Global print and packaging sector sets eyes on drupa 2024

Exhibitors from 45 countries are already on board

Drupa 2024
Nina Goldt (Left) and Dr René Baston

More than 100,000 sqm of net exhibition space have already been booked by around 900 exhibitors from 45 nations for drupa 2024, one of the world’s leading trade fairs for print technologies.

From renowned global players to up-and-coming new entrants – the list of registered exhibitors includes the ‘Who’s Who’ of the print and packaging industry such as Bobst, Comexi, Duplo, EFI, Epson, ESKO, Fujifilm, Heidelberg, Horizon, Koenig & Bauer, Kolbus, Komori, Konica Minolta, KURZ, Landa, Müller Martini, Screen, Windmöller & Hölscher, to name but a few. They will showcase their innovations, technology trends, product portfolios, and global launches in Düsseldorf from 28 May to 7 June 2024. Participants can look forward to automated workflows, processes, and new machinery at drupa 2024.

Even after the official deadline for registrations at the end of October, Messe Düsseldorf continues to register a strong demand for exhibition space. Germany is the strongest exhibiting nation among the top 10 followed by such countries as Belgium, China, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the USA.

Current booking levels and the positive verdict received by exhibitors make us very confident and optimistic – despite the geopolitical and economic challenges – that drupa 2024 will again be the world’s most important industry meeting place,” confirms Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies, Messe Düsseldorf. “With around 75% international attendance on the exhibitor side, drupa occupies an outstanding position by global standards. The range, variety, and staging of innovations are unique and will once again provide a glimpse into the future of this industry. With ideal prerequisites for exhibitors and visitors to network intensely and drive forward-looking projects.”

The in-depth knowledge transfer and interaction with experts from all over the world on the impacts of global megatrends and the associated new business models as well as opportunities for the sector will be in focus here. Special forums such as the drupa cube (conference area), drupa next age (dna), the exhibition area for newcomers, startups, and young talents alongside long-established exhibitors of cross-sectoral technologies as well as the touchpoint ‘packaging’ for visionary and smart packaging solutions, the touchpoint ‘textile’, including the installation of a textile micro-factory, and the touchpoint ‘sustainability’, which is dedicated to sustainability and circular economy themes, all provide highly relevant and valuable insights into tomorrow’s high-potential themes at the event.

In addition, the drupa blog allows a glance at industry trends, solutions, and inspiring best cases from throughout the world.

Ken Hanluec, VP of Worldwide Marketing, Electronics For Imaging, said, “EFI delivers vital innovations and opportunities for customers through digital print and, for us, drupa is a venue for digital’s best ideas. At drupa 2016, we launched a Nozomi single-pass inkjet press that is transforming the corrugated space. The 2024 show will be just as important for anyone seeking the next level of success in many segments of digital print.”

According to Dirk Schröder, Sales Division manager for paper/film / special markets, Erhardt+Leimer, said they will present to trade fair visitors the new EL.NET-technology based on a digital, connectable, IoT-enabled and web-based system architecture in addition to our drive technology or inline inspection products.”

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen CEO Ludwin Monz said, “For us, drupa is a showcase for our leading technologies and innovations in commercial and packaging printing. Heidelberg wants to continue to shape the future of the print media industry and we look forward to seeing our customers again in Düsseldorf in 2024 under the motto ‘we create the future.”

Andreas Pleßke, spokesman of the board at Koenig & Bauer, and chairman of the drupa Committee, “2024 still sounds far away but drupa 2024 is already pretty near for Koenig & Bauer. There is great anticipation to be able to experience exciting innovations hands-on again at the world’s most relevant industry trade fair.”  As an exhibitor, they will make the leading topics of digitalization and sustainability graspable.

Olaf Lorenz, general manager, Global Brand Management, Konica Minolta, said drupa is the bedrock for our industry. “As a global technology leader, Konica Minolta will have a major presence at the exhibition. With our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility goals, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our stand to help them rethink possibilities, ignite their creative ideas, and see the potential in print.”

Swapnil Patel, management executive, Line O Matic, drupa provides an excellent networking opportunity. “We expect ground-breaking innovations and sustainable solutions in line with global challenges. Our product range will help our customers gain high production volume with lower running costs.”

Hermann Veismann, general manager, Business Unit Printing and Finishing, Windmöller & Hölscher, said W&H will be showcasing innovative solutions for a wide variety of challenges on the basis of its unique printing press portfolio.

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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