10 interesting things we heard at Drupa

Compilation by Samir Lukka, online editor of PrintWeek India

18 Jun 2012 | By Samir Lukka

1. Jochen Meissner, president and chief executive of Goss International said, "For Goss, Drupa was a significant step: we offered a solution for flexible packaging and carton printing. Web offset is a genuine alternative here, in terms of the print quality, setup time reduction and productivity. The basis of this development is a machine with variable cutting lengths. It’s becoming a third business pillar for Goss. This won’t happen overnight, but we think the Sunday technology that sets the standards in commercial print, can also increase productivity substantially in the packaging sector. We also showed the M600, the world’s most successful 16-page machine; several new innovations, in, for example, roller adjustment technology, and the Goss digital inker that saves ink. And a tower on the 96-page Sunday 5000. These machines print over 83,000ppm."

2. Stefaan Vanhooren, president of Agfa Graphics said, "There is definitely an ongoing economic shift from west to east. Even though we have European roots, we are very active indeed in all of these markets, not only through local sales organisations (like in Japan) and some well-established and strong local partners, but also with our local plate supply from our manufacturing sites in China, South Korea, the US and Brazil. We have increased our efforts in recent years to become a strong partner in these markets and we have been able to strengthen our activities and position consider ably during the past few years, both in offset and in digital printing. The joint venture with Shenzen Brothers (Agfa Graphics Asia Ltd) opens opportunities for a larger market presence in Greater China and the ASEAN Region. Latin America has traditionally been quite successful but recent investments in the local manufacturing site enable us to be present even more prominently. In India we have a technology agreement with Technova, which allows both of us to focus on the Indian market specifically."

3.  Kevin Horey, vice president, production product marketing, Xerox said, "Production inkjet technology will open up new opportunities for print providers looking to expand capabilities with direct-mail and transpromo applications. One US-based print provider taking advantage of inkjet technology – the Xerox CiPress 500 Production Inkjet System – is dmh Marketing Partners. For instance, Randy Seberg, chief technology officer at dmh, says that they are constantly looking for cutting-edge technology to drive the manufacturing process and that they believe inkjet is the best technology for high-volume production."

4. Berry Wiersum, chief executive at paper manufacturer, Sappi Europe said, "Paper is fantastically sustainable. In Europe an area the size of 1.5million football pitches is reforested each year. Our raw material  comes only from certified forests. We are running an energy saving programme, at one of the Sappi sites, 80% of the energy is generated in-house or comes from renewable sources. And paper is the raw material for recycled papers. There are challenges – digital media, tablet technology – but also opportunities for paper."

5. Taopix Asia, president, Richard Watson said, "The web-to-print market is expanding – it is no longer Europe and America-centric, it’s a truly worldwide business. Deals had been struck with clients from as far afield as Bali, Iceland and Kenya. There had been substantial interest from conventional printers with no digital capability who were looking to expand into new markets. But the biggest surprise, had been enquiries from people who were not currently involved in print at all. We are talking to commercial marketing and web experts who know nothing about printing but who know how to get a job. That’s great because it means new companies are coming into printing. And although the market was growing, printers needed to learn how to sell themselves using less traditional models, in order to compete.

6. Dirk Schroder, print, paper and toils area sales manager at Erhard+Leimer said, "Automation in printing machines has reached a level that cannot be increased much more in my opinion. It is now the time to include the systems surrounding printing operations in the automatic operation, that is offline systems. In particular in the area of quality assurance systems, functions that until now have only served as surveillance are now being integrated in the regulatory systems in production – the motto here is inline systems. This last open flank is now closed and helps printers save more money while maintaining quality and increasing productivity.

7. Dominio, group managing director, Nigel Bond said, "The UK-headquartered Domino has had an impressive track record of international expansion, recording its 33rd consecutive year of growth last year, despite the tough global market, with sales of €382m (£314m). Domino has changed quite a lot over the past three or four years and we’re now focussed a lot more on digital printing solutions. Our N600i digital label press is the star performer. This press marks our first major step into the world of four-colour. We learned a huge amount through the beta trials and have worked on various things – including colour gamut, colour registration and printing well on to different substrates."

8. Author Harry Belz of Process Standard Offset manual, published by the German Printing and Media Industries Federation said, "We have been analysing since 2001 just where problems arise in practice in standardised production. Many difficulties are based on gaps in information, which we can fill by incorporating in the manual both existing practical knowledge and the latest research results. We offer readers a wealth of information that can help them find practical solutions in everyday production.” The Process Standard Offset manual, which conforms to the ISO 12647 series of international standards, has been a reference for a quality-oriented print process since 2001.

9. Friedrich Faulhaber, the managing director of Guk said, "The G&K-VijukMV-11 Double Knife outsert system, is able to fold outserts that are 15% thinner with up to 40% more panels than previous models.  The system has been developed in response to the increase in type size for pharmaceutical outserts following changes to US Food and Drug Administration regulations and optimises the stacking of outserts in the delivery box by 25%. The system features a Guk FA 53 folder as the primary folder in the system with speeds of up to 14,000 cycles per hour and the capability to create 238 panels of size 29x29mm and achieve a smallest size of fold 15mm. In addition, the 16-pocket machine comes with a quality control module that, ensures 100% quality before delivery by measuring the finished product. Our maxim is that ‘precision products will gain acceptance’. It’s no surprise, then, that pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers identify the word ‘folding’ with Guk."

10. Rafael Penuela Torres, executive vice-president and main board member of Manroland Sheetfed said, "There will still be a market for ‘conventional’ presses for a long time. But we need to face the reality that more and more printers are dealing with digital print. Why should we fight it? The technologies are complementary."

PostScript: Simone Marhenke, who works for the Academy of Print & Media NRW said, she believes combining traditional printing with new technologies since it provides an important opportunity to get ahead in the market by producing unusual products. The academy is testing new processes on behalf of (printing) companies and is helping to optimise production lines. To illustrate this, Marhenke showed a calendar with ‘musical augmentation’. In addition to printed information, the pages of the calendar also offer musical pieces which the user can listen to on a smartphone by entering certain codes. The academy, part of the Association of Print & Media NRW, tests the practicality and real implementation of new technologies, often on the initiative of its members. The results support the testing of production systems with new technologies and their optimal implementation.

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