SGIA Embraces Industry Manufacturing Opportunities
Perspectives on new segments at the annual expo.
The specialty imaging industry heads south this November for the 65th SGIA Expo, an annual tradition since 1948. With whispers of yet-to-be-seen direct-to-garment technology, the lure of burgeoning new industries, and more than 500 exhibitors clamoring for your investment, it’s best to arrive prepared. We spoke with these trusted consultants and Screen Printing contributors to find out what you can expect to see at the show.
Screen Printing: With symposiums on printed electronics and, for the first time, industrial printing, it seems like SGIA is branching out. We’ve well established that screen printing is here to stay, but do you think this indicates a shift in the industry? Do you think these are avenues our readers should be exploring?
Andy MacDougall, TMI Screenprinting Equipment: Totally. With industrial/functional screen printing making up half or more of worldwide screen-print production, it’s time for SGIA to really get behind this sector. The next few years are going to see a lot more manufacturing coming back to North America, and in today’s world, you can’t manufacture consumer products without screen printing. So, this is great to see. This is a new sector opportunity for textile and graphic printers to move into, an alternative to chasing commodity-priced products like T-shirts. This new world requires precision and harnessing the technology of print, and a willingness to learn. Not for everybody, but then, screen printing never was.
Mike Young, Imagetek Consulting: Screen [printing]’s dramatic spike, albeit in industrial markets, is due to manufacturing industries’ growing reliance of its prowess to deliver the necessary heartbeat for their products’ functionality, in great volumes, cost effectively, with unquestionable durability – the three foremost concerns that separate [digital and screen printing] processes. Unless some other promising printing technology can deliver special ink and formal coatings by competitive means, screen will not only stay around for the long term, but will also continue to increase its presence, simply because virtually all manmade products, functional or otherwise, require some form of screen-printed application during fabrication.
For more perspectives on this year's SGIA Expo: