A window to print’s future – Dusseldorf 16 to 26 June 2020

drupa 2020 roadshow comes to Delhi

drupa director Sabine Geldermann at a drupa promotion event in New Delhi in autumn 2019 Photo IPP at Messe Dusseldorf
drupa director Sabine Geldermann at a drupa promotion event in New Delhi in autumn 2019 Photo IPP at Messe Dusseldorf

Messe Dusseldorf India organized the third and final drupa 2020 roadshow in India in New Delhi on 28 November 2019. While the first leg of the roadshow took place in the Americas, the second leg started in India, covering Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi. The drupa 2020 team now moves on to Nepal, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, which will be followed by roadshows in Russia and North Africa.

Sabine Geldermann, director – drupa & Global head Printing Technologies at Messe Dusseldorf, said, “We can expect that drupa 2020 is going to be the global platform for the print industry in 2020. Since its foundation in 1951, drupa always stood for providing an impetus for the industry as well as orientation. We’re doing all that we can to underline the global positioning of the event and to make sure that all the visitors to the event have an unbelievable experience and a very valuable stay in Dusseldorf.

“On a global level, we need to be more sustainable, and we have to make our approach of being much more careful with both nature as well as our processes. . . . There will be several focus areas at drupa 2020, including drupa cube, dna – drupa next age, touchpoint packaging, touchpoint 3D fab + print, and touchpoint textile. Inkjet will be an important focus area of drupa 2020 as will textiles . . . many of our traditional companies and exhibitors will show many more textile applications at drupa.”

DNA (drupa next age) is an incubator for new technologies. Geldermann said that her team is inviting start-ups as well as traditional companies to talk about future trends and cutting-edge technologies. Located in Hall 7 (where the drupa innovation parc used to be), the DNA arena will have not only exhibitors but also a stage for brand owners to deliver their experience and vision in the conference programs.

Touchpoint packaging implemented for the first time in drupa 2016 will be one of the big highlights of drupa 2020. Touchpoint packaging will display the latest solutions and applications and show how future packaging and design will deliver additional value, stimuli and growth opportunities in a fast-changing world. The Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association will play its part in this effort. Geldermann concluded by urging people to stay connected to the drupa team for further updates by regularly visiting the drupa website and through the drupa application.

Markus Heering, managing director of Print Promotion and VDMA’s Printing and Paper Technology Association, began by addressing the challenges in the print industry. He said that while the highlight at drupa has been digitalization for a long time, now this focus is shifting to artificial intelligence. On the importance of web to print services, he said, “In Europe, all online printers use 90% of offset technology instead of inkjet. They run the technology in a very efficient and effective way. As they are always connected and are always in contact with the customer, they can offer more transparency to their customers, who can easily know the status of their order. In Europe, the online sector in printing is booming, and some of the most successful printers have an annual growth rate of 10% to 15% every year. Traditional printers have more or less disappeared from the market due to the success of online print service providers.” This transformation, he believes, is the next big thing in the printing industry.

Dibyajyoti Kalita, president of All India Federation of Master Printers, and Kamal Chopra, general secretary of the Offset Printers’ Association, delivered the message loud and clear to printers to again take part in numbers at drupa 2020. Speaking at the end, adaptability, transformation, learning and envisioning the future were also echoed by Rajendrakumar Anayath.

Drupa 2020 roadshow in Mumbai

Messe Düsseldorf India organized a drupa 2020 roadshow in Mumbai on 26 November at the Taj Mahal Hotel, which was attended by more than 100 delegates. The Mumbai roadshow was the second drupa 2020 roadshow in India with the first, which was held in Chennai on 25 November.

“Asia in general has been playing a very important role for drupa for many years now,” Geldermann said. Talking about Indian presence at drupa, Geldermann said that India has always been well represented at the show and during drupa 2016, almost 20,000 Indian visitors came to the show. She hoped that a similar number will visit drupa 2020 as well.

Iqbal Kherodawala of Printline Reproductions, and also honorary secretary of Bombay Master Printers Association, said that drupa has always been very important to the Indian printing industry, which is attested from the fact that close to 20,000 visitors went to drupa in 2016.

He said that visitors should look out for new technologies, especially in the fields of packaging, textile printing, inkjet printing and intelligent automation. For offset printers, he said that they should look out for latest developments in digital printing. However, he stressed that digital printing will become a very important vertical in the Indian printing industry, offset printing will remain extremely relevant and Indian offset printers should also look out for latest solutions from companies like Heidelberg, Komori, Mitsubishi and K&B.

“Offset printers can see how offset presses are increasingly competing with digital processes, such as short run and fast responses,” Kherodawala said.

Tushar Dhote of Dhote Offset Technokrafts and president of Mumbai Mudrak Sangh also spoke about his experience during visits to drupa, especially his first visit almost 20 years ago, and echoed Kherodawala’s sentiment that first-time visitors need to prepare well.

At the conclusion, Dhote informed the audience that Messe Düsseldorf has tied up with Red Carpet Tours as its official travel partner.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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