550 participants coming from 26 countries contributed to a record attendance of the 5th edition of The Inkjet Conference (TheIJC). Technology users and suppliers from all areas of inkjet engineering and inkjet chemistry praised the educational and networking aspects of an intense two-day conference programme. Following excellent attendee feedback, first exhibitors and presenters have already booked their space at the next editions of TheIJC in the USA (22-23 May 2019 in Chicago) and in Europe (29-30 October 2019 in Düsseldorf).
In just five years TheIJC has established itself as the meeting point of the inkjet industry. With all the major printhead manufactures present and representatives from key industries, this is where the future is planned. The senior technical staff from leading system integrators such as Domino, Durst, EFI, Inca, Kerajet, Markem-Imaje, System Group are joined by innovation experts from e.g. Boeing, Bosch, Nike, Saint Gobain or Tetra Pak, as well as major research institutes. The conference discusses how inkjet is being adopted as a manufacturing process in aeronautics, packaging, sportswear and design, as well as in textiles, ceramics, laminates, security print and graphics. This year, printed electronics were covered by several research papers and biomedical applications are starting to emerge, proving that the inkjet community continues to expand and is welcoming new applications and new players.
Traditionally, the conference attracts high numbers of first-time visitors. Matt Ezenyilimba, Manager of Water Based Ink Technology at EFI was among 200 newcomers and he stated: “The sessions and exhibits were very informative. Very good presentations and varieties of topics covered. I wish the conference was longer to help digest all the information and network.” Virendra Bhavasar from the Mumbai-based Asha Penn Color added: “The presentations covered a wide range of topics and yet were all connected by our common research interests. The socialising opportunities afforded by the fine scheduling allowed me to form connections with other professionals in our field.”
In a programme of 61 presentations spread over three concurrent tracks, each attendee could choose topics of their particular professional interest, ranging from hardware components, system integration, software, vision inspection, through to ink formulation, fluids, innovation and academic research. All speakers competed for the prestigious Best Speaker Award voted by the audience via the conference app. The long-awaited verdict was as follows:
Best Speaker Plenary Sessions: John Corrall (Industrial Inkjet); runners-up: Dan Denofsky (Kodak), Jason Remnant (Xaar).
Best Speaker Track One: Yolanda Justo (ChemStream); runners-up: Steffen Orth (Hapa), Clayton Sampson (Cyan Tec).
Best Speaker Track Two: Thomas Willers (Krüss); runners-up: Daisuke Hamada (Kao Collins), Simon Daplyn (Sensient).
Best Speaker Track Three: Tri Tuladhar (TriModal); runners-up: Florian Bourguet (iPrint Institute), Olga Kiefer (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf).
Equipped with technical insights and inspiring examples of new inkjet applications presented by industry and academia figureheads, the conference attendees filled the tabletop exhibition area during breaks, as well as at the exclusive networking dinner. Altogether 78 companies and research institutes showcased their solutions, with 17 of them exhibiting for the first time. “The breadth of experience at the event was impressive. Vendors from all facets of the industry were readily available throughout the conference”, said Michael Miller from Ball and Sergej Pauli from Phoenix Contact Identification concluded: “All the giants of inkjet were there.”