Making the Drupa 2016 shine

With 90% space at the show already booked, newer technologies aims to turbocharge the existing ones into evolving themselves. In this freewheeling interaction, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, chairman of the Drupa Committee and chief executive of Koenig & Bauer AG and Sabine Geldermann, director of Drupa, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH reveal the reasons for reverting to a three-year cycle, trends that are driving the industry and why printers should should quickly switch to new technologies, which are

12 Jun 2015 | By PrintWeek India

You have recently made a decision to switch to a three-year cycle after the Drupa 2016. What was the main reason behind that decision? Is the new three-year cycle a sign of the graphic industry going up after the economic crisis?
Sabine Geldermann: A three-year cycle is long overdue. Innovation cycles have shortened dramatically over the last few years due to the effects of the Internet and digital technology on the entire print process chain. This major shift is huge and set to grow – a trend we have clearly observed since Drupa 2000. At the same time, there is a significant interest and focus on technologies breaking boundaries such as 3D printing, printed electronics and functional printing.
The amount of information needed by the print and communications industry and its customers, the print managers and buyers, has risen drastically. Increasingly what is required is not just the content with an overview of the technologies available, but there is a need for inspiration in new fields of business, solutions and applications. As the world’s leading trade fair for print and cross-media solutions, Drupa offers just that – and by doing so every three years, it will support a fast moving and changing industry.
Drupa is the world’s leading trade fair for printing and media technology. Can you tell us what current developments in printing and media industry are today?
Claus Bolza-Schünemann: There are many parallel developments at present. It is a time of technological change. One mainstream development is the digitisation of processes, information and advertising. This applies to printing itself. In traditional offset printing the individual production stages are connected via the digital workflow, sometimes through to the end-user and customer as in the case of printers providing fast-growing internet ordering. Digital printing with ink or toner already plays a significant role these days in transactional print as well as books and direct mail sectors. This is gradually spreading also into label, decorative, publishing and advertising print – so far, primarily, for smaller or customised runs with increased performance and quality digital printing systems even at moderate run volumes. 
Another trend is the interconnection of print and electronic media. For example using AR and QR codes, where this can extend the longevity of information and advertising messages and make it possible to appeal to different target groups from young to old. Printed and electronic media are increasingly merging and are, therefore, forced to now share a slice of the advertising pie that is not in growth mode. With that said, print is a multi-sensory, lasting medium that continues to have enormous significance in many contexts. There is a reason why internet giants such as Google and Amazon also publish magazines and catalogues. 
Can you share some technical information about Drupa 2016? How how many exhibitors do you expect; how big will the exhibition be in square meters; do you expect more big players or smaller ones; do you expect the next year exhibition to be as big as the previous one, or even   bigger?; how many visitors do you expect?
Sabine Geldermann: At this stage, 90% of the exhibition space has been booked and confirmed. All the global players will be there at Drupa 2016 – including Agfa, Bobst, Canon, Cerutti, Comexi, Durst, EFI, Epson, Esko, Ferag, Fujifilm, Goss, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Horizon, HP, Kodak, Koenig & Bauer, Kolbus, Komori, Konica Minolta, Landa, Manroland Web Systems, Müller Martini, Screen, Windmüller & Hölscher, Xeikon and Xerox. 
We would like to make it very clear that we believe it is not just global players who make for a successful trade show. The numerous medium and small exhibitors contribute a significant amount to the show. We are currently in the process of planning the individual exhibition halls and once the plans are complete and exhibitors have received their registration details, we will publish the list of exhibitors online. Your readers will then have a good overview of Drupa 2016 well in advance.
Virtually all key players in the areas of prepress, premedia, print, multichannel, crossmedia, materials, postpress, converting, packaging, services, infrastructure and equipment will be represented at Drupa 2016 - not forgetting our new “Future Technologies” exhibition area. With the 3D printing and printed electronics sections we are taking great care to provide visitors from all around the world with a complete overview of the entire print cosmos. 
As I’m sure you can appreciate, we cannot give any predictions of visitor numbers at this time. The consolidation processes in the international printing industry are too deep and wide-ranging. However, please rest assured that we will continue to make sure that Drupa 2016 is a success for everyone involved.
Today we can see more focus on innovative technologies, such as 3D printing, printed electronics and functional printing. New technologies are occurring practically on daily basis. Do you think that most of the printers switch to those new technologies quickly enough?
Claus Bolza-Schünemann: Printed electronics and functional printing are common buzzwords relating to potential future opportunities, but for press manufacturers and the print industry in the traditional sense they are not yet as important as is often suggested. This is where companies, mainly on the outer edges of the printing sector have been operating. We, and some of our competitors, have for several years been tackling this technically challenging topic.
However, the market is advancing much more slowly than expected and we believe it will take several more years until the required performance level is achieved with conventional (screen printing and flexo printing) or digital processes (inkjet). The process of modifying the printing process to the range of materials required for this is complex and the demand for machines is low. First movers have, up to now, been operating to cover their costs alone, and normal print shops would generally be very quickly out of their depth at the necessary investment level.
The merging of print and online media, functional printing and smart technologies in security and packaging print is opening up new perspectives – what is the best way for the industry to turn those chances into profitable opportunities? Will Drupa 2016 show that as well?
Claus Bolza-Schünemann: You are referring to very different topics and market segments, some of which require highly specialised expertise and not all of which can be covered here in the short time available. For example, the packaging market has relatively little to do with the the publishing market; the key stakeholders are different, as are the challenges. The packaging market is growing and is barely affected by online media, the market for print publishing is stagnating and even shrinking in some areas as it is having to compete with increasing volumes of online media for consumers and small advertising budgets. All the trends you’ve mentioned can be found at Drupa 2016, but certainly not all in one place. 
Printing industry like many others still suffers the consequences of economic crisis. What is the best way for recovery?
Claus Bolza-Schünemann: There is no sure formula for business success. Otherwise there would not be any crises or insolvencies. Every company and every market operates differently: It just wouldn’t work if everyone was doing the same thing. In general I would recommend listening to customer requirements, offering the customer perfect service over and above printing alone, keeping the organisation streamlined and flexible, providing further training for employees as necessary, keeping a look-out for new markets, interesting business models and technologies and occasionally even investing in them as appropriate. Drupa 2016 will offer a variety of trends and ideas covering all of these areas.
Where do you think the opportunities and potentials for print in the publishing sector are? 
Claus Bolza-Schünemann: The lasting impact, the credibility level confirmed in many surveys, the unique versatility in terms of visual appeal, form and feel in comparison with the screens of smartphones, tablets and flatscreens that vary only in size, the concentration on content quality and reliability in the information jungle and the slowdown opportunity offered by some printed media (in particular books, magazines, newspapers) in an ever more hectic world not least due to electronic media; these are the opportunities that print is continuing to open up and that must be exploited creatively. Simply focussing on reducing costs is not enough.
The print buyer is playing an ever more important role, not just for print service providers. Marketing decision-makers, publishing houses as well as creative and web agencies are an important target group for the supply industry as well. What programme is awaiting visitors at the forthcoming Drupa show? 
Sabine Geldermann: As in 2012, the Drupa innovation park and the Drupa cube are set to be the first stopping points for the target groups of brand owners, marketing decision-makers and agencies. It is highly likely that the exhibitors will naturally also have numerous offerings for the print buyers.
Can you elaborate on Drupa innovation park, the Drupa cube or the “touch points” theme parks in 2016?
Sabine Geldermann: Once again the Drupa innovation park 2016 (DIP) will be the focal point for the industry’s latest inspiring and creative developments. The six theme parks will display current trends and topics along with business cases associated with process-oriented print and publishing solutions. The DIP is a fantastic way for young companies and start-ups as well as global players with forward looking solutions and applications to present themselves. Since its first appearance at Drupa 2004, the ‘DIP’ has made a name for itself in the industry as a pioneering technology and solution platform for the international print and media industry.
The Drupa innovation park is all about specific technology offerings and business models, and in the Drupa cube everything revolves around print and its appeal. Under the slogan of “educating, entertaining, engaging”, there will be inspiring keynotes from international heavyweights during the eleven days of the show. We are currently working on the finalised programme and will be able to provide more information on this in a few months’ time. The specialised programme of events is rounded off with “touch points” on individual topics such as packaging or functional printing. These could be special demos or even podium lectures. In just a few months, we will have specific information on this as well – and I am pleased to refer you to our website (
The position of print is changing – print is not the only medium any more, but is rather a part of multichannel communication – how will Drupa 2016 show those changes?
Sabine Geldermann: The whole of Drupa 2016 – for print and crossmedia solutions – will be illustrating this development. Visitors will be able to experience this live and direct on all exhibitor stands and in the entire specialised programme of events. This will ensure that they are prepared to enter Print Age 4.0 fully equipped and ready for the future.

Repro India booked India’s first Kodak Prosper 1000 press, and also finalised Hunkler finishing system as part of a complete solution which includes, Prinergy workflow solution, Trendsetter 800 and a Digimaster 150.

Manroland sold seven Regioman double-width towers and three jaw folders  to The Times Of India (TOI) owner, Bennett Coleman & Co booked; one balloon former to HT Media,  publisher of English daily, Hindustan Times, and a six-colour Roland 706 HiPrint with an inline coater to Mumbai-based Hira Print Solutions.
Bennett Coleman & Co signed a deal for a new mailroom system from Ferag. 
Bobst booked orders for Novacut 106 die-cutting machine, three Expertcut 106 die-cutters with power register, five Expertfold folder gluers, three Accubraille GT equipped with Accucheck for quality control and inspection, and an Ambition folder-gluing machine. 
Heidelberg India sold presses to big-scale packaging project and several Varimatrix die-cutters, Suprasetter CTP devices and also bagged orders for its digital press – the Linoprint C series, besides scores of Polar and Stahlfolder equipment.
Parksons booked two Rapida 105 six-colour plus coater full UV, while ITC’s Packaging Division picked up a 106 eight-colour plus coater full UV press.
Noida-based Creative Graphics ordered DuPont’s Cyrel 3000 PS, Cyrel 2000 EC, 3000 D drier and M200 solvent recovery unit. 
Delhi-based Avantika Printers booked a Canon ImagePress C7010 VP for its new Jasola unit at Drupa. 
Vinsak made its first inkjet system sale on the fourth day at Drupa 2012. The sale of the first Vinsak 1200 UV Inkjet system is mounted on an Omega slitter rewinder for the printing of 2D barcodes on filmic labels, the first of its kind of application in offering track and trace solutions to the pharma industry in India.