China Print 2017: focus on automation and boosting efficiency

China Print 2017 proved yet again to be a crowd puller. Large numbers of visitors (around 2,00,000) flocked into the exhibition halls on all five exhibition days from May 9–13, 2017. Following years of tempestuous growth, China's printing industry has now reached calmer waters but still achieves annual growth rates of 4 to 6 percent. Last year the Printing Equipment Industries Association of China (PEIAC) reported 4.5 percent growth. Accordingly, the sector's overall turnover was 788 billion RMB (~105 billion EUR).

In 2016, Germany exported printing and paper technology to the tune of 319.5 million EUR to China, the equivalent of 9.2 percent of the printing and paper machine manufacturers' overall export volume. “For our member companies, China Print 2017 provided yet again the opportunity to present the benefits of modern printing and paper processing technology to the Chinese trade visitors,” explained Dr Markus Heering, managing director of the German Association of Printing and Paper Technology within the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association VDMA. “China is and always will be an important and highly interesting market for us.”

Engineering companies such as Heidelberg, KBA, BW Papiersystems, Müller Martini, manroland or Windmöller & Hölscher had their own stands at the exhibition, which were well received. “Our stand is centrally located and has seen a lot of visitors since it opened,” reported, for instance, Sven Olsen, Müller Martini's managing director for Asia Pacific. First and foremost, talks with trade visitors were all about automation and boosting efficiency in their companies. A topic that the KBA stand also focussed on: workflow solutions, data-based business models and services for commercial and publishing printing as well as the growing packaging printing sector met with the keen interest of Chinese trade visitors.

However, not only the individual stands presented printing and paper processing technology with the label "Made in Germany". There were also a dozen other manufacturers exhibiting their products on the joint German stand. This stand was organised again by Print Promotion GmbH. "Our joint presence is a good and cost-effective opportunity for large and smaller medium-sized companies to attract attention in the important Chinese market", explained Markus Heering, who is also managing director of PrintPromotion.

Large companies such as Kolbus GmbH & Co KG, Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co KG were on the joint stand in Peking, as well as highly specialised medium-sized companies such as the UV specialist IST METZ, the automation expert Baumüller or image inspection specialist ISRA VISION AG. The TKM Group also used the joint stand to feature their modern cutting technology, milling tools and doctor blades. "We had many interesting talks with trade visitors from China and indeed the entire region," reported Sebastian Opiolka, sales manager of the TKM Paper Processing & Postpress Division. Visitors were particularly interested in new developments.

There was larger number of visitors from Asian countries, though there were fewer visitors from India this time which may be due to the post demonetisation effect.

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