Heidelberg at virtual.drupa – 20 to 23 April 2021

Heidelberg’s autonomous print production & end-to-end solutions

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Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106
The 2020 generation Speedmaster XL 106 has everything that is needed to systematically harness the high-performance levels of this press. Further smart assistance systems and artificial intelligence take user navigation to a whole new level. Photo Heidelberg

Heidelberg is showcasing its portfolio of solutions for autonomous printing at virtual.drupa 2021, taking place on April 20 – 23 and is being organized by Messe Düsseldorf. On 23 April 23, Heidelberg will outline opportunities offered by using artificial intelligence in print businesses.

In the Exhibition Space, the company is presenting product innovations in the commercial, label, and packaging segments. One highlight is the enhanced Push to Stop concept for autonomous printing with end-to-end solutions, which takes the Smart Print Shop to a whole new level. Heidelberg is demonstrating completely automated offset production – from job acceptance through to postpress, including fully automatic plate logistics. This enables commercial and packaging printers to boost their productivity in the popular 70 x 100 format.

On 23 April, Heidelberg will be showing visitors to the virtual.drupa Conference Area the possible ways for print shops to become far more efficient by using artificial intelligence. Individual discussions on various topics can be arranged with Heidelberg experts in the Networking Plaza. Messe Düsseldorf’s Matchmaking Tool helps bring together the ideal dialog partners based on profile, preferences, and interests.

Several virtual and in-person events this year

“Despite being a virtual event this year, drupa remains an important meeting point for our industry. We are impressed by the concept and are looking forward to making a lot of new contacts, and also to seeing both new and familiar faces,” says Ludwig Allgoewer, head of Global Sales and Marketing at Heidelberg. “Virtual.drupa is just one of several customer events this year. In March, we started the HD4YOU digital webinar series. In June, we are taking part in the China Print trade show in Beijing and accompanying this with a digital customer event in Europe. And following the summer break, there will be another Innovation Week at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site, which our customers will hopefully be able to attend in person this time round,” he adds.

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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