Werner Dornscheidt, Messe Düsseldorf president and CEO, says, “The international profile of offerings is matched by that of demand. We expect some 370,000 visitors from around the world, intent on gaining a comprehensive overview at the world’s No. 1 fair for the print and media industry.”
Suppliers, especially German manufacturers of printing and paper technologies as well as printing materials and inks, are counting on receiving significant impetus for domestic and international business from the print media fair. At the drupa 2004 business press conference held on 19 April 2004, leading representatives of the industry’s top associations were united in heralding an improvement in the investment climate through climbing advertising spendings and above-average growth in mail-order and catalogue advertising.
“The driving force behind the improvement are the international orders,” says Kai Büntemeyer, deputy chairman of the Fachgemeinschaft Druck- und Papiertechnik (specialised section for printing and paper equipment and supplies) within the VDMA. “The appreciation of the euro is, however, definitely hampering business and limiting potential growth.”
Printing and paper technologies recorded promising economic signals at the beginning of the year. Büntemeyer says, “The clouds had already lifted on the industry by the end of 2003. “In the first two months of 2004, order volumes swelled by 15 percent and, within the space of a year (February 2003 to February 2004), capacity utilisation stepped up from 81.2 to 87.5 per cent.”
The paper industry as well as the paper, pulp and plastic processing industry rang in drupa year 2004 on an upbeat note. Michael Kessener, managing director of the Verband Deutscher Papierfabriken (German Pulp and Paper Association – VDP) in Düsseldorf, says, “Printing paper (the largest segment of the paper industry, boasting 48 percent of sales) recorded a 4.4 per cent increment in sales figures for the first two months of 2004”
Thomas Pfeiffer, the managing director of the Hauptverband Papier- und Kunststoffverarbeitung (Central Association of the Paper, Board and Plastics Converting Industry – HPV), says, “Turnover in paper and pulp products progressed counter to the general economic downturn to reach over EUR 15 billion in 2003 – equivalent to growth of 3.6 per cent.” Printing ink producers also bumped up sales in 2003 by 2.3 per cent to some EUR1.5bn.
For all the optimism that suppliers brought with them into 2004, German printing houses continue to keep a tight hold on the purse strings. Rolf Schwarz, president of the Bundesverband Druck und Medien (German Printing and Media Industries Federation – BVDM), says, “The stubbornly weak domestic economy, slump in publishing business and declining advertising spendings precipitated a further dip in printing houses’ 2003 sales below the previous year’s level, describing conditions in the German printing industry.” What is more, the closure of 366 companies in 2003 marks a record low.
drupa brings together IT, iron & steel to form a symbiosis – impressive presses and converting machinery are as much a feature of the 17 exhibition halls as computer workstations. Digital workflows and automation are set to be the hottest topics at drupa 2004. To help the 370,000 anticipated visitors find their bearings, the 1862 exhibitors will be grouped under the following product and/or thematic categories:
Halls 1 and 2 will house the full product spread from prepress to converting as laid out by Heidelberg and its cooperation partners.
For the second time, Hall 6 will be home to PrintCity, a strategic alliance of graphic arts’ suppliers, spearheaded by initiators MAN Roland and Agfa. Here, too, the entire value chain will be on show.
Halls 15 and 16 will be notable for leading printing machinery manufacturers KBA, Komori, Mitsubishi and Cerutti.
Halls 3 to 9, 13 and 16 will revolve primarily around technology dedicated to the prepress and premedia stages, as well as other digital technologies. Exhibitors showcased here will include Dainippon Screen, Esko Graphics, Hewlett Packard and Kodak Polychrome.
In Halls 3, 4, 6, 7, 13 and 15 to 17 the spotlight will be on machinery, equipment and accessories for printing. Aside from previously mentioned exhibitors, Xerox and Xeikon will also set up shop here.
Halls 6, 10 to 13 and 16 have been reserved notably for paper converting and packaging. Here, leading companies such as Bobst, Körber PaperLink, Winkler & Dünnebier and Windmöller & Hölscher will take the floor.
Halls 6, 12 to 14 and 16 are the nexus for exhibitors with offerings in book binding and print converting. Here, such eminent names as Ferag, Kolbus and Müller Martini can be found.
Virtually all the halls boast equipment and services in their lineup.
A tightly woven specialist programme – the first in drupa’s 50-year plus existence – is the answer to the industry’s growing need for information. Comprising workshops, special presentations and tours, the modular structure offers visitors the freedom to put together a personalised programme. The individual building blocks of the programme are the Compass Sessions organised by the BVDM, the drupa innovation parc, CIP4 Consortium’s JDF parc, the Highlights Tours coordinated by Deutscher Drucker publishers, as well as the 50th edition of the Type Directors Club Show and the exhibition by the Leipzig Museum für Druckkunst (Museum for Print Art).
drupa will be open daily from 10am to 6pm (May 6 – 19) except at weekends when it closes at 5pm. A one-day ticket costs EUR33 and the four-day ticket is priced at EUR100. Catalogues are available for EUR22.
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