Touch the future with Print 4.0 processes

Strong industry tailwind for drupa

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Print
Markus Heering, managing director of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association

The printing and paper technology manufacturing industry begins the drupa year 2016 backed by tailwind, strong order intake and stable sales volumes in 2015. Amongst the future-oriented trends at drupa 2016, intelligent automation and integration of the print and finishing process is one of the most relevant.

According to the VDMA, the German printing and paper technology manufacturing industry begins the drupa year 2016 with well-filled order books. Compared with the previous year, the volume of incoming orders for printing and paper technology increased by 10%. The manufacturers of printing machines report a 9% order increase. For converting machines, the order intake in 2015 was up 21% in the year 2014, a year that had already registered a 29% order growth over the previous year.

“The fact that the demand is rising so strongly in the run-up to our most important trade fair is a positive signal for our member companies,” states Markus Heering, managing director of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association, with a view to drupa 2016, which will take place in Dusseldorf from 31 May to 10 June 2016. He reportsthat in more than 40 events of the ‘drupa World Tour’ in all five continents, he got the impression the ‘fever curve’ is rising worldwide. “The curiosity as regardsthe new drupa concept wasjust astangible asthe interest in the technological advancement of our industry towards Print 4.0,” says Heering. The German printing and paper technology manufacturing industry has convincing solutions – for digitalization, the growing packaging market and industrial print production.

Sales in 2015 with highs and lows – but overall stable

Thanks to their traditionally strong foreign business, the German printing and paper technology manufacturers could slightly increase their sales in the previous year (+1%), even though there was another strong sales decline of 13% in the home market and the slowdown in the Chinese economy fully affected the demand for printing and paper technology. According to the figures available to date, exports to the People’s Republic of China declined by nearly one-tenth in the course of the first eight months, whereas the EU countries grew by 22% in comparison with the previous year. “Behind the EU, China is still the second-largest sales market for the German printing and paper technology manufacturers,” explains Heering, “closely followed by the USA that is catching up more and more with a 5.5% growth.”

In the converting machinery sector, the domestic sales grew by 13% and foreign sales by 9%. The manufacturers of printing technology, on the other hand, again had to cope with total sales losses of 6%. In the domestic market, sales declined by 24%. “This development had become apparent in advance due to the weak order intake in 2014. The fact that we now have an 18% order increase for printing technology from EU countries and see an order increase by nearly one-tenth gives hope for a better year 2016,” says Heering.

The digitalization continues 

With its ‘Touch the Future’ motto, drupa 2016 takes up future-oriented topics. At present, the trends are towards shorter print runs, individualization and the enhancement of print products – which require intelligent, interlinked machines that smoothly fit into the increasingly digital workflows of the users. “Our member companies will use drupa in order to give insights into this Print 4.0 process world,” Heering announces. The engineering industry is an enabler of individual, inspirational print products – be it in graphic arts printing, through the enhancement of packaging products or by printing on fittings, textiles, tiles, laminate flooring and many other applications in the industrial sector.

Within the VDMA, the manufacturers of printing and paper technology lay the basis for tomorrow’s flexible and automated print production. The aim is to help the customer industry to achieve increased productivity by means of intelligent automation with suitable process and data chains ranging from prepress to the end product – supplied by any manufacturer and across all sectors. Therefore, approximately 15 member companies of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association have joined the ‘Process Chain’ Working Group which, inter alia, works on open standardized interfaces.

“Backed by the tailwind of the good business development in 2015, the German printing and paper technology manufacturing industry starts the drupa year with selfconfidence,” states Heering. During the ‘drupa World Tour’ in the last five months he got the impression that the technological transformation towards Print 4.0 and the respective solutions of the machinery manufacturing industry are eagerly awaited. He is convinced, “Today, we are developing solutions with which print products will continue to arouse enthusiasm all around the globe in future as well.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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