Key industry trends emerge from local visitors at drupa 2024

Above: One of the largest contingents from the Australian and New Zealand printing industry came together at drupa 2024

Key industry trends have emerged from drupa 2024 following one of the largest Australian contingents to travel to an international trade fair in the last decade.

Hundreds of printers from Australia and New Zealand joined hundreds of suppliers from the major printing manufacturers for 11 days at Messe Düsseldorf in Germany – one of the longest continuous trade fairs held anywhere in the world.

Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman, said drupa 2024 represented more of a packaging show than a traditional offset or wide format exhibition.

“For Durst, drupa 2024 has certainly been focused on key innovations in packaging and software. Although there has been a lot of focus on the traditional offset and wide format categories, packaging and software have emerged as the major trends that everyone is looking for to help diversify their business. The future for Durst and the broader industry is definitely the growth of digital packaging and the implementation of agnostic software to drive further efficiencies,” Ashman said.

Rodney Frost from Lamson Paragon also identified key trends from the dozens of kilometres he walked at the show.

“Another amazing drupa experience researching the industry of tomorrow,” Frost said.

“Major takeouts were inkjet on the march, flexible digital fibre packaging, automation and the skills that are required for the future.”

Damian Nielsen from the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) said he made great connections and saw exciting innovations at the event.

“Walking over 40km in the halls to see an amazing array of equipment, software and consumables across all facets of print. Interesting to hear the number of brand collaborations announced at the show,” Nielsen said.

Collaborations and partnerships represented one of the key trends at drupa 2024 – even the event itself signed a memorandum of understanding with another trade fair.

Among the collaborations at drupa 2024 were partnerships confirmed by Canon and Heidelberg, Fujifilm and Konica Minolta, Durst and Koenig and Bauer, Agfa and EFI, Hunkeler and Muller Martini, HP and Canva, as well as the drupa organisers and Printing United.

A video taken on the final day of the trade fair by the HP and Currie Group team, Currie Group national sales manager, Commercial – Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson, Currie Group director of labels and packaging – Mark Daws and HP Country Manager – Craig Walmsley summarised their key trends and take-outs.

“drupa has been the accumulation of the last eight years worth of research and development across a number of different platforms from labels to packaging and from flexible to commercial,” said HP Country Manager – Craig Walmsley.

“LEPx liquid electrophotography has been the foundation of the HP Indigo technology, and LEPx is the next phase of the technology, which is so exciting because it’s going to give us even better quality, faster productivity, more reliability, and something to really look forward to. We might even see it in the cut sheet space at drupa 2028,” Currie Group national sales manager, Commercial — Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson said.

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