drupa confirms Dr Andreas Pleßke as new chairman

Dr Pleßke will contribute in making further developments of drupa

drupa confirms Dr Andreas Pleßke as its new chairman
Dr Andreas Pleßke, member of the Koenig & Bauer Executive Board since 2014 and chief executive officer since 2021, is the new chairman of the drupa committee Photo: drupa

As part of the constitutive meeting of the drupa committee on 8 February 2022, Dr Andreas Pleßke, chief executive officer at Koenig & Bauer, has been appointed chairman of this body. Wolfgang Poppen, managing partner at Freiburger Druck and President of the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (Bundesverband Druck und Medien eV), was again confirmed as his deputy. Both candidates were elected unanimously.

Dr Andreas Pleßke succeeds Claus Bolza-Schünemann in office, the former chief executive officer of Koenig & Bauer, who had chaired the drupa committee from 2012 and retired at the designated age. “It is a special honor for me also to succeed Bolza-Schünemann in this circle, and I would like to thank the committee members for their trust,” stresses Dr Pleßke and goes on to say, “I am delighted to pro-actively contribute to shaping the further development and global standing of drupa in my new position to strengthen its unique selling proposal as the world’s leading trade fair.”  

Also delighted at his re-election as deputy, Wolfgang Poppen echoed this view, “drupa stands for innovations and technology premieres and will definitely again prove a key milestone in a constantly evolving industry.”

The next drupa will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 28 May to 7 June 2024 and will focus on the trends of digitalization and sustainability. Applications for exhibitors are now open online at www.drupa.com.

The drupa committee was founded as part of the first drupa in 1951 and is composed of equal numbers of exhibitors and visitors. Its task is to advise Messe Düsseldorf on the further conceptual development of this leading trade fair to stay relevant for the sector.   

The personal dialogue with important experts and multipliers on the part of manufacturers and users in the industry takes on a very special significance, especially in view of the industry’s continuing changes, particularly due to the continued impact of the global pandemic. The future orientation of drupa is decisively influenced by these developments. At present, the personal members of the committee represent six industry associations – 

  • Fachverband Druck- und Papiertechnik im VDMA eV (Printing and Paper Technology Association within the VDMA)
  • Bundesverband Druck und Medien eV (German Printing and Media Industries Federation)
  • Wirtschaftsverbände Papierverarbeitung (Paper Processing Trade Associations)
  • Die Papierindustrie eV (The Paper Industry)
  • Verband der deutschen Lack- und Druckfarbenindustrie e.V. (Association of the German Paint and Printing Ink Industry)
  • DFTA Flexodruck Fachverband eV (DFTA Flexographic Technical Association)

The committee for drupa 2024 at a glance – 

  • Chairman – Andreas Pleßke, chief executive officer, Koenig & Bauer AG (VDMA)
  • Deputy Chairman – Wolfgang Poppen, managing partner, Freiburger Druck GmbH & Co KG (bvdm)
  • Paul Albert Deimel, chief executive officer, bvdm – Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (German Printing and Media Industries Federation)
  • Ralph Dittmann, general manager, WKS DRUCKHOLDING
  • Werner Drechsler, managing partner, Druckstudio
  • Martin Drews, head of Raw Materials, Legal Divisions, Die Papierindustrie eV (The Paper Industry)
  • Markus Frick, managing director, Baumann Maschinenbau Solms & Co KG & Perfecta Schneidemaschinenwerk Bautzen
  • Gunther Gerlach, chairman of the board, Epple Druckfarben 
  • Markus Heering, managing director of the Printing and Paper Technology Association within the VDMA, Mechanical Engineering Industry Association
  • Martin Kanert, general manager, VdL – Verband der deutschen Lack- und Druck-farbenindustrie eV (Association of the German Paint and Printing Ink Industry)
  • Nicola Kopp-Rostek, managing director, DFTA Flexodruck Fachverband eV (DFTA – German Flexographic Technical Association)
  • Walter Kurz, Board of Management, LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co KG
  • Falco Paepenmüller, chief technology officer, Windmöller & Hölscher KG
  • Thomas Pfeiffer, managing director, WPV – Wirtschaftsverbände Papierverarbeitung e.V. (Paper Processing Trade Associations)
  • Bernd Sauter, managing director, Kama
  • Martin Schorn, director, Technical Customer Service News & Retail (N&R), UPM Communication Papers

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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