1. The primary reason for all Indian printers to go to Drupa is always to get legitimacy from the spouse to travel on a "business trip", ostensibly as a four-yearly pilgrimage. Drupa means 'Alstadt' and gregarious evenings with fellow printers, where after a couple of draught beers, we can criticise the government, the slow-down, the competition and more often than not, let loose on the 'Big Guys' who are taking our business away. But jokes apart, Drupa is a lot more than that.
2. New opportunities. 30% of the 1,800 international exhibitors will be new to the show in 2020. This is a good indication of what is the future of print! It's 30% of newness! ... Look out for new players like metal coatings specialist Actega and ceramics and electronics manufacturer Kyocera. ... More importantly, look out for four main themes for the 2020 show. These are: packaging, textiles, intelligent automation, and inkjet innovation.
3. Drupa in its latest Global Trends Report put together by consultants Printfuture and Wissler & Partner, reports that printing firms engaged in the packaging and functional markets were “very bullish”, while those in commercial printing and publishing were more cautious. For printers, finishing equipment was the most common investment target for this year, followed by print technology and then pre-media/workflow/MIS. Get a copy of the Global Trends Report before you attend the show. ... Help is also at hand for visitors who feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of Drupa – a new matchmaking app will bring together visitors and exhibitors based on individual requirements ...
4. Hall 1 will be an 'architectonical' highlight with a complete new facelift towards the river Rhein. But more importantly, there will be seminars and closed-door forums which highlights print technology applications. Today, the end product is the crux of the matter. ... Another new show feature is DNA – Drupa Next Age – which replaces the Drupa Innovation Park. Located in Hall 7, this will be a showcase for start-ups as well as specific innovations from larger exhibitors, with the intention of creating an environment where partnerships and collaborations can be formed. ... LOTS & LOTS OF LEARNINGS HERE
5. Study HP before you attend. Visit the HP centre in Chennai. The manufacturer will occupy 6,200sqm space. Lots of new products and innovations. From the viewpoint of printers like us, what all the 15 digital print manufacturers are trying to do is: able to turn jobs around more quickly; new applications that create more value and attract new business; data insights which have accurate and current data that details their total cost of ownership for their equipment and solutions is a big need; and insourcing of jobs.
6. Inkjet technologies continue to become an increasingly large part of Drupa. I will continue to be in 2020 too. The 2008 and 2012 editions were labelled as – Inkjet Drupa. In the time between 2012 and 2016, when the next Drupa was held, it was clear that the research continued, because there were inkjet presses, which were faster, and the quality better. Kodak with its Prosper Ricoh with VC series, Fujifilm added features to its JetPress 720, Xerox showed the Brenva presses and HP with its expanded portfolio of PageWide presses, all had presses which close to becoming available. Even Canon debuted its prototype B2+ press, Voyager.
At Drupa 2020, expect inkjet printing technology to be smaller, faster and with less moving parts. Obviously, the competition is going to be fierce among all the inkjet equipment suppliers – from continuous feed to cut-sheet. Do take a walkthrough of every hall to see what is on offer, and yes, do ask questions on the width of the printable area, substrate handling and range, ink buying, drying technology and who their printhead partners are.
7. Litho will be well represented, with Heidelberg, Mitsubishi, Komori and Koenig & Bauer. So don't despair. Go to halls 1, 8a, 15 and 16 respectively. Heidelberg has confirmed it will be occupying part of the new Hall 1 in 2020, and it will be fascinating to see how CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer’s ‘Heidelberg goes digital’ messaging translates into its presence at the show. ... What should you look out for in litho? How advances in automation and fast drying are allowing the latest litho presses to increasingly compete what were once the USPs of digital processes: short runs and fast responses.
8. Investment in Landa Digital Printing has reached USD800m according to Benny Landa by an Israeli tech and finance site. The business has finally moved into serial production of its digital presses. This will be the third Drupa appearance for Landa’s Nanographic inkjet presses, the crucial difference this time around is that Landa will also have an installed base to talk about – the firm has straight printing and perfecting models of its B1 S10 sheetfed press already in use in the field, and expects to install the first W10 flexible packaging web press early next year. Those who attended the IGAS show in Japan saw that Komori is poised to install the first beta of its Impremia NS40 press, which uses Landa Nanographic technology under licence, at a Japanese printer.
9. Look out for the Print 4.0 solutions – these are new chapters in digitisation that promise concrete customer benefits, is perhaps the Industry 4.0.
Today, both brand owners and retailers are disrupted by digital strategies. It means they are impacted by online purchasing trends. It is changing the way they are selling their products – on the shelf as well as online. The brand owner now has to develop two types of packaging, one for the online sale and second for the shelf. The brand owners today have to deal with more complexities. The stage is now set for the converters, packers, aided by software and hardware manufacturer partners. So, Industry 4.0 refers to the concept of smart factories where machines are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors, connected to systems that can visualise the entire production line, control, and make decisions of its own, producing the kind of packaging the brands want.
10. Do read all about the show in PrintWeek which be teaming up with its partners in UK and Germany to produce the official Drupa 2020 show daily publication. The DrupaDaily will be written by an international editorial and production team located on the showfloor at the Messe. It will be published in German and English, with 10,000 copies a day distributed at key points around the show.
So finally, I will come back to where I started. Why go to Drupa? First, go if you intend to plan your growth for the next 10 years. Let me put it bluntly, and this is something you need to understand, must understand, Drupa is not for short-term planners. Every Drupa let you plan for the next two years, five years or 10 years. You have to understand the new technologies, you must understand how it’s going to affect your business. So go, if you intend to plan your growth, plan to be on the bandwagon of newer processes, newer markets and higher profits. And after a hectic day of seeing the new, rubbing your eyes at the unbelievable, and marvelling at the German organisational excellence, nothing beats a warm evening than a cold beer at Altstadt....
Drupa 2020 factfile
- Dates Tuesday 16 June–Friday 26 June 2020
- Duration 11 days
- Location Messe Dusseldorf
- Number of halls 19
- Exhibition space 158,237sqm
- Number of exhibitors 1,830
- Number of visitors in 2016 260,165
(Photo: Drupa 2016 courtesy Messe Dusseldorf)