Labels & Packaging
Is it worth a UK wide format print service provider flying over to Drupa for a couple of days, especially after Fespa Digital and Sign & Digital shows already this year? Well the beer in Dusseldorf is better than either Barcelona or Birmingham, but there are also going to be new wide format machines on show let alone the buzz and excitement around technology to be shown by Landa, Fuji, and Indigo.
Most of the wide format action will be in Hall 9 where Mimaki, RolandDG, SwissQPrint, Matan, Seiko and Zund are lodged. Sun Innovations has a huge UV-LED machine, the Neo TurboSpeed, which it claims to be the fastest in the world. Which will be interesting because Efi is also launching the world’s fastest UV-LED inkjet press. Neither machine has been seen before, nor a new flatbed machine from Mimaki to be launched at the show.
Drupa will lack the range of substrates and third party ink suppliers that the other shows have, though who knows what lurks among the 80 or so Chinese exhibitors in Hall 3.
HP will have the full range of wide format machines, from the entry level DesignJet latex machines through to the large TurboJet and FB 7500s; Fuji and Agfa will likewise have the full portfolio on show as will Efi. Océ will feature on Canon’s stand, the Océ name figuring on the flatbed machines while reelfed will be Canon’s responsibility.
It’s true that larger systems are favoured, because it is the manufacturers that take the space, not distributors and dealers. And true also that Drupa is traditionally a show for commercial printers and this remains the case. But it is clear that from the numbers from the large format and display print sector that are present that commercial printers are buying this type of equipment and are attracted by the higher margins they think are available in the sector.
So why not look at ways to steal their dinner. There will be plenty of relatively low cost digital printing on show, from light production machines from Ricoh, Canon, Konica Minolta and others that are a partner to a display print machine. Colour management is necessary for this and a trip to see GMG’s Production Suite would be profitable.
And after the show closes, there are the delights of the Altstadt – most of which are pork shaped. Trotters, roasted or boiled, a plate of asparagus or herrings and potatoes washed down with a glass or several of Frankheimer Alt: Dusseldorf may not be revered for the subtlety of its cuisine, but nothing goes down better at the end of a day pounding the halls.
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