Heidelberg and KBA urge Drupa to stick to four year cycle

Heidelberg and KBA, the former speaking as the single largest exhibitor at Drupa 2012, agreed that while a shorter duration of 10 or 11 days made sense and was supported by the exhibitor community, they both firmly believed that it would be a mistake for the Drupa committee to back a move to a three-year cycle from 2015 when it meets on 2 November.

The two rivals were in agreement with HP in that a move to a shorter show cycle would place an additional burden on resources when manufacturers are increasingly looking to invest in events in South America and China.

“A four-year Drupa cycle fits perfectly to our approach to meet changing customer demands in industrial countries as well as in emerging countries, and clearly supports major product development cycles in our industry of four-to-five years,” said a Heidelberg spokesperson.

This was echoed by KBA marketing director Klaus Schmidt who said that a proposal to increase the frequency of the show at a time when manufacturers are suffering from overcapacity and low margins was not welcome as it was simply too costly to show high-end litho presses or post-press equipment every three years.

“Heavy metal in production is a speciality of Drupa compared to most other trade shows and a main reason for attracting hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. A shorter Drupa cycle would (automatically) mean smaller stands and less equipment at least for heavy-duty machinery. This would hurt the unique position of Drupa as world-wide show window for our industry,” he said.

Schmidt admitted that the prospect of a Drupa moving to every three years might be appealing for some pre-press and software vendors, but he highlighted that Drupa’s appeal was that it was one of the few places where visitors can see the whole production workflow and a cycle change might put that at risk.

“[Drupa offers] a production environment close to reality with running litho, digital, flexo and other presses, often in combination with latest prepress and post-press equipment you will not find on any other graphic arts trade show in this size and completeness,” he added.

This article originally appeared at printweek.com

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