutions will be found from Trimatt Systems, AC Print Finishing Machinery, Hilton Laminating, Rilecart Binding, Talk Graphics and others, with complementary products for the sector offered by companies including DSM Kalker and STH Wire Industry. Wrapping and packing solutions will also be on show from names like Minipak International, Australian Wrapping Company and Venus Hartung.

In terms of peripherals and consumables, Bottcher will once again offer a dynamic display of its rollers and associated products, Spicers Paper, DES, Starleaton and others will showcase a range of papers, substrates and digital media and Label Line its extensive range of pre-cut A4 self-adhesive labels.

BJ Ball Papers, and its digital extension Icon, will show its innovative products for print, packaging, digital and wide-format markets, which it says answers every print requirement from traditional applications to imaging any surface from footpath to all four walls.

Agfa Graphics will introduce its new DoP Azura TE chem-free plates, just one of a number of stands to feature plates and associated products, MIR-AUS will display their ink supply systems, and newcomer Cardboard Tubes will, as its name suggests, showcase its range of quality cores, cylinders and tubes, which they manufacture in Australia using recycled board from Visy Paper.

Perhaps one of the most exciting elements of exhibitions like PrintEx15 is the chance that you will find something totally different that delivers unexpected benefits to your business. Often, these are on smaller stands from niche suppliers – and as usual, there will be plenty of these at PrintEx15.

Dynamic Graphics will introduce its two online image subscription services – DynamicX for print, creative, studio, prepress, news media, publishing, in house design and similar businesses, and DynamicXsign aimed specifically at the sign and wide-format industry – while Kayell will showcase its image management services.

There will be financial solutions on offer from 180 Group, Colour Graphic Services will outline their consulting services and Whirlwind Print will connect with those looking for a trade printing service. There will even be 3D print featured on the MakerBot stand.


According to PrintEx15 chairman, Phillip Rennell, the PrintEx Board had one firm objective when planning for this show. That was to ensure that the time invested by those who attend the show will be richly rewarded – and he is confident this aim has been more than achieved.

“The theme of PrintEx15 is to ‘Make your Design & Print Workflow Fly’ – and with so much potential in print, driven by the industry transformation and innovation we have seen over the past few years, it is an ideal time for businesses to ‘spread their wings’,” he says.

“The diverse and exciting range of technology, equipment, supplies and services from some of the industry’s leading names will be complemented on the exhibition floor by a range of innovative ideas and options from more niche suppliers, and matched by perhaps the most comprehensive educational program ever put together for a show of this nature, in the PrintEx15 Forum Series.

“In all, PrintEx15 will be an unmissable opportunity for business owners and decision makers to access the ideas, information, resources and connections they need to fly into a successful future, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the region and from all sectors of the industry to the show in May.”


Education & Information – The PrintEx15 Forum Series

The extensive PrintEx15 exhibition will be complemented by perhaps the widest and most ambitious educational program ever brought together for a print and graphic communications event in this country.

The program is designed to help businesses address the challenges created by the rapid transformation of our industry and the wider communications sector. Information, ideas and inspiration are the key and the PrintEx15 Forums, themed around ‘the evolving place of print and paper in the multi-channel communications world of the future’ will offer just that.

Sessions will address topics as varied as the value and role of print and paper, what print can offer in a multi-channel world, managing change, print and the environment, the ‘how, why and what’ of innovation, as well as more specific topics such as an update on the NBN challenges in flexo and label printing, and opportunities in areas such as 3D print, polymers and printed circuits.

Three concurrent streams will run featuring key opinion leaders and industry experts representing industry bodies, suppliers and print buyers, and the sessions will be held within the exhibition space itself, providing easier access for visitors and ensuring that the educational component is fully integrated with the technical solutions on display.

The full educational programme will be available at well ahead of the show.


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