Pamex 2024: Gearing up the Indian print industry for Drupa 2024

400-plus exhibitors, 700 machines in operation, including 100-odd new product releases, this Pamex feels like a mini-Drupa, says Tushar Dhote, chairman of Pamex, in this final Pamex weekly column, which opens tomorrow, and will run until 9 February 2024

05 Feb 2024 | By Tushar Dhote

On 2 February, at midnight, I saw a long line of trucks and containers waiting at the entrance of the Nesco gate. More than a hundred of them were waiting to unload their equipment at the halls for the setup stages of Pamex 2024. It was an unforgettable experience to be there two days before the opening of the printing show of the year. Describing the whole experience in words would be a challenge.

Pamex 2024 opens its doors tomorrow with a grand ceremony. The event will be graced by the presidents of several supporting associations, including Jaiveer Singh of the Indian Printing, Packaging, and Allied Machinery Manufacturers' Association (IPAMA), Ajit Gupta of the Coating & Adhesive Tape Association Of India (ICATA), Hitesh Nagpal of the Indian Paper Corrugated & Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association (ICPMA), Dilip Bhise of the Screen Printers' Association of India (SPAI), Anil Kariyawasam of the Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP), and Vinod Vittoba, the director of the Association for Print Technologies (formerly NPES). The host association, the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP), will be represented by its president, RN Dutta Baruah, its honorary general secretary, Umesh Nema, and all of its office bearers.

This year, Pamex will showcase over 700 machines in operation, including over 100 new product releases. Taking place before Drupa, several exhibitors will reveal their plans for the global event, while the organisers of the German show will also be present to share information. Being one of the year's first events, Pamex promises to be a catalyst for change in the printing industry, which is expected to witness a significant leap in technology.

Observing the exhibition build-up is an incredible experience. I stood in Hall 1 and watched over a thousand people work on construction, unload equipment, and install machinery. The organisers' office was busy with activity as they provided possession letters and serviced the running equipment's last-minute requirements, such as electricity, water, and air connections.

The management team is putting in an astounding amount of effort to prepare for tomorrow's grand opening. The work is progressing at an impressive pace day and night in anticipation of welcoming over 50,000 printers across the country, including around 1,000 from neighbouring countries. Pamex reintroduced in Mumbai in 2015, has grown consistently with each edition and added value. The All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) and the Printing team have made tremendous efforts to make Pamex a global brand that stands on par with other international print shows.

This exhibition promises to showcase all the print processes including commercial, packaging, textile, signage, label, and converting rigid packaging. It is the first time such a vast array of processes will be seen in an Indian print exhibition. I am proud to call it the Mini Drupa in India.

The highlight of this edition will be the Innovation Pavilion, which will provide knowledge-sharing experiences on future printing technologies. I am certain that it will develop into something similar to the Drupa Cube by the next Pamex Edition in 2026, which will again take place in Mumbai and focus on the new theme of sustainability. Keep an eye out for the Pamex 2026 launch dates, with a completely revamped presentation that will be showcased at the Exhibition.

Let us all come together and show our solidarity among the print fraternity, striving to become one of the most advanced print nations in the world. Welcome to Pamex 2024.

This is the final column in Tushar Dhote's weekly series leading up to Pamex 2024. He will discuss what to expect at the show and why it's important to attend.