Drupa – Global print industry on growth path

Digitalization and sustainability are central topics

A total of 30 global players and partners, including German companies such as Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, Kurz, Tesa and Voith, are showcasing the latest, energy-efficient print and manufacturing technologies at the Touchpoint Sustainability.

The print industry remains on course for growth worldwide. The sector posted sales of over 837 billion Euros in the past fiscal year. “Our industry is growing and also has a future,” says Thomas Schiemann, managing director of the VDMA’s Print and Paper Technology Association.  

In a current study, industry analysts assume that the global print industry will achieve annual average inflation-adjusted growth of over 2.1% over the coming five years after posting 1.1% growth over the past five years. This development, says Schiemann, will mainly be driven by the labels and packaging segments.  

In Germany, the approximately 6,900 print and media companies generated around 17.6 billion Euros with some 110,000 employees. “Nothing works without print. Germany continues to have Europe’s biggest newspaper market, mailshots are retail’s most important marketing tool, the market for packaging is on the rise and every supermarket is a showcase for the print industry,” says Kirsten Hommelhoff, managing director of BVDM, before the start of drupa in Düsseldorf.

Counting 1,642 exhibitors from 52 nations, drupa is the world’s biggest trade fair for print technologies. To the tune of 200,000 trade visitors from over 180 countries are expected at the eleven-day event. Nearly 75% of customers now come from abroad. With these figures drupa underscores its position as the most important hub for the global print industry, says Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf. “drupa brings the global ranges of innovative technologies, latest market developments and information together in one place.” drupa occupies the entire Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre on more than 140,000 sq m net exhibition space in 18 halls.  

This year the pivotal trends and topics are digitalization, sustainability and production automation. Here, the VDMA sees further opportunities for growth, say Schiemann, “The industry has good prospects for the future – but it has to be prepared. Hardly any other topic is as important to us at drupa 2024 and throughout the mechanical and plant engineering industry as sustainability, not only from an ecological but also from an economic perspective. We are therefore delighted to create a cross-sector platform for exchange, discussion and knowledge transfer for the future of the print and paper industry with our Touchpoint Sustainability.”

A total of 30 global players and partners, including German companies such as Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, Kurz, Tesa and Voith, are showcasing the latest, energy-efficient print and manufacturing technologies at the Touchpoint Sustainability.  

Like other sectors of industry, the print sector struggles with skilled labor shortages. The print industry has been affected by (skilled) labor shortages for years now, as the BVDM’s industry survey 2023 shows. Alongside rising labor costs skilled labor shortages are rated as one of the biggest challenges by more than 50% of companies. Add to this high energy prices as well as red tape. At drupa there are therefore numerous initiatives by associations and universities to promote careers in the printing industry.

drupa 2024 is open for trade visitors from Tuesday, 28 May to Friday, 7 June 2024.

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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