FESPA introduces different trails for 'Green' products as well as 'Innovative' products on show
With FESPA Digital Printing Europe 2008 fast approaching, FESPA has introduced a new initiative that will help visitors to identify innovative and environmentally friendly exhibitors, thus optimising visitors’ available time at the show.
In keeping with the show’s Alpine setting, visitors will have access to a ‘piste map’ showing FESPA’s Blue and Green Trails of companies whose products or services are either particularly ground-breaking or ‘planet friendly’.
Participation in the FESPA Digital Trails required exhibitors to send FESPA a written submission, stating why their products or services should qualify for inclusion on either or both trails. Green Trail product/service submissions had to demonstrate an ability to help printers make their production more environmentally-responsible. Products/services considered for the Blue Trail had to have been launched since FESPA Digital Amsterdam 2006 and fulfil a specific market need or requirement, as well as provide new and worthwhile benefits to users.
In order to achieve a correct and fair assessment of exhibitor submissions, FESPA appointed an independent committee of experts to consider each entry, ensure these entries met the respective criteria and determine the most worthy companies for inclusion on the trails. The two committees each comprised a hand-picked jury of five industry experts, including members of the European large-format/sign industry press, digital/large format company directors, and representatives from environmental bodies, including REACH.
Following a healthy response from exhibitors, the judging panel exercised thoroughness and stringency to eventually select 18 companies for inclusion on each FESPA Digital Trail. These are as follows:
FESPA Digital Blue/Innovation Trail: Caldera; Chimigraaf Iberica, S.L; Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH; EskoArtwork; Gandinnovations; HP; Kornit Digital; Madico Graphic Films Ltd; Matan Digital Printers; Mimaki Europe B.V.; Mutoh Europe nv; Océ (Schweiz) AG; Printos / Videojet Technologies Inc; REGULUS GmbH; Sawgrass Europe; Sepiax Ink Technology; SETeMa; Ultraflex Systems Inc.
FESPA Digital Green/Environmentally Friendly Trail: 3P InkJet Textiles Corp; Clipso Swiss SA; Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH; EFI VUTEk; Ferrari SA; Freudenberg Evolon; Hexis S.A.; Hollanders Printing Systems; HP; Kornit Digital; Madico Graphic Films Ltd; Mutoh Europe nv; Rowa GmbH; Sawgrass Europe; Sepiax Ink Technology; Summa; Triangle Digital INX Co.; Ultraflex Systems Inc.
In addition, committee members were asked to select a short-list of companies whose products or services warranted an Outstanding classification. Only five companies – Caldera, HP, Madico Graphic Films Ltd, Mutoh Europe nv and Regulus GmbH were awarded this higher level of merit for Innovation. The superior environmental offerings of 3P InkJet Textiles Corp, EFI-VUTEk, Ferrari SA and Sepiax Ink Technology earned the outstanding accolade within the FESPA Digital Green Trail.
Outstanding Classification – Blue Trail (Innovation)
Among the products that significantly impressed judges was Caldera’s Visual RIP+ and GrandRIP, which was cited as being particularly innovative to printers, the committee agreeing that it ‘offered a means of opening the market for Flip applications’. For HP, the Designjet Z6100 Photo Printer’s ability to allow print service providers to expand their service offerings, unanimously earned it an Outstanding vote, while Madico Graphic Film’s new 100% non-PVC Contra Vision Digital XR one-way window film was singled out for praise, thanks to the ‘way in which it simplifies and improves the production of one-way vision window graphics.’ Large format manufacturer Mutoh submitted its popular Blizzard series printers, whose i² intelligent interweaving inkjet printing technology particularly impressed the Blue Trail judging panel. Completing the short-list of Outstanding products/services was the Dialux SIGS from Regulus GmbH, a window film which was deemed as ‘bringing benefits to the market that are not already provided by others’, as well as its ability to work with the whole solvent family.
Outstanding Classification – Green Trail (Environmentally Friendly)
On the FESPA Digital Green Trail, 3P InkJet Textiles Corp. was applauded for the way its line of eco-friendly fabrics for inkjet printing ‘represented recyclable and biodegradable end products, produced from a certified manufacturing process that avoids atmospheric and environmental pollution.’ Similarly, EFI VUTEk’s BioVu ink, a solvent-based ink made from corn, also caught the attention of the judging panel, who praised its proven use, an ability to avoid the use of oil and petro-chemical based products and its non-VOC properties. Ferrari SA’s Texyloop technology for the recycling of PVC coated membranes, textiles and printed/unprinted banner materials, earned an Outstanding classification from judges, who remarked that ‘it overcomes one of the major barriers to the use of PVC by recycling back into the raw material.’ Finally, Sepiax Ink Technology was commended for the way ‘its water-based inks require no extra costs through pre-treating and deliver proven benefits to users by providing printing features otherwise only possessed by solvent or UV inks.’
Commenting on the FESPA Digital Trails programme, FESPA managing director Frazer Chesterman says, “As expected, the number and strength of exhibitor submissions for our FESPA Digital Trails ultimately made selection extremely difficult for our judging committee. Encouragingly, these entries provided proof of the digital printing industry’s ability to develop and introduce product technologies that blend unrelenting innovative flair with an increasing consideration for the environment.”