German printing press builder Manroland Sheetfed and Japanese press producer Komori Corporation have both pulled out of drupa amidst fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The companies have joined along the likes of Heidelberg and Bobst, which have ceased their participation at the printing industry’s leading exhibition, normally held every four years in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The announcements also follow drupa’s postponement from June 2020 to April 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Manroland Sheetfed group managing director Rafael Peñuela-Torres, said, “exhibiting at drupa, or any other trade fair for that matter, makes absolutely no sense during the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It is regrettable, as we would have been exhibiting with live demonstrations of both our recently launched Roland 900 Evolution press and the new Roland 700 Evolution Elite, but unfortunately it is just not practicable in the current circumstances. Instead, we will be holding a series of live webinars in the autumn.”
Komori Corporation said, in a release, that the decision to suspend its exhibit at the trade show was made in response to the coronavirus and its serious impact to the economy of both the developed and emerging countries, taking into consideration the potential risks of a second or third surge of the pandemic.
“While an extremely unusual circumstance prevents Komori from participating in the drupa 2021, our plan is to launch an array of new products and services in the days to come, through open house events and active participations to regional exhibitions. New information will also be released utilising various media such as corporate websites, information and video distribution service using emails or SNS, online exhibitions and webinars,” the company said.
“The pace of social and industrial structure change have accelerated rapidly in 2020, transforming the operating climate of the printing industry. We will always listen to our customers, develop and deliver innovate technologies and services that are essential for printing companies worldwide to adapt to such climate changes.”
Komori’s local distributor Print & Pack was contacted for comment at the time of writing.
On the other hand, Koenig & Bauer has reaffirmed its commitment to participate in the global trade fair by announcing that it will retain its position at the event and its stand in hall 16.
Since drupa was founded in 1951, Koenig & Bauer has maintained an uninterrupted presence at the event and has welcomed customers from all over the world. It said this will remain even in times of crisis.
“We continue to see drupa, the world’s leading trade fair, as an important building block in the graphic arts industry and we see it as our responsibility to support this industry,” Koenig & Bauer CEO and drupa president Claus Bolza-Schünemann said.
“We want to do our part to continue to provide important impulses locally in personal discussions. We have confidence in Messe Düsseldorf’s hygiene concept and in the sense of responsibility of all visitors.”
Koenig & Bauer board member Ralf Sammeck said there is no better platform than drupa to present the product diversity from the business.
“Trade fairs will not be the same as they were before COVID-19, and Koenig & Bauer is also supplementing communication with its customers with virtual formats and customer-specific events, for example in our new Customer Experience Center,” Sammeck said.
“Nevertheless, these formats can only convey the performance capabilities of the broad product portfolio to a limited extent. Nothing beats experiencing the latest technologies up close in action with the public and the trade fair feeling.”
Most recently, Koenig & Bauer provided a sneak peek into its drupa 2021 exhibition during a nine-day livestream which included digital and packaging updates from its joint venture with Durst as well as the market launch of the next generation Rapida 106 offset sheetfed press.
During the digital presentation, Bolza-Schünemann said Koenig & Bauer’s focus at drupa 2021 will revolve around digitisation.
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