Packaging moves centre stage at drupa 2016

Impressions from the first few days

The special metallizing module mounted on the Omet xFlex narrow-web label press at the Landa stand

The first few days at drupa have been busy and well attended. Total occupied exhibition space has been reduced, to the delight of the software and paper vendors who finally got rid of the unpopular upper floors in Hall 7. The number of exhibitors remained relatively stable with 1,837, and we wouldn’t be surprised if visitor numbers will turn out to be on the rise. The industry’s multinational players appear to be upbeat, and there are many new developments to be discovered in all printing segments. From Asia, several new exhibitors are showcasing CtP systems, diecutters, cutting and milling plotters, curing systems and consumables.

More than at any drupa before, we are seeing interesting developments in packaging printing, not only in a variety of equipment for the printing and converting of folding cartons, but moreover in corrugated and flexible packaging. Corrugated board, in stronger and finer flutes, is increasingly being used in POP and POS, and a large range of printing and converting systems for corrugated can be seen at drupa. 

Digital corrugated presses 

Durst is showcasing its first singlepass industrial inkjet press for the corrugated segment, the Rho 130 SPC with print speeds of up to 9,350 square metres per hour at widths of 1300 mm and a resolution of 800 dpi for board of up to 12 mm thick. Screen and BHS Corrugated announced the establishment of a joint-venture, Screen GP (Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions) which together with Screen subsidiary Inca Digital is to develop a high-volume inline digital printing solution for the corrugated board industry. HP doesn’t have its 15000 press for corrugated on the showfloor, but its T1100S inkjet press for corrugated developed with KBA can be found at the KBA stand.

EFI also announced the development of a single-pass inkjet press for corrugated, the Nozomi C18000 with LED imaging for boards of up to 1.8 x 3 metres. With a projected throughput of up to 8,100 square metres an hour, i.e., some 9,000 boards of 90 x 60 cm per hour can be printed. 

Flexible packaging presses and laminators

For flexible packaging, there is a panoply of new presses and laminators on show from Bobst, Cerutti, Comexi, Convertech, DCM, Edale, Heidelberg-Gallus, HP, KBAFlexotecnica, KYMC, nordmeccanica, Omet, Soma, TKM, Uteco, W&H and others, as well as material developments from a large number of substrate, adhesives and ink suppliers. Worth noting is Comexi’s presence at drupa, with two central drum (CI) presses shown with robotdriven sleeve changeover, and the water-based Nexus L20000 laminator developed in a collaboration with HP for the latter’s Indigo 20000 flexible packaging digital press which is printing, laminating and converting standup pouches in consecutive production. 

Automation at Comexi 

Comexi is demonstrating new versions of its CI flexo and offset presses, each with an industrial robot executing the entire changeover of the printing sleeves which are moved and stored at motorised trolleys near the press. With an installed base of 50 presses worldwide, the F1 is Comexi’s 600 metres-per-minute flexo press, which can be configured with 8 or 10 colors for printing widths of up to 1350 mm. Comexi’s CI8, a 7-color CI offset press with printing speeds of up to 300 metres per minute at widths of up to 1100 mm, is being shown in an equally robotized and automated version. Comexi also introduced a new gravure press, the R2, which the company considers an entry-level gravure press for flexible packaging with printing widths up to 920 mm and speeds up to 400 metres per minute.

Omet has three presses at drupa, the 850 mm wide Varyflex V2, the 370 mm wide iFlex and the 430 mm wide xFlex X6. The Varyflex V2 for hybrid offset and flexo printing has new sleeve features and an improved electron-beam drying system. The xFlex, like the iFlex, which was introduced a year ago, is a narrowweb label press this time shown at the Landa stand equipped with a Landa metallizing module where a nano metallic ink replaces foils for producing metallic effects.

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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