Tue, Apr

Putting out the flags

Yes, it’s getting close to the extravaganza that is Drupa and its celebration of all things print related. If you’ve not booked your flight to Dusseldorf, this is why you should…

“Many parts of the industry were hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and they are still dealing with the consequences today, with a fundamental transition in the print and media industry. Web-based technologies, digital printing, smart phone communication and of course classical sheet and web offset printing - in particular linking different technologies - these are all just a few of the headlines for current discussions. Drupa 2012 has come at the right time in this phase of transition. It facilitates the future transition to Print 2.0 and actively pursues this with its conceptual cornerstones.”

At a glance           

Where:         Halls 1 – 17,

           Messe Dusseldorf, Germany

When:           3 - 16 May     

Times:          10am - 6pm daily (at weekends until 5pm)

Cost:             It is far cheaper to book online at www.drupa.com

                        1-day ticket: 40 Euros online, 65 Euros at the desk on the day

                        4-day ticket: 129 Euros online, 220 Euros when bought on location.

                        Students and trainees: 15 Euros online, otherwise 25 Euros.

Note: Drupa tickets include free round trip transportation with busses, subway and trains to the trade fair on the Regional Transport Networks Rhine-Ruhr (VRR) and Rhine-Sieg (VRS)


Wow, that’s some claim by Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO and president of Messe Düsseldorf, home to Drupa. But it’s probably fair comment, given the scale and scope of the event which will deliver not only the biggest array of print technologies in any one place in Europe, but expert dialogue about the development of new business models for those involved in the sector. Held every four years, Drupa is a real melting pot for ideas, and this year you can bet that digital print, in particular inkjet, will be a key focus. And though wide-format will have a relatively small part    to play in this extravaganza, it promises to be a cameo   role of note.

Within this show preview you’ll see we’ve highlighted various wide-format related exhibitor highlights, but these should just whet your appetite as there are plenty of other reasons to attend. As show director Manuel Mataré points out: “Drupa 2012 will be the platform where professionals in the global print and communications industry can explore and define openings for business. The enormous range and variety of print technologies and applications on show provides a unique environment for printers, designers, specifiers, creatives and investors to discuss and consider the potential for generating new business in diverse markets that they have not previously contemplated.

“To illustrate this the ‘Digital Innovation Park’ (‘dip’), a major feature of Drupa 2012, will attract visitors who are seeking information on the key service that will differentiate them from their competition. New visitor groups to Drupa now include publisher service providers, creative agencies and marketers amongst others who would not attend if Drupa were only a technology showcase. In addition, ‘Drupa Cube’ with its 13-day conference programme will address people in sales, the creative industries as well as publishers and marketing decision-makers, covering digital printing in all its forms including a special session on ‘Large, Larger – Wide-Format’.

“Printers who hitherto have considered themselves strictly in the ‘commercial print’ sector will be able to see wide-format solutions and understand how they will form a beneficial technological and business ‘fit’ with their existing workflow; while large-format print providers will be able to discover how to enhance their offerings to current customers while opening up an even wider market for large-format through pushing their quality up to offset  levels by investing in the technology being demonstrated  at Drupa”.

A study from the Pira research institute predicts that by 2015, with around 125 billion euros in revenue, approximately 30% of the world’s printed products will be digitally manufactured. Thus, at Drupa six halls will be devoted to digital print and digital links (four more than at the last show in 2008).


Hall 7A

Here everything revolves around the trends in printing communication and invitations to attend have been extended to print buyers, marketing decision makers, advertisers, publishing houses and creatives.

Each trade fair day will have its own motto, starting with ‘Print-Web-Mobile’, with a half-day symposium based on that theme and with experts introducing and discussing the latest relevant applications and trends. Note that Monday 14 May is ‘Out of home’ day in the DrupaCube and Image Reports editor Lesley Simpson will host the symposium. At the weekends there are special highlights, such as ‘Creative Weekend’ and the ‘Future of Print’.

Full details can be found online at www.drupa.com. It costs 199 Euro for a one-day ticket (inc. lunch) which needs to pre-ordered online. The bilingual programme (simultaneous in German and English) is geared towards international specialists and takes place 10.15am - 1.30pm.

Drupa Innovation Park (the ‘dip’)

Hall 7:

Around 130 exhibitors will be presenting themselves in nine theme worlds within the ‘dip’.

Print Product Innovation Park

Marketing Solutions Park

Dynamic Publishing Park

Print Automation Park

Asset Management Park

Print Meets Mobile Park

Digital Imaging Park

Printed Electronics / Functional Printing

Green Printing Park

The special thing about this year’s ‘dip’ is its proximity to the DrupaCube; at the ‘dip’ visitors can gather information on trendsetting technologies whereas the neighboring DrupaCube provides accompanying content and   business solutions.

“The themes highlighted in the ‘dip’ are right up to date and geared to current market activities and developments in the printing and media industry. It offers key topics vital for media production in both the present and the future and has established itself as a lively marketplace where print and publishing professionals exchange information,” explains Mataré.

Apart from the main exhibition topics of the ‘dip’ theme parks will be two presentation stages featuring various talks held by the ‘dip’ exhibitors and partners. There will be moderated panel discussions on the ‘dip’ stages as well as interviews in the ‘dip’ energy lounge. Also, every morning from 10.30am -11am attendees will receive an up-to-date overview of the innovative power of the various exhibitors and the daily schedule of what’s happening in the ‘dip’.

Once at the show go to ‘dip Information’ in hall 7, stand A 06, for full information.

Highlights Tours

There are ten different Highlights Tours of the show this year, including ‘Large-format printing and advertising technology – where printing makes it big’. This will take place daily (except weekends) at 2pm in English.

These tours are organised by German trade magazine Deutscher Drucker in collaboration with the FDI (Association of Executive Managers in the Graphic Arts Industry and Information Processing) as well as the faculty of print and media technology at the University of Wuppertal. Each tour will last between three-and-a-half and four hours. If booked online in advance, a tour costs 45 Euros (50 Euros if booked during the trade fair.)


Spread over an area of around 240m2, everything in Hall 9 revolves around the issue of sustainability in media production. Media Mundo has been called upon to run this special show section under the flag ‘Media Mundo @drupa’, which encompasses an exhibition as well as an information and events area. In addition to associations such as the WWF, FSC, EWPA, AGD, INGEDE and the BVDM there will also be companies from paper, energy, media production, packaging, process and workflow management.

EDP Awards

The EDP Awards, which reward printer and associated manufacturers for innovation in their research and design, will be presented at Drupa on 8 May. Only products launched into the print industry in the 12 months leading to 28 February 2012 will be considered with the winners chosen by an international panel of independent print and print software experts.

An EDP Award is recognition of a product’s value and is synonymous with innovation and quality. The EDP Technical Committee judges the products on the value of the new technical abilities they offer. This can be innovation in the technology that improves speed, quality, usability and functionality or reduces environmental impact as well as cost to the user.

Head of the technical committee (and Image Reports publisher) Chris Cooke said: “We are delighted to hold our annual EDP Association Awards at Drupa this year. Our partnership further highlights the importance the industry places on an independent accolade that we can rely on. The EDP Association is very happy that the organisers of Drupa have chosen to work with us to help support the digital print industry in whatever way we can.”

Spotlight on wide-format

With almost 2,000 exhibitors at Drupa this year there’s no point even pretending that in a show preview of this size you can provide detailed information on even just new product launches and updates, but from wide-format perspective you might want to note the following highlights:


As part of a ‘seeing the bigger picture’ theme for Drupa Canon will present the latest in its series of ‘Insight Reports’ which shows that print companies are missing opportunities to grow their business through increased customer communication.

For instance the research, based on 420 telephone interviews with print buyers in corporate organisations and marketing and creative agencies across Europe, shows that over a third of those surveyed were unaware of print-on-demand. More than half indicated that their print service providers do not make them aware of new print developments or alternatives.

At Drupa, the Canon stand (which will encompass Océ) will highlight innovative print applications and illustrate new ways in which customers can enhance their businesses.

The stand will feature four different zones: one for external print service providers, one for internal print departments, one focused on growth areas such as cross media and photo print and one that showcases Canon’s added value services such as the ‘Essential Business Builder Program’ which now has a new mentoring scheme.


Epson announced an ‘Engineered for Print’ strategy ahead of Drupa where it said it will show a range of new products and “make some significant announcements on wide-format.”

The company, which will use the show to introduce a SurePress X UV inkjet label printer and SureLab SL-S3000 photo/card printer, aims to double its product line-up and quadruple revenue from industrial print sectors over the next few years according to Minoru Usui, president of Seiko Epson Corporation. “This will be a very big year for us. In fact, I see it as the starting point for the next stage of Epson’s growth” said Usui.

The new strategy will see all future products carry the SureColor, SureLab or SurePress names. Existing Stylus Pro machines will retain the name, but new products in the range will be known as SureColor printers in line with the recent launch of the SureColor SC-S30600.

Epson has also taken a 50% shareholding in ForTex, an Italian developer of digital textile inks and chemicals, to help it establish itself in the digital textile printing market. ForTex has worked closely with Epson since 2003, when the latter entered the market by jointly developing the Monna Lisa digital textile printer with Robustelli of Italy.


Esko is taking its biggest ever Drupa stand which, at 900m2, will incorporate a solution showroom and Genius Bar for which visitors can now schedule appointments.

Esko will also highlight its digital finishing solutions at the show with four Kongsberg configurations on the stand. Live application demos using a wide range of materials will be run on each of the tables, including the fully automated XP44 Auto. Esko's integrated software solutions for structural design – ArtiosCad and digital finishing workflow - i-cut Suite - will be presented as well.

The digital finishing highlight of the event will be the new Kongsberg XN that can be configured for different applications: from kiss-cutting to packaging mock-ups to heavy-duty milling.


With the aim of extending the global availability of its products, FFEI will introduce a worldwide VIP Partner Programme at Drupa, where it will also launch a labels solution based on a Caslon digital inkjet press incorporating a new digital spot colour unit printing white ink, and FFEI’s latest RealPro Workflow software.

Visitors will also see demonstrations of RealVue 3D Packager, a visualisation software for carton packaging or label prototyping but with applications for wide-format print producers. 


Drupa will see Fujifilm launch a cloud-based colour management system called XMF ColorPath, designed to help printers manage colour consistency across multiple print processes, and the introduction of XMF Workflow V5 and XMF Remote V9.

Fujifilm’s XMF Workflow, popular amongst commercial printers for its speed and flexibility in handling work across digital and offset print processes, has recently benefitted from the addition of XMF Remote, a remote submission and approval module, and XMF PrintCentre, a cloud-based Web-to-print system.

With Drupa will come XMF ColorPath, a cloud-based colour management system that is designed to help printers calibrate and maintain compliance to printing standards, for instance ISO 12647-2. The system can work across multiple print processes, including digital inkjet.

This system is made up of two main components: XMF ColorPath Organizer and XMF ColorPath Sync. XMF ColorPath Organizer is a set of colour management configuration tools that are included as standard in a new module within XMF Workflow V5. This module manages the application of colour profiles within the print production process. XMF ColorPath Sync creates device link ICC profiles and ISO TVI curves so that printers can achieve ISO 12647-2 conformance across various print devices. The XMF ColorPath system is available as part of a full XMF workflow suite, but is also available as a standalone solution that can colour manage any digital or offset printing environment.


At 4,952m2 the HP stand will be the second-largest at the show and will be divided into demonstration areas for general commercial, photo specialty, publishing, direct mail and transaction printing, labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons, and sign and display printing. The company’s full range of print kit will be exhibited, including its wide-format offerings, and it will also show end-to-end solutions including Web-to-print and MIS solutions, service and support offerings, and third-party software and finishing systems from the HP Graphics Solutions Partner Programme.


Optimus will use Drupa to launch various new modules to its dash MIS system, including Cloud Mobile and Cloud Mobile Sales Manager which will allow on-the-road salespeople to provide customers with instant quotes and take orders via a tablet device.

Other new modules include dash Sales Generator, which enables print companies to evaluate the impact of sales generated through various data analysis criteria, such as top selling products, most profitable customers, least profitable jobs etc. The analysis can be used dynamically to profile customers by a wide range of criteria thereby enabling the understanding of buying trends and habits. Once profiled, the results can be used for targeted, incentivised promotions.

New dash Campaign Manager uses the data available in the dash Sales Generator to enable the sending of email or printed mail-shot campaigns to those targeted customers and prospective customers identified as sales opportunities.

The Cloud Mobile module is specifically designed for salespeople using mobile tablet devices on the go and allows them to not only to get instant quotations and take orders, but view customer specific information including job history, current job status and quotation history.

Cloud Sales Manager allows the immediate updating of diary events, planned actions, proposed actions and historical information of the interaction between the sales team and their customers.


The Virtu Quantum from Polytype receives its worldwide launch at Drupa. Now available in widths of 2.5m and 3.5m, the UV-curable machine incorporates 10pl printheads integrated by Polytype to produce 1,400dpi. Speed is up to 300m2/hr (production mode) and 150-180m2/hr (photographic mode).


Screen has said it will reveal new products at Drupa for wide-format inkjet but is keeping details under wraps until closer to the show in May. The company made the promise at a pre-Drupa press conference where it focussed on the launch of its Equios workflow and the commercial introduction of the B2 sheetfed Truepress JetSX.


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