The European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association (ESMA), celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has grown from a collective effort of Europe’s major screen printing suppliers into the home of industrial printing.
Turning thirty, ESMA has 67 manufacturer members representing machinery, equipment, software and consumables sectors as well as technology partners such as consultants, printers, resellers, and developers.
ESMA was founded in 1990 in the UK as a supplier-led initiative to stimulate the growth and potential of screen printing. Derek Down, then the general secretary of Fespa accepted the additional responsibility of ESMA general secretary and continued in this role until 2002 when Bryan Collings took over.
‘Working for ESMA was a privilege and introduced me to so many genuine people in our specialist printing community,’ said Bryan Collings, now the publisher of Specialist Printing Worldwide. ‘The organization has come of age over the last decade and now offers its members great networking facilities and marketing opportunities through its seminars.’
‘For over thirty years ESMA has successfully adapted and diversified through innovation and partnerships to continue to provide valuable services – not only to its membership – but also to the wider printing community through its Knowledge Hub and industry-leading conferences,’ said Debbie Thorp from Global Inkjet Systems, the current chair of ESMA board. ‘The membership may have changed over the years, but the focus has always remained the same – to promote specialist printing processes, both screen and inkjet, with equal focus. On behalf of the Board and the membership I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ESMA team for all their efforts and dedication to maintaining so well the core ethos and goals of our association established 30 years ago.’
Since ESMA’s inception, industrial printing has come a long way and the association has been a consistent supporter in this journey – through its committee meetings and cross-technology expertise, through technical and networking events or through professional peer advice regarding health, safety and environmental legislation.
‘How much has changed in our industry during these thirty years? Nearly everything, said Walter Frick, one of ESMA’s founders. ‘The technology has permanently been improved, the machines and printing materials have completely changed, and the markets have moved from graphic applications towards many high-tech industrial operations. But the fact that ESMA members are working together for the benefit and further growth has not changed since the very beginning in 1990, when we started to create a platform where all suppliers, competitors or not, could meet and discuss. Good luck for the coming 30 years.’