Visitors to the Africa Print Expo (22-24 August at the Sandton Convention Centre), can look forward to a diverse group of industry experts and leaders, addressing various topics related to the wide format and digital printing industries.

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Reports (USA)

Hellmuth will address the topic (Knowing) INK is the secret for Success. Whether printing signage or décor; whether printing roll to roll or flatbed, it is the ink which is more important than the brand of printer. This FLAAR Reports lecture brings you knowledge based on Hellmuth having traveled over 460000 kilometres around the world multiple times last year alone, inspecting ink labs in Europe, USA, China, Taiwan, and Korea.

Hellmuth will discuss every innovative, unusual, and exciting wide-format printer ink he has found in the last two years, so you and your printing business have a better chance to beat your competition. He will also provide some discrete tips on which new inks will appear in printers by Roland, Seiko and Mutoh, since Mimaki already has SUV and Mimaki latex.

In his second lecture, Hellmuth will speak on the topic Metallic Effects, Inks, Coatings and (printable) substrates. A printshop understandably wants to offer their clients an effect that the competing printshops can’t produce (lack of equipment, or lack of knowledge). This presentation introduces every way FlAAR reports can think of for your printshop to produce metallic effects: inks, coatings, or substrates.

Hellmuth dedicates his time to preparing evaluations of wide-format printers, inks, substrates, RIP software, colour management tools, flatbed cutters and CNC routers, liquid coaters, laminators, professional digital photography and flatbed scanning equipment. The purpose is to assist printshop owners and managers, and distributors, to learn about the pros and cons of wide-format inkjet printers, especially UV-curable flatbeds, but also eco, mild-, lite-, and bio-solvent printers, as well as water-based inks for textiles, giclee, and fine art photography.

Hellmuth obtains his information by spending time inspecting the printers, inks, substrates, or cutters inside the factories where they are manufactured, whether in Canada, Europe, US, India, Singapore, Korea, China or Taiwan. He then visits printshops around the world to interview the owners and printer operators to learn the good features as well as issues, quirks, and deficiencies of each printer, ink, substrate, cutter, coater, laminator or RIP software that is of interest.

Overall, his documentation and comments on printers are read by over 570000 people on UV and solvent printers, about one million people on water-based printers, inks and media (including textile printers), as well as about 440000 photographers and over 150000 artists who wish to learn about printing décor (including wallpaper) and giclee.  You can access FLAAR Reports on,,, and textile printers on The evaluations on 3D imaging can be found on

Speaker times:
Wednesday, 22 August: 14h00-15h00
Thursday, 23 August: 14h00-15h00

Ryan Hogarth, Communication Speaker and Social Media Catalyst (South Africa)

Hogarth has rapidly become one of South Africas leading authorities on social business. He maintains a regular blog on social business at and has written for Die Beeld, Business Tech, Meetings SA and Human Capital to name a few. He has worked with clients such as Ernst & Young, IBM, Hyprop, SA Council of Shopping Centres and many others.

Hogarth will be addressing the topic: Re-engineering your business with Social Media. He says that Going social is an inevitability for every business. This cannot be delayed much longer. In this social media seminar, you will learn: the impact of Social Media on business in the modern economy; how social media will benefit your business; how to devise and implement Social Media strategy and policy and the essentials of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Speaker times:
Wednesday, 22 August: 11h00-12h00

Rian van der Merwe, Operations Manager, Gray Scale Pty (Ltd) (South Africa)

Van der Merwe will be speaking about Digital Workflow.

Workflow in a production environment can be organised into various categories, which are dependent on the characteristics of the production type. One of the key elements of a production environment is the correct layout style that would best suit the production characteristics. There are several different types of production environments, i.e. Process Layout, Product Layout, Fixed Position Layout, Group Technology or Cellular Layout.

Printing SA in association with the University of the Witwatersrand and Gray Scale Pty (Ltd) would like to address these and other critical skills scarcities (in both supply and demand) in the market place.

Printing SA is proud to announce the launch of the Printing and Packaging Business Management Courses NQF 5 – 7. The courses will be launched at the Sign Africa Expo, with the first learner enrollments taking place in January 2013.

Speaker times:
Wednesday, 22 August: 12h30 – 13h30
Thursday, 23 August: 12h30 – 13h30
Friday, 24 August: 12h30 – 13h30

The conference will be held in Hall 2 under the mezzanine, please arrive promptly to secure your seat. Or email the slot you would like to attend and your cellphone number to should you wish to receive reminder smses.