drupa set to deliver

Today marks the day the world’s biggest trade show drupa opens its doors, with more than 300,000 printers set to walk through the 19 halls in Dusseldorf looking for the way forward for their businesses.

The giant trade show opens when the industry is still under immense strain, witnessed by the collapse of two high profile Aussie printers in recent weeks, Sydney Allen and Five Star, and that of the UK’s biggest printer Polestar.

The drupa organisers say the show will provide the answers printers are looking for, and have lined up a host of educational and market opportunity seminars to run alongside the exhibitors stands.

With the biggest presence at drupa this year HP has 209 tonnes of printing power occupying the entire 6200sqm of space in hall 17. That is made up of 56 printers and presses, with the combined weight of two blue whales, says HP.

“To give you an idea of what printers can see on our stand, HP Indigo technology is now printing on canvas as well as synthetic and natural polymers, adding yet another string to its Indigo bow,” says Mike Boyle, GM, Graphics Solutions Business, APJ at HP.

Heidelberg is making a major leap forward with the launch of its driverless presses, under the ‘Push to Stop’ concept, which will see its presses not only automate printing itself, but also take over the ordering of consumables, the production planning and the management of maintenance. See separate Heidelberg story for details.

Heidelberg is in its traditional Hall 1, although it is sharing it with a number of partners, and will launch its B1 inkjet press, the Primefire, co-developed with Fujifilm, and which will become the world’s first inkjet B1 press.

The once mighty rival manroland is now a different company, operating like its owner Langley Holdings, with a lean clear focus, according to CEO Rafael Penuela.

Launched on the stand was the new Roland 700 Evolution, a highly specified B1 sheetfed press, which Australasian chief executive Steve Dunwell told ProPrint was ‘aimed at packaging printers and commercial printers serious about quality.’

[Related: All the news from drupa 2016]

The Evolution on the booth is an eight colour with twin coating and inline cold foiling. The company is currently installing its first at Labelmakers in Melbourne.

Landa will have double the space it took in 2012, with Benny Landa himself giving five presentations a day in the Landa theatre, where three presses will be on show, including two B1 sheetfeds, one of which will be a perfector. Landa will nto be shipping for another year at least though.

Fuji Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Xeikon will all have new digital presses, most will be launching inkjet as well as toner. The big offset manufacturers KBA, Komori and Ryobi will also be showing digital presses, while manroland will have its folding superstructure on the back end of digital presses.

Exhibitors have shared with the world’s print trade media their aim to get their software off individual printers’ servers and into the cloud. They claim it is less expensive, there are no upgrades required and it will be more secure.

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