The quadrennial pilgrimage to the future

drupa 2016 roadshows in Mumbai and Delhi

Faheem Agboatwala, president, BMPA. Photo PSA

Messe Dusseldorf’s globetrotting team kicked off the drupa 2016 India roadshow in Mumbai on 23 November. With leading Mumbai printers in the audience, drupa director Sabine Geldermann, Markus Heering of VDMA, Medha Virkar of Mumbai Mudrak Sangh and Faheem Agboatwala, president of Bombay Master Printers Association (BMPA), spoke about what to expect in Dusseldorf and the desirability of being there. A similar roadshow event took place in Delhi the next evening where Geldermann and Heering were joined by Thomas Schlitt managing director of Dusseldorf Messe’s head office in India, IPAMA general secretary CP Paul and AIFMP president SC Basu who also spoke briefly.

drupa delhi
Sabine Geldermann, director at drupa in Delhi. Photo PSA

Geldermann and Heering discussed drupa 2016’s new focus areas and repositioning keeping in mind the rapid changes in an industry that will require the entire industry to rethink its product strategies and learn to add more unique value using a wider gamut of print technologies and applications. drupa will attempt to focus on new applications and future technology – functional printing, interactive packaging and utility applications which include digital inkjet printing on ceramics and laminate flooring and even additive manufacturing using digital inkjet technology. drupa which was about print and paper untilrecently, will now stand for digitalization, rapid manufacturing, utilities, packaging and applications.

Explaining the idea behind the new 11-day drupa (drupa12 covered 14 days) Geldermann said, “In the last 10 years and especially after drupa 2012, the graphic industry has been under a lot of pressure and this is not due to the traits of consumer behaviour but due to major strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions as well as an increase in digitalization, automation and integrated processes, specialized prints and all other options that crop up in the digital world. As a consequence of this we had to reposition drupa 2016 and focus much more on future themes and topics that offer huge potential next to the graphics industry.”

drupa 2016 will exhibit the trends of tomorrow – packaging production, multichannel communication, 3D printing, functional printing and green printing. With the motto ‘Touch the Future,’ drupa 2016 will be held from 31 May to 10 June, with more than 1,500 exhibitors from around 50 countries showcasing innovations of the printing industry. “The full spectrum of print and cross-media technologies and solutions is represented,” said Geldermann.

Packaging Touchpoint

One of the key topics at drupa 2016 will be packaging production. Papers with outstanding sensory appeal combined with excellent finishing techniques turn packaging into first-class advertising media. Electronic displays and sensors make packaging intelligent while digital printing permits personalization and versioning. According to current forecast, the packaging market will increase to 975 billion Euros by 2018.Aseparate special show, Packaging Touchpoint, reflects this market relevance. “Our aim is to use the visionary Touchpoint to identify potential in packaging design and production and address important vertical markets,” says Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa, highlighting the idea behind this part of the show. Packaging Touchpoint is aimed at brands, packaging designers and service providers already operating in the packaging sector or those who want to enter the sector.

This special forum in Hall 12 is being designed and implemented in close collaboration with the European Packaging Design Association (epda). “We will be covering the whole spectrum of the packaging world – technical and functional requirements, cultural and ethical considerations, cost-effectiveness and efficiency, the wide range of substrates through to the technologies used,” explains Claudia Josephs, project manager at epda. To be in a position to fulfil the special needs of various user industries better, Packaging Touchpoint is divided into four future labs – specifically Seite 2 von 2 into food and beverage, non-food, pharma and cosmetics.

Automation and Industry 4.0

Markus Heering spoke about automation and the fourth industrial revolution termed Industry 4.0. According to Heering, Print 4.0 envisions digital and smart interaction between various equipment in a world where the internet of everything will mean that print will be an essential part of products that also interact. At the same time print and packaging using the Industry 4.0 should be able to create or manufacture unique products even on production machines that in the past have been used for mass production of the same products. Heering explained that package printing and industrial printing are new growth drivers for the printing industry. Direct print on flasks and bottles made of glass, plastic foils, metals, laminates, fittings, and a large variety of substrates is the order of the day, he said.

According to Heering, food processing and packaging can make a significant contribution in fighting waste from farm to fork. Apart from hygiene and protection packaging is also a communication interface and using technology packaging it self is a part of interactive multimedia-based communication making clear that drupa 16will exhibit comprehensive packaging production solutions and future trends. Faheem Agboatwala spoke about what Indian visitors to drupa 2016 should look for. He said Indian visitors should focus on technologies related to inkjet, cross-media and mobile, digital presses for packaging, flexo, labels, green technology and nano technology. Virkar encouraged more and more Indian printers to visit drupa. Indians represented the biggest chunk of overseas visitors at drupa 2012 with close to 14,000 visits and Virkar said she was optimistic that the record will be broken in drupa 2016.

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