Inspecting PE

One week inspecting PE alternative to banner and billboard substrates

Latex Ink

Water-based resin inks are now replacing solvent ink. By 2011 aqueous resin inks will take market share even from UV-cured ink flatbed printers. By DRUPA 2012 we predict that Sepiax and comparable water-based resin inks will be outselling HP latex inks. Why? and how?


Gateway to library of over 250 helpful reports by Nicholas Hellmuth and FLAAR staff on wide format inkjet printers, inkjet media, RIPs. We cover the entire workflow: from scanning through to finishing (cutting, coating, laminating).


Updated August 18, 2015
Posted June, 2015

This year FESPA AFRICA was late July, so no more competition with APPPEXPO (which actually in 2015 moved from early July to several months earlier). In 2014 FESPA Africa and APPPEXPO were the same week.

So now FLAAR is back at FESPA Africa. We like this expo for several reasons. It is organized by the same team that do the leading printer trade magazine for this part of the world. Plus the expo is co-located with a sign show, with an LED expo, and with AFRICA PRINT (which means toner-based printers and many other related equipment).

FESPA Africa 2015 FLAAR Reports wide-format-printers inks media laminators cutters toner

We at FLAAR like to see toner-based brands; it is sad that so many "inkjet" or "sign" expos don't have adequate diversity to also feature toner-based office printers.

Dr Hellmuth was at these co-located trade shows in Johannesburg July 22 through 24, 2015.

You can subscribe now to obtain our new FESPA Africa 2015 report.


How to decide which trade shows to attend?

Posted May 13, 2015

We recommend: at least one of the good printer and signage expos in the USA (we attend four, and two are really worthwhile, but we attend three to four every year to be sure we keep track of all new inks, printers, etc).

It is crucial to attend one of the best printer expos in Europe because the key European companies have their full staff only at these expos (at an expo in North America you may only see their local sales repos).

It is essential to attend the largest expo in the world, which for the last two years has clearly been APPPPEXPO. Most other expo PR agencies have obviously never been to APPPEXPO or simply are paid to blast out misleading claims that their expo is "the largest printer expo in the world." This is a typical claim for a show which is good but nowhere near the largest; to overcome the lack of size they pressure their PR agents to send out silly claims

It is also essential to attend the best local or regional expo in your area: FESPA Africa would be an example for South Africa. SGI (aka Sign Middle East for the Middle East, etc).

Using this formula (one in USA, one in EU, and the best local regional expo close to your home base) we recommend FESPA 2015 in Cologne, FESPA Mexico 2015 in Mexico City, and FESPA Africa (was Sign Africa for many years).


ISA sign and printer trade show opened last April

Posted April 6, 2015

Our experience over fifteen years is that print shop owners and managers, distributors, and manufacturers should visit the leading expos in their own home country, the leading expo of printers & signage in Europe, and the gigantic APPPEXPO in China (which for printers, inks, and media is larger than all other expos in the world put together including DRUPA).

For people in North America (Canada, USA, and Mexico should attend the big international expos in this part of the world (yes, geographically Mexico is part of North America down to its Isthmus of Tehuantepc). ISA is the first large wide-format-printer and signage expo for North America, so we recommend you attend.

Five of us from FLAAR flew there since the expo opened last April 9th, in Las Vegas.

We hope we have seen you there, at our booth #416, though the team of Dr Nicholas Hellmuth were out in the aisles evaluating inks, media, printers, software, laminators, coaters, and cutters.

2015 Tradeshows FLAAR will attend

FLAAR attended D-PES 2015 in Guangzhou

Posted Jan. 20, 2015

Every single year, since D-PES first started in Dongguan, FLAAR Reports has helped provide information about printer expos to our growing list of readers.

D-PES has moved to Guangzhou already several years ago, and for 2015 was very different than in past years. It was important to see, in-person, all the changes, so FLAAR Reports attended D-PES.

To learn more you can visit their web site,


SGI in Dubai (Sign Middle East), first SGI Dubai 2015signage expo of 2015

Posted Jan. 2, 2015

To learn what is happening in the world of printing and signage, it helps to attend the major international expos.

SGI 2015 exhibitor list had enough brands and product categories to result in three of us from FLAAR flying all the way to the UAE to attend. is their web site.


FLAAR attended APPPEXPO 2015 in March

Most recently updated Jan. 20, 2015, Posted Dec. 12, 2014

SGI Dubai 2015The FLAAR team has been attending this trade show for over 5 years; this is one of the largest digital printer signage shows in China. For 2015, APPPEXPO has changed its dates from July to March, and will also change venue to the National (Shanghai) Center for Exhibition and Convention in the Hongqiao Central Business District.

Every year FLAAR flies several members of the staff to APPPEXPO, the number of FLAAR members increases each year so we can bring a specialist in each subject to do evaluations and research.

At APPPEXPO you will find several brands of UV-cured, textile, solvent, waterbased, and latex printers, many aftermarket ink, media and substrates, CNC routers, laminators and coater distributors or manufacturers.

It is a trade show worthwhile visiting for everyone in the digital signage industry.

You can visit their website:

Dr Nicholas and his team look forward to seeing you at APPPEXPO in March 2015.




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