Barcelona’s charm and mild climate attracted a high number of members and invited business contacts to ESMA General Assembly which took place on the 15th of March 2019. The yearly meeting of European Specialist Printing Manufacturer’s Association culminated in recognition for industry veterans and election of a new Board of Directors.
Since the meeting was held in one of Europe’s major industry and research hubs, many delegates took the opportunity of embarking on a “technology tour” the day before the General Assembly. Prof. Arben Merkoçi presented the nearly futuristic work and facilities of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Long-time supporters of TheIJC (The Inkjet Conference), Barberan, allowed a glimpse inside their digital printing and finishing systems factory.
The evening of the 14th of March opened with a keynote presentation of Nuria Herranz from ITENE Research Center. Nuria talked about functional coatings and inks which offer improved packaging properties in terms of sustainability, food waste reduction and consumer interaction. The official part continued with awarding two Honourable Ambassadors of the association. In their emotional acceptance speeches, Alex Zuckerman (Fimor) and André-Marie Peyskens (ex-MacDermid Autotype and ex-Saati) looked back at careers which spread over a half of a century and progressed together with the screen printing technology. All presentations were attended by both ESMA members and invited representatives of the Spanish printing industry – print service providers, distributors and technology suppliers. This interesting mix of old friends and newcomers provided for a long and vivid networking evening.
Every two years, ESMA elects a new Board which represents member companies and sets current and future direction of the community’s involvement. With a number of members retiring and several new candidates, the 2019 vote resulted in the following shape of the Board: Debbie Thorp (Chair, Global Inkjet Systems), Samuel Wagner (Vice-chair, Sefar), Manuel Zuckerman (Treasurer, Fimor), Tracey Brown (Meteor), Jon Bultemeyer (Marabu), Ibtissem Djaballah (VFP), Franco Fattorini (Epta), Pietro Giuliani (Saati), Steve Knight (Digital Direct), Robin McMillan (Sun Chemical), Kevin Myers (Fujifilm), Jan van Schaik (SPS). “The new Board reflects our industry with strong representation of both screen and inkjet. We welcome our new members, and we also thank our retiring Board members Heinz Brocker of Gallus and Sebastien Petit of VFP for their many years of service to the association”, said Debbie Thorp.
Looking forward to an intense year, ESMA updated all members on the upcoming events, including Advanced Functional & Industrial Printing (27-28 March 2019, www.afip2019.org), TheIJC in USA (22-23 May 2019, usa.theijc.com) and Europe (29-30 October 2019, theijc.com) and GlassPrint (27-28 November 2019, glassprint.org). A member pavilion at the FESPA exhibition (14-17 May 2019) offers another opportunity to meet the key players in screen and digital inkjet processes, visit a showcase of various industrial printing samples and book an individual session for unbiased technology advice ). Last but not least, the ESMA Football Tournament returns in September 2019 to Switzerland where it will be hosted by Sefar in Sankt Gallen.
The next ESMA General Assembly will take place in mid-March 2020 in Paris.