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The future of label printing - why drupa is even more important than you might think.

"Digitalization is pervading all areas of life in our world and is rapidly penetrating the printing and packaging industry. Digital technology can be a competitor, but it can also help printers and converters to be more efficient and be part of the solution.

When I think of drupa, I see it in my mind's eye as the World Printing Industry Championship. Like the World Cup - for which my country, by contrast, does not usually qualify in the first place - drupa takes place every four years. When I was new to the printing industry, I was often told not to visit drupa because it was much too big, I would only get lost and the focus was not on my area of expertise. It's a good thing I didn't listen. Since my first visit to drupa, I have been there again and again - and I will definitely not miss the event in 2020.
Yes, that's true: drupa is huge, and I have actually got lost there more than once. And the focus is really not on label printing. But on the other hand, the world's leading trade show for the printing industry gives me a comprehensive and professional overview of the entire printing market, the latest innovations and the trends that can be expected in the coming years. The different areas of the industry are interrelated - trends that are now emerging in one segment will soon be visible elsewhere. Inkjet technology, for example, was first introduced in large format printing, but is now also playing an important role in label printing. At drupa I can find out about rival printing processes and thus gain insights and new perspectives for my company.
What can you expect from drupa 2020? First of all: Innovations! The printing industry - including packaging printing - is under great pressure; a comprehensive change is needed. Branded companies are setting the pace and making new demands. Competition in the industry is fiercer than ever; our customers - all branded companies - are looking for innovations.
One very important aspect is sustainability: printing service providers, and packaging printers in particular, must drastically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and waste. The younger generation is putting pressure on governments and branded companies in this regard with regular demonstrations. However, knowledge about the importance of packaging is often limited among young people; many believe that packaging is fundamentally bad - the benefits of packaging are overlooked; the waste generated by packaging is the main concern. While some more sustainable solutions are now available, many of them are not being used because they are simply not yet profitable. Sure - everyone wants a better, cleaner planet, but customers are less willing to pay for it. Packaging customers are mainly interested in reducing costs. Our group of companies, for example, has already developed and brought to market many new solutions. We are PEFC and FSC certified, and Imprim'vert has analysed the CO2 balance. However, our turnover with environmentally friendly products is currently very low. Perhaps we have not presented or sold our solutions well enough. On the other hand, resistance to change is still very high - too high in my opinion. I really hope that more sustainable packaging materials and also more environmentally friendly inks and inks will prevail, together with printing presses that allow more environmentally friendly printing and processing of substrates.
At the World Printing Championships, the main competition is between the different printing technologies: Flexo, offset, heliographic and digital printing as the rising star in the print sky. All printing technologies will be optimised in the course of higher demands for environmental compatibility, higher quality, shorter delivery times and lower costs. Thanks to various innovations, applications can be transferred between the different technologies. But as with a World Cup, one must be careful not to be too much on one side - here too there are representatives who believe in one particular printing technology (namely their own) and neither know nor acknowledge the advantages of other technologies. However, success comes from combining the strengths of all technologies.
Nowhere else is the further development of printing technologies so comprehensible as at drupa. After all, in order to better meet customer requirements, it is necessary to be j

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