This year’s drupa shines the spotlight on cooperation.
How does anyone summarize a trade show that lasts 11 days, sees developments and new business lines from 1,837 exhibitors from 54 countries, and sprawls out over 19 halls? Thankfully, we focus on just a part of the print and graphic arts industry, so that narrows it down somewhat.
What’s interesting though is the trend we saw at drupa to combine processes – offset presses with flexo technology and presses that combine gravure and flexo. Many companies were offering hybrid presses in one form or another, and although our magazine is called Flexo & Gravure Global, we certainly couldn’t ignore this trend.
We’ve included news from companies around the world, as understanding the global market has become even more important after seeing the numbers from this year’s event. According to the Messe Düsseldorf, the visitor attendance represented a much larger international population than previous years.
The percentage, totalling 76%, is up 16% from four years ago, with the largest number coming from Asia. Several companies announced new subsidiaries worldwide and it’s no secret that as the industry consolidates, emerging markets are viewed as possible growth areas.
Speaking of trends, we’ve also included opinions from industry experts in our drupa survey. A theme repeated throughout their responses is the idea of Industry 4.0, an industrial revolution connecting different parts of the printing and converting process so companies can offer usable solutions. This concept of cooperation was seen with the new hybrid presses but also with automation and partner projects between companies.
The survey also touches on the digital printing arena, and the answers are as varied as you would expect them to be. However, that common thread of cooperation comes up again, this time more in regard to the fact that while digital printing won’t replace flexo or gravure processes at this time, it does have its place in the market. Printers need to know what they can do with digital that perhaps they can’t do with their current range of presses.
To that point, we’ve also incorporated a news section devoted to digital printing. Knowledge is power, and after spending a week exploring the drupa landscape, it has become clear that printers who hope to succeed and thrive cannot ignore this technology. That’s not to say we’re forgetting our roots, or understating the importance of our main focus.
In addition to the newest information about the flexo and gravure market, we’ve included an updated market survey of flexo presses for flexible packaging and folding cartons. You may have already seen a version of this on our website, however this issue contains the newest information from drupa.
And to tie it all together, we have commentary from G&K’s editor in-chief, Ansgar Wessendorf. He brings his experience and deep knowledge of the print world to our drupa issue with his assessment of the package printing industry and where digital printing stands today.
We think this drupa spotlight does the trade fair justice, but if you want more, you can read the reports we posted daily online at tinyurl.com/drupasummary.