Trends to Watch for at SGIA

Find out what's buzzing, from LED exposure to water-based inks.

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 five trusted consultants and Screen Printing contributors to find out what you can expect to see at the show.

Screen Printing: What general trends should we expect to see this year?

Andy MacDougall, TMI Screenprinting Equipment: There seems to be an uptick in interest in industrially capable screen presses, and overall there seems to be continuing growth in the textile printing sector. I also know there is a lot of interest in LED exposing.

Charlie Taublieb, Taublieb Consulting: From the textile side, I would expect to see more and more oval automatics rather than round
machines. I would also expect to see those machines with a lot of add-on features such as foil heads, flock heads, etc., as well as more printers going to water-based inks, including discharge and other environmentally friendly inks.

Mike Young, Imagetek Consulting: If there are any changes to be seen in screen printing, it will be on the front of the business – prepress processing. Leaders in their chosen specialties have already realized substantial gains to their bottom line simply by shrewd investment in this area of the operation, as smarter prepress directly influences productivity, production cost, and overall quality performance in a positive way.

Mike Ruff, Mike Ruff Consulting: Automation of redundant tasks can be the best low-hanging fruit in becoming more profitable, as well as making the graphics production environment more life-friendly. Make a list of all the time-consuming touches of a file from the client to the press. Software can automate the pre-production tasks and do redundant tasks without human touch. Some of the fastest growing companies in our industry are growing in size without growing in floor space. 

For more perspectives on this year's SGIA Expo:

SGIA Embraces Industry Manufacturing Opportunities
SGIA Attendees Can Explore Sustainable Printing
Direct-to-Garment: Worth Your Dollar?
SGIA Expo: Rookie Dos and Don'ts

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