Drupa 2012 draws to a close

Drupa is the world’s largest printing equipment trade fair. It is held every four years in Dusseldorf, Germany. It serves as a wonderful barometer of the printing industry, and invariably sees important announcements. It is attended by hundreds of Australians.

Given the financial doom and gloom emanating from Europe, it was always going to be interesting to see how well attended Drupa was, and whether the feeling there was positive or negative.

Numbers were down from 390,000 to 320,000, however it appears that the feeling was overwhelmingly positive, as the following report makes abundantly clear.

A colleague of mine attended Drupa this year and has returned with an interesting take on it. He says that printing is very much alive and well in Europe and in the USA, which he says is in stark contrast to Australia, where the printing industry is in the doldrums and is anything but healthy or positive. He thinks the situation in Australia is at least in part being driven by trade associations whose reports on the health of the industry and invariably negative. I certainly endorse that sentiment.

As far as we are concerned at Kainos Print, this take on Drupa is good news, as we have a number of initiatives in the pipeline which assume that printing is alive and well, and is not going away any time soon.

Undoubtably the highlight of Drupa was the launch of Benny Landa’s Nanographic presses. I will post a separate blog on this later today. Suffice to say that Benny Landa, an Israeli, who launched the first digital press at the IPEX trade fair (largest English speaking fair, held every four years in the UK) in 1993 appears very much to have done it again. In 1993 he launched the Indigo digital press. He sold Indigo to Hewlett Packard (HP) in 2002, and the HP Indigo now commands a significant share of the digital printing market.

Here is the report, which first appeared in the UK PrintWeek daily newsletter, 16/5/12

A feeling of renewal was apparent as Drupa 2012 drew to a close, with some viewing it as the “evolution Drupa” where digital printing became mainstream.

Despite visitor numbers contracting by 18% since 2008 – the expected total will be down from 390,000 to 320,000 when the show closes today – manufacturers and suppliers said the quality of customers had increased dramatically with decision makers arriving ready to do business.

Landa, which created a sensation at the show with the launch of its nano printing technology, took deposits for ‘hundreds’ of Nanographic presses, with the S10 B1-format model notching up the most orders according to founder and chairman Benny Landa. He said: “I’m on such a high, the show has been so fantastic for us.

“One of our objectives was to try and jump-start the industry, by coming here with a more optimistic and positive outlook. I imagined we would have a big impact, but what amazed me most has been the customers’ response. It’s been amazingly positive, both to our message and our technology.”

Digital press sales were also booming elsewhere. HP doubled its sales target for the new B2 HP Indigo 10000 and reported “huge” sales of the new HP Indigo 5600 and HP Indigo 7600 as well as successes with its Inkjet Web Press Series and labels and packaging presses.

Francois Martin, worldwide marketing director, HP Graphic Solutions Business said: “As such, drupa 2012 proved itself this year to be a show for all print markets where visitors come to do business around commercially available solutions. “

Elsewhere, KBA told the drupa report daily it had signed orders totalling “three-digit million Euros”.

The company also reported a 4% increase in group sales for the first quarter following an 8% increase in sheetfed orders with more being signed during the show as well as web press orders from Germany and France.

Finishing equipment supplier Duplo reported more good news raking in €3m (£2.4m) during the show, €1m above expectations, while it made 2,200 leads across 109 countries.

And Canon, too, notched up strong figures with 270 production printer sales across the Canon and Océ range and over 10,000 new leads. Echoing the feeling of many at this year’s show, professional print director David Preskett called drupa 2012 “a real success.”

Drupa 2012 president, and Heidelberg chairman and chief executive Bernhard Schreier said the show had “breathed new life into the sector”.

“Here in Dusseldorf, business transactions have been agreed and the groundwork has been laid for the industry’s successful future,” he stated.


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