Packaging to take center stage at drupa 2024

First report from the pre-drupa 2024 media conference

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Messe Dusseldorf (credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)

At the international media conference held at Messe Dusseldorf from 25 to 27 March, several key players in the printing and packaging industry provided insights into their upcoming exhibits at drupa 2024. During the two-and-a-half-day event, one-and-a-half dozen companies provided a sneak peek into what they will showcase and unveil at the event.

Among the pre-drupa presentations and announcements, one overarching theme stood out – packaging. The event served as a platform for companies to unveil their latest innovations and solutions tailored specifically for the packaging sector, reaffirming the industry’s growing focus on sustainable and efficient packaging solutions.

The companies who participated in the pre-drupa media conference were Hybrid Software, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Koeing & Bauer, Durst, Epson, Canon, Bobst, Kongsberg, Esko Graphics, Ricoh, Heidelberg, Kurz, Miraclon, Highcon, Landa Digital Printing, HP and Manroland Goss. Some of the highlights are reported below.

Hybrid Software Belgium-based Hybrid Software talked about a host of solutions with a significant emphasis on packaging and labels. Among the highlights was the enterprise production workflow Cloudflow’s ProofScope tool, which integrates 3D approval systems based on iC3D technology. Additionally, Hybrid Software unveiled its new Capture3D software, enabling accurate distortion of artwork for printing high-quality shrink sleeves and die-formed metal packaging.

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Benny Landa at pre-drupa media conference (credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)

Fujifilm Apart from its solutions for commercial printing, Japan’s Fujifilm is substantially focused on packaging. It talked about its water-based inkjet digital press, the Jet Press FP790, addressing the flexible packaging market. The company has already signed deals for five presses in this segment in Europe, with the first global installation having taken place in Japan.

Canon Canon demonstrated its commitment to becoming a significant player in the packaging and label space. It talked about the Canon LabelStream LS2000, a new 40-meter-a-minute inkjet label press. For the corrugated segment, Canon will introduce its concept for a sheetfed single-pass, industrial-scale digital corrugated press at drupa. The company also has something for the folding carton segment. At drupa, an inline folding carton production process will be shown, taking preprinted reels which will then be embellished live on the Edale FL5-Single-Pass Carton Production Line, adding either cold foil, cast and cure or varnish. Our readers will recall that Canon acquired UK-based Edale more than a year ago but has been very quiet about its plans to incorporate the company’s expertise in narrow and mid-web label and carton production.

Heidelberg Heidelberg talked about its new Speedmaster XL 106 press, specifically designed for packaging and label printing applications. With a printing speed of 21,000 sheets an hour, the Speedmaster XL 106 aims to increase sheetfed packaging production efficiency to new heights. The press will have its world premiere at drupa 2024.

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Media delegates at the conference (credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)

Bobst The Swiss packaging solutions provider has shared several highlights of its approach to a futuristic packaging ecosystem in the past couple of years. Its recent announcements include solutions for flexible packaging, folding cartons, labels, corrugated and digital solutions. Several of these innovations and applications will be officially launched at drupa 2024.

Kurz In Dusseldorf, finishing expert Leonhard Kurz talked about a wide range of finishing products and solutions for various packaging applications, including cold foil transfer, hot stamping foils, hologram foils, and digital finishing. The company will also be represented at drupa’s Packaging, Sustainability and Textile Touchpoints.

Miraclon At drupa, flexo pre-press solutions provider Micraclon will present 12 techno-commercial case studies, highlight nine new product innovations that build on the strength of the core Flexcel NX technology, and provide high bandwidth access to Miraclon technical and commercial experts.

Esko Esko, X-Rite, Pantone and Enfocus (all owned by Danaher) will co-exhibit at drupa 2024 showcasing a new integrated technology ecosystem for the packaging supply chain. According to the group, the unveiling of sCloud, a multi-tenant cloud-native platform, marks a significant advancement in cloud-based packaging solutions, offering enhanced connectivity, data sharing, and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Landa Digital Printing At the press event, Landa Digital Printing launched the next generation of its B1 digital print technology, the Landa S11 and S11P nanographic printing presses, that are set to become commercially available at drupa 2024. Additionally, Landa announced its intention to venture into the realm of flexible packaging with the W11 flexible packaging press, further expanding its comprehensive range of innovative digital printing solutions.

manroland Goss manroland Goss talked about its Varioman printing solution for packaging, promising lower production costs and increased productivity. With features like solvent-free EB curing and minimized ink consumption, the Varioman presents an environmentally friendly option for the packaging industry. If any one machine or system has been waiting to be shown at drupa, this is probably the most likely one.

Highcon At the pre-drupa conference Highcon announced a new line-up, addressing the fastest-growing segments of paperboard packaging. It announced the new digital diecutter Highcon Beam 3, offering improved quality and 50% increased production per shift, to be shown for the first time at drupa 2024. For the corrugated segment, the company announced the new Highcon Vulcan.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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