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drupa celebrates 65 years: Back to the future of print

Self-tying shoelaces and a self-drying jacket? Flying cars and hoverboards? Many of the unlikely predictions for the year 2015, made in the 1989 blockbuster movie Back to the Future II, proved incorrect. But it got at least one thing right: people are, indeed, still reading printed newspapers as we are about to celebrate 65 years of drupa (and totalling 225 Messe-days!). Gearing up towards this 16th edition, we invite you to get in that imaginary modified DeLorean, get it up to 88 miles per hour on the Autobahn heading for Duesseldorf - and go way back to the future of print, shares Ed Boogard, Netherlands. drupa has been tried and tested – and has never failed to impress, stated Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president & CEO of Messe Duesseldorf, two years ago. Putting the new slogan ‘Touch the Future’ to practice, he added, “And drupa 2016 will be no different.” Based on the events’ rich history, his forecast is very likely to come true. But back in 1949, it takes the founding fathers of drupa a lot of courage to come up with this completely new concept: an international trade show for capital goods for the printing and paper industry, to be held in 1951. Only after signing up 527 exhibitors from 10 countries and welcoming over 300,000 visitors, they know they are on to something big.

drupa City

The organizers aim to build upon the traditional BUGRA exhibition (short for ‘Buchgewerbe und Graphik’), held in Leipzig since 1914. With Germany partitioned in 1949 and Leipzig behind DDR-borders, it is necessary to restructure the country’s exhibition landscape as well. In May 1950, they officially announced Duesseldorf as the city to host the first ‘Internationale Messe Druck und Papier’ – a title that in practise is soon shortened to ‘Druck und Papier’, and then to ‘DRUPA’. That name is officially adopted in 1950 – in spite of the fact that only few at the table actually like the abbreviation very much, alternatives like ‘INDRUPA’ are discarded. A design contest brings the show its iconic logo, representing a printing tampon. It will be in use for the next 50 years, only to be replaced in the year 2000 by the ‘pixel’-logo.

Lines of type

In 1951, letterpress rules the industry. For the last century, both typesetting and printing have been industrialized rapidly, and drupa shows the way forward. Visitors can see five different Linotype models and also five Monotypemachines feeding lines of type to the multitude of presses that are on display from the factories like Koenig & Bauer, M.A.N., Frankenthal Albers & Cie and Heidelberg. The latter has no less than 19 presses running live at the show, including both its Automatic Platen letterpress and Cylinder press. Speed and automation are definitely the buzzwords in Duesseldorf – as they will continue to be for the next 65 years. German newspaper Die Zeit reviews the debut of the event as “an excellent achievement” – despite the “at first sight somewhat confusing combination of Print and Paper under one roof”.

Print-ready stereotype

Change is in the air. Offset, already on the rise in the USA as run lengths get bigger and demand for colour is growing, is on display at various booths in 1951. Faber & Schleicher, for instance, demonstrates its latest offset presses at Hall 11: the single colour Roland Parva and the two colour Roland Ultra. (At home in Augsburg, M.A.N. is starting up construction of its first sheetfed offset press ‘Ultra M.A.N.’) Other inventions, that are bound to change the industry at some point in time, are also taking shape – almost simultaneously. For example in the USA, Xerox installs its first plane paper copier ‘914’. Siemens patents the first continuous-stream inkjet printer. And in the labs of Rudolf Hell (inventor of the Hellschreiber, a 1925-version of the fax machine), tests are running on the Klischograph; an electronically controlled engraver that scans a film to a printready stereotype (or ‘cliché’) in one go.

Speed up prepress

Only three years later, 1954, drupa stages its second edition for another 16 days at nearly double the size: 35,000 sqm. The introduction of the Hell Klischograph 151 is a success, as it enables printers to replace the time-consuming chemical-etching process and thus speed up prepress production. The same goes for the Linotype Quickset System, the first punchedtape controlled typesetter of its kind boasting a casting output of some 18,000 characters per hour. As a way of showing off the industries capabilities, the visiting Federal President Theodor Huess can see his photograph already in printed form only some 30 minutes after it was taken.

Imaging instead of casting

As our DeLorean-time machine arrives in 1958, we see offset is clearly gaining more and more traction. The growing success of its Roland presses even convinces Offenbach-based factory Franken & Schleicher to change its name to ‘Roland Offsetmachinenfabrik Franken & Schleicher’. Meanwhile, at Heidelberg the offset technology is still being discussed ‘with a scepticism bordering on dismissal’.

Photocomposition is well on its way to replace hot metal. Monotype has its Monophoto - a converted mechanical hot-metal machine that is now imaging instead of casting characters. Berthold shows a prototype of its Diatype in 1958. It is a desktop system for fast typesetting of headlines, using characters on a glass master disc. Hell launches its Colorgraph, a flatbed system able to scan, convert and correct original photos into colour separations.

Linotype further speeds things up. It has been working on its Linofilm phototypesetting machine, fitted with an electronic flash tube, since last drupa. After field tests at the Daily News in New York in 1956, the machine (‘consisting of a keyboard, automatic photocomposition unit and correction and assembly devises’) is presented in Düsseldorf, capable of outputting 43,000 characters on film per hour.

Letterpress converts to offset

Heidelberg makes up its mind: at the fourth edition of drupa, in 1962, it enters the offset market by presenting the KOR - a letterpress converted to offset. The Messe-halls, now covering 48,000 sqm, are filled with new offset presses from various manufacturers, including Wifag. Also, from Japan, Sakurai joins the trade show for the first time showing its flatbed letterpress, while Screen starts marketing its first electronic colour scanner.

For the first lustrum edition of drupa, in 1967, two temporary halls are added to the fair, some five kilometres north from the actual exhibition centre. But even at 60,000 sqm, the show is sold out. Koenig & Bauer celebrates its 150 years anniversary and presents the new ‘Rapida’ series of sheetfed offset presses. And Hell’s Kombi- Chromagraph CT288 is able to combine several scans to put images and texts together on film.

New halls

One year after the fifth drupa, Duesseldorf decides to build a completely new exhibition centre – exactly on the spot where the temporary 1967-halls were – to allow its major trade fairs to grow even further. So, in 1972, drupa has some 100,000 sqm available – and sells out again. A major shift in the industry is taking place. The production of Linotype hot-metal machines in the USA has been discontinued in 1970. At the same time, Heidelberg introduces its GTO (‘Grosser Tiegel Offset’) press, while the Roland 800 is the first offset-press to have an integrated ink control system.

For the first time in its history, drupa has more than 1,000 exhibitors in 1977. Prepress has gone electronic all the way – with Crosfield adding its minicomputer-controlled Magnascanner. Heidelberg launches its first Speedmaster-presses. UV-inks are introduced, and the first waterless printing offset-plates are on show. Also, the Compugraphic EditWriter 7500 is introduced: ‘a phototypesetter combining a keyboard and photo unit in one piece of equipment, enabling one job to be typeset while the operator simultaneously keyboards another.’ Meanwhile, in Israel, a man called Benny Landa founds a company by the name of ‘Indigo’ to work on perfecting liquid toner-technology. The 1982-edition of drupa – with half of exhibitors coming from outside Germany - sees further phototypesetting developments as, for example, Scangraphic launches its Scantext1000 system.

Digital show

“Drupa, drupa, international printing and paper fair, we welcome you to Düsseldorf, Germany, to see what’s new in the graphics industry”. This first drupa-song marks the 1986 edition of the show, although it was already used in 1980 for the first time to promote the 1982-fair during the Print’80 show in Chicago. What’s really new is that further change is on its way: Apple has launched its first desktop computer (in 1984), and Adobe has started to develop PostScript. Linotype celebrates its 100th anniversary.

At its 10th edition and 40th birthday, drupa 1990 is proclaimed the ‘digital show’. With some 25 running web offset presses in the drupa halls. Now covering a total of over 126,000 sqm, there is also room for, for example, AM’s liquid toner-based ElectroPress. As the fair takes place shortly after the Iron Curtain has come down in 1989, it also allows for talks between KBA and Planeta, and between M.A.N. and Vomag. Offset continues to raise the stakes, with Komori introducing the world’s first automatic plate change system, “perceived as a redundant luxury solution at that time”.

Boosting our ‘Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor’- powered DeLorean five years on, it is all about improved productivity at the drupa 1995. Computer-to-plate (CtP), DI-presses and digital colour printing are all over the place. While Indigo shows off its E-Print 1000 digital offset colour press, Xeikon demonstrates its DCP-1 dry-toner press.

Apple is there to demonstrate prepress solution on its Power Mac-platform. Heidelberg has its Quickmaster-DI in place. MAN Roland protoypes the DICO-press. And press-manufacturer KBA is shows inkjet on a ‘hybrid’ offset web press, adding the capability to print a variety of cartoons on the front page of each and every newspaper.

From Gutenberg to Internet

The 600th birthday of Gutenberg marks the 2000-edition, celebrating 50 years of drupa. Full colour digital printing is now seriously taking on offset, with Xerox exhibiting at an entire hall its DocuColor system (and previewing its ‘FutureColor’ system), Heidelberg and Kodak jointly introducing NexPress, and Karat launching its Karat74 DI press. But not only printing is set to go digital – the entire production workflow becomes connected from prepress to afterpress through the industry standard CIP3, as shown in practise in Hall 6 by the PrintCity-consortium. Even Apple is taking part, as it decides to skip CeBIT and attend drupa instead to lure back professional users. It previews OS-X. And there is this thing called ‘Internet’, that everybody is talking about.

At drupa 2004, the Job Definition Format (JDF) becomes the symbol of the interconnected digital workflow in graphic production. While celebrating the 150th birthday of Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype, the industry continues towards further digitization. In 2008, ever more digital printing is added to the list of exhibitors: Océ, Canon, Agfa, Ricoh and Konica Minolta have toner-technology in place, while Kodak, Screen and HP also start showing inkjet as the next big thing. As the show draws to end, news from San Francisco reaches Duesseldorf: Apple launches its iPhone 3G.

Touching the future

In 2012, Benny Landa takes inkjet to the next level by promising nanographic-printing for drupa 2016. Conventional press manufacturers like KBA and Heidelberg work on their own inkjet-devices, just like almost every digital press manufacturer does. As we accelerate towards an Industrie 4.0 era, speed and automation are once again the buzzwords in Duesseldorf during drupa 2016, together with efficiency, effectiveness, interactivity and multi-channel. And as we hum the new drupa song, rumour has it that a Back to the Future-sequel will be performed later this year as a musical at a London West End theatre. (Ed Boogaard is a Dutch freelance journalist and professional content provider, focused on the graphic arts and communication industry).

drupa 2016 Touch the future

Mega trend print 4.0 and the digital networking of machines and systems The leading international trade fair for print and cross-media solutions kicks off with a new strategic focus, improved scheduling over eleven days, a new look and greater frequency running every three years. Under the motto “touch the future” drupa places the industry’s innovative power centre stage and provides a platform for future technologies. The focus is especially on next-generation and highlight themes such as print, packaging production, multichannel, 3D printing, functional printing or green printing. “With this strategic reorientation and its focus on future and highlight themes we are obviously on the right track. Because the response of international upstream suppliers to the industry has been very good – which was not given in view of the difficult market environment,” explains Werner M. Dornscheidt, president & CEO at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. To the tune of some 1,650 exhibitors from over 50 countries will give impressive proof of the versatility and innovative power of their sector from 31 May to 10 June 2016 in all 19 Düsseldorf exhibition halls. “International global players and market leaders will present themselves alongside aspiring newcomers and innovative outfits from throughout the world. The complete spectrum of print and crossmedia exhibits and topics will be represented.

Such a comprehensive 360° view of the entire industry is provided by nobody but drupa,” underlines Dornscheidt. The mega trend at drupa 2016 will be Print 4.0 as Claus Bolza-Schünemann, chairman of the drupa Committee and chairman of the board at Koenig & Bauer AG explains. “Print 4.0 enables individualisation and personalisation in digital printing. In the face of high-quality packaging and the rapidly diversifying range of solutions in industrial and functional printing this digital networking of machines and systems offers the solution and guarantee for efficiency and competitiveness. Print 4.0 is the mega trend at drupa 2016. This is very clear even at this early stage.”

Added value: technical side events The programme of accompanying technical events – including the drupa innovation park, drupa cube, the brands PEPSO (Printed Electronics Products and Solutions), 3D fab + print and “touchpoint packaging” – is a substantial enhancement offering target visitor groups real added benefit.

One of the most important highlight themes at drupa 2016 is packaging production. According to current forecasts, the packaging market will grow to $985 billion by 2018. A dedicated Special Show, “touchpoint packaging” comprising some 20 participating exhibitors, reflects the relevance of this market. This special forum in Hall 12 (Stand B53) has been designed and organised in close cooperation with the European Packaging Design Association (EPDA), Europe’s leading association of brand and packaging agencies. To cater even better to the special needs of the various user industries, “touchpoint packaging” is divided up into four “future labs” namely “food & beverage”, “non-food”, “pharma” and “cosmetics”.

Another highlight theme at drupa 2016 is 3D printing. The potential of these additive manufacturing technologies for any vertical markets should not be underestimated. “The spare parts business in mechanical engineering or packaging design offer particularly great opportunities not only for machine producers and users but also print service providers,” says Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa. The touchpoint 3D fab+print featured in Hall 7A (Stand C41) reflects this spectrum.

As part of this special show the latest technical developments are presented here as well as visions and exciting examples of best-practice. Technology suppliers & users, exhibitors & visitors, visionaries & practitioners can all meet here for dialogue and drive this exciting subject forward. Another major future theme at drupa 2016 is functional printing.

Across the globe there are many application examples for printed electronics. Touch sensors on furniture surfaces, Bluetooth loudspeakers from paper or conductive inks are no longer science fiction thanks to innovative printing technology. drupa 2016 picks up on this highlight theme not at one but several points:

1. Under the PEPSO brands various exhibitors will be represented with stands on the theme of Printed Electronics Products and Solutions.

2. The OE-A (Organic Electronics Association) covers the topic with its members at “dip” (Hall 7.0).

3. ESMA, the European for Screenprinting, Digital and Flexoprinting Technologies, addresses this issue with a programme in Hall 6 (Stand C02) and Hall 3 (Stand A70).

4. And finally, VDMA (Hall 7A, Stand B13) also offers a number of activities at its “Showcase Industrial Printing” feature.

Impulse-generating innovations and business case studies for process-driven print and publishing solutions are centre stage at drupa innovation park, where young companies and start-ups as well as global players are presented with pioneering solutions. For visitors the socalled “dip” in Hall 7.0 has the hard-to-beat benefit of allowing them to explore trend-setting innovations, solutions and business case studies on an easy-to-manage area. Presentations, lectures and interviews at the “dip energy lounge” round off the ranges displayed by approx 130 exhibitors.

Improved visitor traffic at Media Expo 2016 in Mumbai

Set pace for increased post-show business activities for elated exhibitors Covering a vast ambit of the signage and graphic arts industry in a focused manner, recently concluded Media Expo 2016 in Mumbai pulled a recordbreaking crowd of valued visitors, surpassing the number recorded in the previous edition. Product launches, comprehensive showcases of technologies, innovative solutions like UV technologies, textile printing, LED displays, among others triggered the overall enticement during the three-day trade exhibition. Print & Publishing reports a brief account of the key exhibits.

Once again, the Media Expo in its 38th edition has proved itself a well-arranged business platform for professionals coming for indoor and outdoor advertising solutions and signage applications. The expo in Mumbai had set a new visitor traffic record as business professionals increasingly swarmed on the exhibition floor. It pulled more than 10,000 business visitors—increasing from 9,490 recorded in the 2014 Mumbai edition—representing a host of brand managers, decision makers and buyers from ad agencies, media planners, art directors, event managers and business houses.

Key showcases

Prime showcases of innovative solutions and new product launches by the 104 exhibiting brands made the expo a perfect confluence for business deals. Among the mega launches, Roland DG in association with its partner Apsom Infotex introduced its Verser UV LEF 300—a UV flatbed desktop printer, the largest till date, which allows bi-directional printing to speed up the process by more than 50 percent. Sarah Lyons, marketing manager, Roland DG (UK) Ltd, said, “Every time I come to Media Expo, I see a marked difference in the quality of brands, products and it’s very inspiring as it makes us break confines and innovate more. It is an iconic show for the printing, signage and advertising sectors in India.”

Launching two future-ready digital inkjet textile printers, Softjet Grand and Polo Turbo, ColorJet cracked a new dawn of advanced soft signage applications. “Right from cheery presence at the recent ITMA 2015 in Milan, we have been receiving a constant grasp for our newly introduced textile printing portfolio,” asserted Smarth Bansal, brand manager, Colorjet. A highlight of the major showcases of new products/technologies at the expo would shed spotlight on advanced 3D printing technology from Monotech, Texjet plus DTG printer by JN Arora, which the companies felt as future technologies to define the printing industry.

Hewlett Packard (HP) Inc used the expo as a strategic platform to present its HP Latex 3100 for the first time in the country. Related to the introduction of the production printer, Winnie Kwok, regional category & manager, HP Large Format Production & Industrial Graphic Solutions Business, APJ, HP Inc, mentioned that the Indian signage industry has evolved by leaps and bounds, which in turn is putting immense pressure on PSPs to constantly innovate with newer and creative applications.

Some of the key exhibitors at the expo showing new lines of products and technologies included: FUJIFILM India, Sun Sign & Technologies, EPSON, Hand Top, NEGI Sign & Systems, Britomatics, UV Printers, LG Hausys, NEGI Sign & Systems, AXYZ International, Arrow Digital, Mehta Cad Cam, Mimaki/Insight Print Communication, FUJIFILM Sericol, Pioneer Polyleathers, Gita & Company, Siare Technologies, among others. Next edition of Media Expo is scheduled to take place from September 29 – October 01, 2016 in New Delhi.

Turn waste paper into new paper!

Epson PaperLab promises to revolutionise office recycling by securely destroying documents and turning them into office paper using a dry process. Seiko Epson Corporation has developed what it believes to be the world’s first compact office papermaking system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper without the use of water. Epson plans to put the new “PaperLab” into commercial production in Japan in 2016, with sales in other regions to be decided at a later date. Businesses and government offices that install a PaperLab in a backyard area will be able to produce paper of various sizes, thicknesses, and types, from office paper and business card paper to paper that is colored and scented.

The enduring universal appeal of paper lies in its simplicity as a communication tool. Information on the highly portable and always convenient medium of paper is easy to read, easy to digest, and easy to remember. On the other hand, this essential tool is also produced from a limited resource. As a leading company in the world of printing, Epson has been deeply involved with paper used for its printer products. With this in mind, the company set out to develop technology that would change the paper cycle. With PaperLab, Epson aims to give new value to paper and stimulate recycling.

PaperLab Features

Office-based recycling process: Ordinarily, paper is recycled in an extensive process that typically involves transporting waste paper from the office to a papermaking (recycling) facility. With PaperLab, Epson is looking to shorten and localize a new recycling process in the office.

Secure destruction of confidential documents: Until now enterprise has had to hire contractors to handle the disposal of confidential documents or has shredded them themselves. With a PaperLab, h o w e v e r , e n t e r p r i s e will be able to safely dispose of documents onsite instead of handing them over to a contractor. PaperLab breaks documents down into paper fibers, so the information on them is completely destroyed.

H igh - speed production of various types of paper: PaperLab produces the first new sheet of paper in about three minutes of having loaded it with waste paper and pressing the Start button. The system can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day. Users can produce a variety of types of paper to meet their needs, from A4 and A3 office paper of various thicknesses to paper for business cards, colour paper and even scented paper.

Environmental performance: PaperLab makes paper without the use of water. Ordinarily it takes about a cup of water to make a single A4 sheet of paper. Given that water is a precious global resource, Epson felt a dry process was needed. In addition, recycling paper onsite in the office shrinks and simplifies the recycling loop. Users can expect to purchase less new paper and reduce their transport CO2 emissions.

PaperLab technology

Epson’s foundation of compact, energysaving and high-precision technologies enables the company to achieve small, energy-efficient products that offer outstanding accuracy and performance. With printer business operations spanning the consumer, office, commercial and industrial sectors, Epson has an immense storehouse of ink and media expertise, as well as the ability to produce reliable, durable systems that will operate stably. In addition to these, Epson has developed Dry Fiber Technology without water, a new group of technologies for the PaperLab. Dry Fiber Technology consists of three separate technologies: fiberising, binding, and forming.

Fiberising: Using an original mechanism, waste paper is transformed into long, thin cottony, fibers. This process immediately and completely destroys confidential documents. Since the PaperLab does not use water, it does not require plumbing facilities. That, plus its compact size, makes it easy to install in the backyard of an office.

Binding: A variety of different binders can be added to the fiberised material to increase the binding strength or whiteness of the paper or to add colour, fragrance, flame resistance, or other properties needed for a given application.

Forming: Users can produce sheets of A4 or A3 office paper and even paper for business cards thanks to forming technology that allows them to control the density, thickness, and size of paper.

Epson aims to help customers increase operational efficiency by providing high-speed, low-power business inkjet printers that deliver images of amazing quality at a low cost per print. And by employing PaperLab to convert used paper into new, the company believes that offices of all types will fundamentally change the way they think about paper.

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