virtual.drupa 2021 will run 20-23 April. But, is this online version going to prove as attractive as the physical event in Dusseldorf and meeting industry mates over a beer in the Altstadt afterwards?
If you had accepted that when it comes to Drupa you’d be swapping Messe Dusseldorf for your laptop this year, you may now wonder if it’s even worth logging on. What everyone understands is that the online virtual.drupa 2021 is a Covid-19 necessary replacement for the behemoth physical event, but with 130 exhibitors registered at the time of going to press, a month before the event is due to run (20-23 April), there was little sign of large-format orientated participants.
Go to the show’s ‘exhibitors and products’ page (http://bit.ly/3ejNYze), do a search on ‘large-format’ and ‘wide-format’, and you’ll fnd few really relevant companies. But then we know there will be companies exhibiting that may be of interest to this community but not show up under those search terms, so have a dig around to see if it will be worth your time exploring the event.
As well as exhibitors being able to use their online showrooms to highlight their technologies and products, there will be live Web sessions and virtual meeting rooms in the Networking Plaza for more personal exchanges. But of course, organisers are eager to point out that virtual.drupa 2021 is about more than manufacturers showing their wares and trying to collect sales leads.
A Conference Area provides access to keynote addresses, industry insights, and case studies delivered by industry gurus and speakers from various vertical markets. Running across the four days of the show, from 9.15am-5pm UK time, the talks and discussions will cover four global trends - AI, the circular economy, the connected consumer, and platform economy.
At the time of going to press three keynote speakers had confirmed participation. Michael Gale, author and managing partner of Inc.digital, will deliver keynotes on two days - 20 April ‘Small steps and giant leaps for your AI in a circular economy’, and 23 April ‘The AI opportunity. A dawn of a new age for you with the right AI schematic’. Print and graphic designer James Sommerville will deliver ‘The Creative business model of tomorrow. The cusp of another revolution’ on 21 April, and the following day Dr. Gabrielle Walker will give the presentation ‘All change: Implications of the climate megatrend for the printing industry’. The full programme can be found at: http://bit.ly/3bvfpod
These will be supplemented by presentations in five special forums - drupa cube, touchpoint packaging, touchpoint textile, drupa next age, and 3D fab+print. Visitors can plan a personal agenda and dip in and out of the virtual talks and live Web sessions in the exhibitor showrooms - go to the homepage to register. Sessions and content will be available until 31 December.
swissQprint will be showcasing three new innovations at virtual.drupa 2021 - a high speed model of the Karibu UV roll-to roll-printer, an automatic double-sided printing option for the Karibu, and neon inks for UV printing.
The new Karibu S can output at up to 330m2/hr. It features a defined printhead configuration - four printheads are in operation for each process colour. Like all swissQprint large-format printers, it has nine dual-configurable colour channels, so one channel is left free.
As a new feature, both Karibu and Karibu S can handle automatic double-sided printing. Thanks to a camera system and QR codes, the process takes place automatically. Supported by in-house developed Lory output software, managing print jobs is very simple thanks to intuitive graphic user guidance.
The neon inks are available in yellow and pink and are suitable for all swissQprint LED models, and can run in the ninth ink channel.
ESKO AND ENFOCUS
These companies will exhibit together to launch their ‘Cloud Freedom’ strategy.
Wim Fransen, VP global marketing and software product management at Esko, said: “Moving from onsite server-based software applications to cloud-hosted service as a subscription (SaaS) software models sees a number of benefits for ourcustomers. We will be sharing examples of Esko software solutions that now have both models available and providing insight to the advantages of utilising the Esko cloud.”
Tomas Van Rossom, general manager of Enfocus, added: “We will be unveiling the benefits of BoardingPass, our new software solution which empowers customer facing staff to quickly inspect incoming PDF files for showstopping issues in print.
Focus will be on the new 100 Series, which include the TS100-1600 dye-sub printer, JV100-160 solvent roll-to-roll machine and the UJV100 UV roll-to roll offering. The newest of the series - the TS100-1600 - was actually launched in January, but will be available in the EMEA from April. Mimaki said it will also be making an announcement nearer to the event, so keep your eye out for updates.
For the wide-format digital inkjet sector, GMG will showcase ColorServer Digital and a ColorServer Multicolor for ECG/fixed inkset printing, which improve printer utilisation at the same time as providing colour consistency. Print jobs can be switched easily between machines and sites, with predictable colour results, including matching spot colours and overprints. The company will also flag up its pay-monthly subscription model.