42 TechnologyNewsdrupa 2012 report

drupa 2012 report

42 Technology’s inkjet group visited drupa 2012 in Dusseldorf early in May and made a number of important observations.

Being one of the most important trade fairs in the printing industry, drupa this year hosted 1,850 exhibitors and received more than 300,000 visitors.

Impressive as this may sound, the number of visitors this year was about 20% lower than in the previous event in 2008. The printing sector is clearly affected by the economic climate and changing market requirements.

drupa covers traditional printing sectors such as flexographic printing, gravure printing and screen printing, as well as substrate handling systems, paper converting and post press, inks, software and components. Digital printing has been a relatively small part of the fair previously; however it is now occupying a significant part of it.

Almost every medium to large scale company from the analogue printing world presented some digital capability or development effort. Digital printing is clearly one of the industry’s growth engines and will be the subject of major investments within the next few years. Among the unique advantages of digital printing based on Drop-on-Demand (DoD) print head technology are flexibility to run short batches with literally zero downtime and cost to change, possible use of various inks including functional liquids and hence huge range of substrates, non-contact printing and more. The main challenges still preventing this sector from encroaching more into the traditional printing sectors are print quality and reliability in large volumes, throughput and price per pixel.

Here are some notable examples:

Heidelberg, one of the industry’s largest offset press manufacturers, presented its new brand HEI. Alongside its traditional high speed analogue presses, a line of Linoprint digital printing machines for packaging was introduced.

Landa, an Israeli company founded in 2002 by Benny Landa, presented its revolutionary Nanography™ technology based on nano particle inks and a special dispense technology. It combines digital features into offset printing techniques thus enabling a fast and reliable yet flexible novel method. This is no doubt the forefront of digital printing nowadays.

Read more in the drupa 2012 final press release.