Walked 500 miles

8 July 2008

Although I have been in the printing industry for some time, this was the first drupa I attended. I was warned about the enormity of the show, and I believed I was prepared – I had my diary set, press conferences chosen, interviews lined up, stands to visit marked out, and even set ‘free time’ to look around. Free time – was I dreaming? At the end of my visit to Düsseldorf, I could only wish I had 48 hours in a day. drupa 2008 was that enthralling!

After spending the first day attending back-to-back press conferences, which I believe were rather poorly planned and cramped together, I stepped into the halls of what was hailed as ‘inkjet drupa’ to witness the real action.

There certainly were a lot of ‘concept’ inkjet presses and this technology will continue to interest the industry.

But I think, all too often drupa is more than just the tag it carries – in 2004, it was more than just JDF, in 2000, it presented more than just a gateway to digital.

From what I saw, 2008 could probably be the real digital drupa. Manufacturers such as HP, Xeikon, and EFI, all marketed their digital label presses with a lot of fervour and they certainly looked impressive.

However, I wonder if the estimated US$30B worldwide label market is ready for this explosion. Will the converters embrace digital technology or continue to rely upon ‘traditional’ presses? At the end, what matters is profit – and a technology that will provide faster and fatter return of investment will hold the future.

Another highlight at this year’s drupa was the environmental concerns. Every supplier and every converter was talking certified papers, eco friendly inks, waste reduction technologies, and energy saving presses. The colour of drupa seemed to turn from red to green – so was this the ‘green drupa’?

No matter what you call it: ‘inkjet drupa’, ‘digital drupa’, or ‘green drupa’, it will remain a show of enormous new technologies and opportunities. The exhibitors, the delegates, the visitors, and the press are all so charged up, that it’s difficult not to simply believe in the future of print.

I must have walked 500 miles, so to say, and I would walk 500 more at the next drupa because it’s so worth it. I am already gearing up for the next Olympics in 2012 – not the one to be held in London, but that in Düsseldorf!

Sonali Advani

Sonali Advani

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.