MENA print sector undergoing massive transformation
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His Highness Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Department of Information, inaugurates leading commercial and package printing show in Middle East.
Dubai, April 15: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s commercial and package printing sector is being reshaped by innovations by some of the world’s leading tech companies currently participating at the Gulf Print & Pack 2019 exhibition in Dubai.
The four-day show was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Department of Information (pictured above), featuring top tech companies such as Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, Phoenix Technologies, Ricoh and Xerox.
“In today’s digital era, business leaders can manage, customize, automate and connect various steps of their printing processes in ways they couldn’t imagine a few years ago. The introduction of the Innovation Trail of live demonstrations at this year’s show was aimed at making the visitors of Gulf Print & Pack 2019 see just what’s possible and experience the latest technologies and trends in the market live in action,” said Lisa Milburn, Managing Director, Gulf Print & Pack 2019.
“Whether it was textiles, publishing or graphic design, traditional printing methods invariably involved multiple steps, companies and individuals in getting a single job done. This made the whole process not only time-consuming but costly as well. Today, however, with advances in digitally-connected printing technology, it’s possible to produce just about any size job, and customize, complete and deliver it in hours rather than weeks or months,” Milburn added, referring to the latest products being displayed at the four-day event.
While Canon showcased its central reprographic department designed to present an entire printing solution in one place, HP displayed its hardware solutions HP Latex R Series and HP Pagewide XL. Besides Iridesse Production Press, Xerox demonstrated its workflow and color management software. Konica Minolta’s digital printing solutions, meanwhile, included MGI JETVarnish 3DS machine and AccurioLabel 190 label printer.
“The objective of displaying the products’ functionalities was to educate customers about the value of having a complete printing solution at an organization,” said Shadi Bakhour, B2B business unit director, Canon Middle East. “We hope that by walking through the process, customers will be encouraged to take strides towards unlocking their full printing potential.”
Gulf Print & Pack 2019 also introduced a new Print Décor Lounge area, where visitors are able to experience the diverse possibilities of printing. “Everything is being printed -- from textiles, furniture and wallpaper to non-slip flooring using technology such as web-to-print,” the organizers said.
Among other things, the latest technology and trends in multi-substrate presses, wide and narrow format digital presses, laser die-cutting, smart labels/packaging, and software are being displayed at the Gulf Print & Pack 2019, which is aimed at printers, service providers, brand owners and designers.
Chris Lynch, Head of MEA Production at Xerox, said, “We are showcasing new and unique printing technologies as well as some new workflow and color management software which helps our customers really add value to print or remove costly, labour intensive or time-consuming steps in the process of generating the print.”
On the first day, Dr. George Simonian, Professor of Print Media Helwan University, Cairo, talked about innovations in digital printing technology and the changing business of print. On the second, Chris Lynch, Head of Production Technology at Xerox will discuss printing solutions beyond CMYK.
Mark Ward, Large Format Manager for the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, HP Inc, talked about the innovations they are demonstrating at the exhibition. Ward said, “It’s an opportunity for us to engage with customers and partners throughout the region and prove the capabilities of HP solutions in meeting our customers’ needs.”
With the HP Latex R series, HP is showcasing application versatility – the ability to print on just about any substrate and get scratch-resistant, durable prints with HP Latex Inks. He explained, “With our high-efficiency curing system, prints come out dry and ready-to-use with the color, quality, and consistency you expect with HP Latex printheads and the spectrophotometer. Customers will be able to embrace a more sustainable approach with water-based inks and energy-efficient printers. Odorless prints allow tapping into new indoor spaces, previously untapped by solvent and UV inks.”
Nayyar Ansari, Business Development Manager Production Print at Konica Minolta, said that printers today require new ideas and business tools to help them capture the new markets that are emerging, they need to grasp every opportunity to grow their business and profitability.”
Ansari added, “Konica Minolta has always been known as an innovator who continuously looks for new ways to help customers evolve and add value through creative solutions. On the booth, we are demonstrating our latest technology and future ideas. It’s very important to have an open dialog with customers at every level, and we believe that by taking part in the Innovation Trail it will expand our communication channels even further and stimulate interesting conversation and debate.”
Afsal M Kottal, Managing Director from Phoenix Technologies, said, “We at Phoenix strongly believe that “Actions speak louder than words”. Moreover, we want to demonstrate practical presentations to our clients than just telling them in theory about how our solutions will benefit them. We will mainly have demonstrations of GMG Open Color, X-Rite Ink Formulation Software, Global Vision, Hybrid Packz and DMI.”