The fourth edition of the FESPA Digital Printing Forum shared relevant information about digital printing in Brazil. The initiative took place in the cities of Blumenau (SC) and São Paulo (SP) with experts who gave participants new concepts and updated figures about the market and its possibilities.
In these two important Brazilian cities, the director of FESPA Digital Printing, Alexandre Keese, addressed the opportunities in digital, especially in textiles. The presentation was based on figures from the FESPA Print Census, the leading and most comprehensive survey of the digital printing industry.
Alexandre Keese stressed that the printing industry remains strong, despite the changes in consumption patterns. The entrepreneur needs to be aware of the changes in society and the impact within the industry in order to continue to provide the customers with relevant and quality applications.
Regarding this topic, the entrepreneur must understand that the traditional focus of the industry has been changing and now offering not only products, but solutions that meet the needs of its customers through more optimized and technological operations, is the new normal.
The print customer − through a demand driven by its end customer – craves for custom printing, regardless of the segment, whether commercial, textile or whatever, in order for their message to be assertive. This also leads to the possibility of printing on a wider range of materials.
Such a need brings a new way of thinking: what was mass production in the past now becomes mass customization. It is worth noting that the customer "does not buy a print, but what it provides". And digital printing technology is the greatest enabler of this transformation and new way of thinking.
Digital and the impact on textiles
The scenario described above by Alexandre Keese during the FESPA Digital Printing Forum is directly related to the textile industry. Customization has become a critical point, driven by the fast fashion and the new world of influencers, where the outfit displayed by a celebrity needs to be in the shop windows the next day.
Such a need brought about a transformation: conventionally, production precedes demand, with people wanting that piece they saw in shop windows; now, there is a change in the game: first the demand is generated (either through the catwalks or within the influencers' world), then production comes into play.
To cater to this new paradigm in society, digital printing appears as the best option. Its ability to produce shorter runs in a customized way causes logistics costs to fall due to inventory reduction, thus reducing losses.
It is worth highlighting that both in the textile industry and in other markets, digital is not enough to replace and do away with the analog technology. It is a enabler for the cration of new products and opening new businesses, so that companies serve the customer fully, regardless of what their needs are at the moment.
Keese also highlighted the use of fabric for different possible uses. In clothing, it has been used in catwalk couture, fashion, sports with increasingly technological materials and DTG (direct to garment) for t-shirts and other custom items. In decoration it is seen in bed, bath & table, wallpapers, curtains and other items. Finally, for the industrial segment, it has made progress with signage − soft signage − offering the advantage of being more sustainable, luxurious, lightweight and easy to transport and store.
The director of FESPA Digital Printing shared key findings from the FESPA Print Census, the most comprehensive digital printing market research produced by FESPA in partnership with InfoTrends, a reputable research company. There were 1.4 thousand participants from 102 countries, including Brazil, with a strong participation, among the nations with the most respondents.
One of the survey's findings is that the industry remains optimistic, especially about its own business. Companies are managing to go beyond the product and getting revenues from aggregated services such as management and logistics, which open up new opportunities.
The best logistics will be crucial to meet more and more just-in-time deliveries. This brings the need to optimize job changes and produce more repeat jobs, always aiming at improving the production planning. Regarding products, there is an increase in the mix of printed products, seeking various applications to meet the customer's needs head-on.
Another highlight of the Print Census is the textile growth spike. Among textile-focused printers, 56% have made investments in digital, and 19% plan to make investments over the next two years, showing the excellent opportunities in this niche.
Finally, it is noteworthy that sustainability is becoming increasingly important due to the end customers’ demands. This must be something even more powerful in the future, as young people are very aware of how the products they consume are produced. In the survey, most respondents pointed out that they were able to offer sustainable products without negatively impacting revenue.
Alexandre Keese concluded by summarizing points that should be considered. The first is that new consumption habits change all the time, which brings a transformation in how to produce and in all the printing logistics. The so-called “Generation I” wants products tailored to their wishes. On the Internet, social networks have a high impact on what will be produced (such as the textile looks) and e-commerce is a tool that needs to be on the radar of all printers. And consumers will be asking for ready-made prints with shorter lead times and produced based on sustainability concepts.
In Blumenau, the FESPA Digital Printing Forum featured Felipe Simeoni, Marketing and Market Intelligence Manager at Global Química & Moda, with the theme “Innovate, Print and Impress”. The focus was on showing the various ways to innovate. Felipe stressed that is needed to go beyond creating something new, but, in fact, changing the way we work within the segment, getting to know the market well and thus producing a different proposal within it, so that it gets really efficient − and profitable.
Simeoni showed examples of innovation to inspire the attendees to revolutionize their segments. In such a challenging scenario as the Brazilian one, it is necessary for the entrepreneur to think outside the box, getting to know the dynamics of their market and what their equipment can produce from applications that are truly unique and that offer a new value proposition to the customer. This is the case for textiles, where the new means of consumption offer different proposals.
Blumenau also received Adriano Vieira, Textile Business Developer from Durst, who gave a lecture on the theme “Digital pigment as a sustainability tool”. The expert showed that pigment ink is a relevant option for the business owner who wants to transform their production method.
Pigment ink is one of the key elements in reducing water use in the production process, a constant concern within the textile industry as a whole. Thus, the attendees received a complete overview on technology concepts, figures and data, inspiration and success stories.
In São Paulo, Diego Genari, Development Manager at Tintas América Latina, addressed “Sustainability in digital textile printing”. The expert also stressed that the growing demand has been leading to investments in digital.
Diego explains that there are companies using digital to produce a small number of pieces, which are taken to the shop windows and, with a positive market return, their production is increased; if instead it is negative, the piece is no longer produced. Genari pointed out that the simplified process of digital textile printing, especially in the use of pigment ink, leads not only to speeding up the process but also to water use savings.
New technologies in digital printing cover increasingly different substrates, increasing the level of sustainability and providing a direct link with technologies like traceable fabric so that the end consumer knows where that piece came from and how it was produced.
The FESPA Digital Printing 2019 Forum was attended by participants from all over Brazil and from different markets, receiving positive reviews. According to the businessman Jefferson Aguiar, from Campinas (SP), “I loved the event, very well organized and I loved the way the themes were approached, the digital printing status, the market perspective and its evolution, including the insight to the 4th industrial revolution we are going through with automation and new market demands on what and how the customer wants it."
The same view has Márcio Ramos, commercial strategic consultant from Santos (SP): “The content of the event was very good, I see great changes in our industrial park, because those who do not prepare for these changes, or rather worry about the environment will be left behind, the industry 4.0 is already here and there’s even a 5.0 buzzing around. I see many business opportunities. The Textile industry has been preparing for a long time. In short, I think these events only enhance our knowledge, they are important. Those who do not follow the trends, especially regarding the environmental ones, will not do business. ”
The entrepreneur Mario Mello, from Santo André, reported: "Taking part at the FESPA Digital Printing Forum is always a pleasure, because, in addition to providing important information that is based on figures and market trends, it also allows one to find colleagues to exchange professional experiences."
Bene Leone, strategy director from Capivari (SP), said: “It was very good! The information that has been truly transmitted to us will help us guide our strategy for the coming year. ” Ricardo Marcelino, commercial consultant from São Paulo (SP), said: “It was very useful to learn a little more about the market and trends. As an influencer, all useful information is helpful for my day-to-day sales.“
FESPA Digital Printing Forum Bottom Line
The final stage of the Forum will be within FESPA Digital Printing 2020, the country's main digital printing exhibition, which will take place from March 18 to 21 at the Blue Pavilion at Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo. The event will showcase digital printing innovations in visual communication, textiles, labels, wrapping, decorating, sublimation & transfer, variable data printing, high relevance print and more. Registration for the exhibition can be made at www.fespabrasil.com.br/en/visitar/cadastro.
by FESPA Staff