This Drupa will see the trade fair’s first feature focused specifically on digitally printed textiles. Touchpoint Textile (hall 4) has been designed for cross-industry collaboration, with a micro-factory demonstrating product and manufacturing ideas. Show organisers say the special feature is an indicator of how Drupa is gaining ground in new markets, which apart from textile printing include large-format printing, packaging, industrial and functional printing.
Touchpoint textile is backed by two main partners - the German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF) as Europe’s largest textile research centre, and the non-profit European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association (ESMA).
The DITF is behind Drupa’s digital textile micro-factory - a networked, integrated production chain from customer specifications and design to fabric finishing. Other partners and sponsors of the area are Assyst (3D clothing simulation, digital twins), Vuframe (VR/AR), Mitwill (design network), Ergosoft and Caddon (Rip and colour management), HP and Multiplot (large-format textile printing), Zund (digital cutting), Juki (production and workflow) as well as Dommer, berger textiles and Kaspar (sponsors).
Another important contributor to overall concept development is Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, which is integrating relevant subjects in its curriculum in order to equip tomorrow’s employees for new challenges.
ESMA is in charge of the conference programme, inviting speakers from research, development and industry to discuss printing and finishing technologies, workflows, market developments and sustainability. “Textile printing is expanding rapidly thanks to innovations in printing processes. Both, digital and conventional technologies, can contribute to this change”, said ESMA general manager Peter Buttiens.
“Continued digitalisation and cross-sectional technologies are accelerating innovation”, said Sabine Geldermann, director of Drupa and global head of print technologies at Messe Dusseldorf. “Drupa’s role is to be a source of momentum for our industry, fostering and shaping change. We’re committed to identifying all relevant issues and integrating them in our forums. The growth potential in textile printing is phenomenal. It’s against this backdrop that we are dedicating a special platform to these applications.”