The digital print show where complete applications are shown

Day 1 at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne

L-R: Michel, Stefan and Franz Hunkeler at HID 2017

The first day of the Hunkeler Innovationdays demonstrated both growth and enrichment of the bi-ennial event. The sunny and relatively warm day with Alpine snowclad peaks all around helped as the event opened with a press conference of the Hunkeler group. The press was addressed by Stefan Hunkeler, his brother Michel, who was inducted into the company about a year ago, and by their father Franz Hunkeler, who said, “I am proud of my two sons.”

As the company heads towards its centennial in 2022, when Franz Hunkeler will be 75, Stefan helms operations as the chairman and Michel as the managing director. Franz spoke of the growing scale of the event with 11,000 sq. m occupied by the current event and 6,000 visitors expected over the four days of the show. The highest traffic of as many as 4,000 is expected on 21 February, which is also the day of the Doxnet Conference on site.

Cooperation and integration 

Michel spoke about the complexity and challenges faced by printers in providing format-flexible, error-free, intelligent and secure documents. He pointed out that cooperation amongst technology and equipment manufacturers is key as complex tasks require even more specialized and expert knowledge and integration. The cooperation with Muller Martini and Horizon is demonstrated at Innovationdays with still more unique and advanced binding solutions—an example of the complex integration projects that are coming. For instance, in the Hunkeler book production line, the un-glued book blocks are picked up by a Hunkeler line and handed over to a Muller Martini perfect binder that is specially designed to accept these.

Quality and finishability 

Two observations emerge from what Hunkeler product manager Hans Gut said at the press conference and also during the guided tour he conducted to highlight some of the main features of the company’s products at the exhibition. The first is that digital color production is for many applications; it is not about just speed but quality. It seems that speeds of 80 to 180 m are really where the highest and most stable color quality is emerging in webfed digital printing. The second is Gut’s observation on the use of primers and coating that enable substrates to be printed by digital presses and particularly inkjet digital presses. He says, “By using various coatings and primers, the press manufacturers are focussing mainly on printability. However, sometimes these coatings and primers make paper processing and finishing more difficult and we need to sensitize the industry to retain and develop the finishability as well.” 

I had several interesting interactions with Xeikon, Kodak, Canon, Fujifilm and Ricoh on the first day. There are many new presses on display at the show, including those from Canon and HP. Fujifilm is showing a technology demonstration of a webfed press printed with the same Samba head as in its successful Jetpress 720. As many of you must be aware by now, Xeikon is coming to India directly in both the digital document and the label side. Read about some of these interactions in the coming days as well as the Doxnet Conference that takes place this afternoon, featuring everybody’s friend and my one-time teacher in a short course on typography—Frank Romano. I am hoping that he will share his comments on Donald Trump as well as the print industry and where it is going.

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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