Attendees enjoyed the energy and vibrance of the printing, packaging and signage industry at the Printing SA annual dinner, which took place on 12 September at Gallagher Grill. The event and conference were sponsored by main sponsors FP&M SETA and FESPA; Gold sponsor Novus Holdings; Silver sponsor Agility Health, Bronze sponsor Heidelberg and exhibition sponsors Sign Africa, FESPA Africa and Africa Print.
Attendees donned avant-garde attire, and were asked to wear their technology, which tied in with the event’s Fourth Industrial Revolution theme.
The event, which was held alongside the Africa Print Expo, celebrated excellence in the industry, with many awards handed out on the night. These included:
Technical and Theoretical Training Top Achievers 2019
The Africa Print Top Achiever Award and cheques were presented to the top students in this year’s National TT Block Awards. The prize money was sponsored by Africa Print.
First place tie: Rhonwan Anderson, Ciba Pac, and Eric Tshoda, CTP Limited (R2250 each).
Second place: Sphamandla Shange, Constantia Afripack Flexibles (R1750).
Best In Show award
The R5000 prize and Best in Show Award, which is chosen by the FESPA and Printing SA judges from all categories of exhibitors who are Printing SA members, went to Konica Minolta South Africa, which achieved the highest score from the judges.
Women In Print
This award, which was won by Teresa Adinolfi, honours women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the industry.
Young Star Award
Moyela Matlou won this award, which is for printers between the ages of 25-35 that have demonstrated excellence in the past 5 years.
This is presented to an individual that has been voted for by their peers, in recognition of their efforts in their contribution to the printing, packaging and signage industry. Recipients included: Derek Murison, Albert Berman, Dries Venter and Patrick Lacy.
Award For Innovation
This is selected by the FESPA and Printing SA judges across all categories for the most innovative piece of work displayed at the Africa Print expo. It was presented to 3D Fusion Machines. The company, based in George, hatched an idea two years ago to design a machine that can print illuminated signage. At that time and with the technology available, it would take eight hours to print a small letter. With 3D Fusion Machines, a 3D sign is made six times faster and is more cost effective than any traditional method. This technology allows anyone to make 3D signs with no extensive training or skilled labour. The company launched the machine on the Sign-Tronic stand at the expo.
Printing SA CEO Dr Abdool Majid Mahomed shared insights from the Printing SA Conference, held from 11-12 September. ‘While the printing industry is bleeding jobs, all is not doom and gloom. It is definitely not dying, but merely transitioning or transforming, and continuously evolving. Through the use of appropriate technologies that are now available, and innovation at its heart, it now offers new types of communication channels on various substrates, to a new customer that wants things here and now, and packaged individually,’ he said.
‘We are moving from traditional printing machines, to more digital print on demand. While paper is still at the heart of it, there is a move from paper to ‘vapour’ – that is in the cloud, online and on various textures including glass, plastic, wood, rubber, aluminium, steel, textiles, footwear, wrap arounds for vehicles and trucks, billboards, etc. While printing will still happen, it will happen everywhere.’
He said that while printing will still use inks of all sorts, it is moving to a more high-tech industry, requiring highly skilled and creative designers, marketers and IT specialists. ‘It is a dynamic and exciting space and we need to encourage learners and workers to enter the industry with appropriate skills and learning tools, enabling them to future-proof themselves.’
Dr Mahomed also emphasised that effective communication between industry stakeholders is key, as well as collaboration with government and labour. ‘Partnerships will not only create jobs, it will ensure stability and growth. The emphasis should be on building trust, holding government accountable, engaging proactively with policy and regulation development, and advising on trade, duties and tariffs. The new African Free Trade agreement that is being mooted, has to be used to our advantage.’