Aside from this there was, of course, the expected focus on digital technology.
And on a slightly-less-than-serious note it seems that mottos and slogans are de rigueur among exhibitors! Many catchy phrases were bandied about, exemplified by these few: ‘Power to Succeed’ (Fujifilm); ‘See Things Differently’ (Goss); ‘See the Bigger Picture’ (Canon); ‘Discover HEI’ (Heidelberg), ‘The Art of Success’ (Pitney Bowes), ‘Komori on Demand’ (well, um, Komori).
As always, it was a case of ‘information overload’ – inevitable at such media events – but the following pages are an effort to distil the essence of what we learnt, supplemented by other intelligence that has filtered in via other channels.
Nothing more sustainable than print
The media has long predicted the decline of traditional print products and billed the Internet as the only true distributor of content. However, reckons Werner Dornscheidt, CEO and president of Messe Düsseldorf, nothing is more sustainable than print. Backing this contention, he went on to highlight numerous drupa success stories in terms of numbers of exhibitors, global reach, and its many innovative features.
‘During 2012, there’ll be a fundamental transition in the print and media industry. Web-based technologies, digital printing, smart phone communication plus conventional sheet and web offset printing – these are just a few of the headlines for current discussions,’ he told journalists at the media event. ‘And drupa comes at the right time in this transition phase. It represents the complete offering by print and media industries, the trends of today and tomorrow,’ he remarked.
His comments were firmly backed by Bernhard Schreier, chairman of the drupa 2012 Exhibitors Advisory Board (and coincidentally also Heidelberg’s CEO), who highlighted key aspects of ongoing structural change.
‘One major change is the stark shift of markets and business fields. The economic crisis caused significant market changes, which will continue in the future,’ he said.
He went on to point out the importance of differentiating between saturated Western markets and growth markets in developing countries, and made the following points (among many others): Pira predicts global print industry growth at 1 to 1,5 % per year to 2016, mainly in developing markets in Asia and Latin America. China is the most striking example, with a doubling of market volume in six years. Developing countries have an enormous amount of catching up to do in all economic areas – especially in packaging printing. Until recently, most consumer goods in countries such as China or India were wrapped in newspaper or packed in bulk and sold over the counter. With the emergence of supermarkets comes the need for prepackaged goods. The importance of packaging as an image and advertising medium is growing, and this segment is expected to see growth rates of around 7% to 2014.
Turning to the topic of digital print, it’s Bernhard Schreier’s contention that today’s digital media offer faster more versatile possibilities but don’t automatically lead to pushing out print media. ‘Rather, we’re at the beginning of a comprehensive and exciting integration process for both lines,’ he maintains. ‘This creates new perspectives and opportunities for print.’
Heidelberg predicts positive impetus
After those scene-setting comments, first place in this preview goes to Heidelberg, not only because it’s the largest presence (occupying Halls 1 and 2 as has become tradition), but also because it epitomises more than mere toe-dipping by traditional offset press suppliers into packaging and digital printing waters.
Also placing the company in the limelight is the position of its affable CEO Bernard Schreier as chairman of the drupa 2012 Exhibitors Advisory Board. So, at the media event, taking off his drupa hat and donning his Heidelberg hat, he proceeded to outline his company’s plans for showcasing around 60 innovations under the motto ‘Discover HEI’.
It’s his contention that drupa will provide a positive impetus as the investment backlog in key markets around the world begins to subside.
‘We’ll be providing a positive boost for the print media industry at drupa, using our portfolio of solutions and services to showcase future-proof business models,’ he said. ‘We’ll show customers that investments pay dividends by preparing them for future trends in printed communication. The growth segments of packaging and digital printing take centre stage.’
One focus at drupa is on the launch of a series of sheetfed offset presses under the name Speedmaster SX. This series combines the cutting-edge technology of existing product series in a new performance class tailored first and foremost to the requirements of commercial printing in order to meet changing market requirements. The Speedmaster SX series is primarily targeted at print shops in emerging markets looking to take productivity to another level but also at printers in industrialised countries who are under heightened pricing pressure.
Launched in 2010, the Speedmaster CX 102 sheetfed offset press for packaging printing was based on the same concept. Since then, more than 1 000 printing units have been sold worldwide – with great success.
The company is also expanding its digital print portfolio, bundling all solutions under the name Heidelberg Linoprint. For this purpose, cooperation with Ricoh has been expanded and Heidelberg now offers Ricoh digital printing systems under its own name and equipped with Heidelberg software.
Goss Sunday now for packaging
Staying on the packaging printing topic, personally, I have always associated the name Goss with enormous towering Goss Sunday newspaper presses. But now the company is altering its focus and reshaping the debate about packaging printing with a line of Sunday presses retooled for packaging and label applications, including folding cartons.
New Goss Sunday Vpak variable sleeve presses, being featured at drupa, introduce an entirely new way to exploit the inherent print quality, cost and agility advantages of web offset, according to Peter Walczak, Goss International director of product management for packaging presses.
He remarked that, while packaging has not been directly threatened by electronic alternatives and remains a growing print sector, the pressures on packaging producers mirror those found in the other sectors. ‘Margins are tightening, brand owners and marketers are demanding higher print quality, and run lengths and turn-around times are coming down to achieve more dynamic, targeted and personalised packaging,’ he explained to journalists at the media event. Add in emerging environmental, product safety and security issues, and it is no wonder that current print production methods are being analysed closely with an eye on improvement opportunities.
With new variable sleeve press technology available in web widths up to 1 905mm to address these requirements, the time is right to consider, or reconsider, web offset alternatives to flexo, gravure or sheetfed offset for some applications.
Comexi has great expectations
Comexi (Hall 10, Stand C62) has high expectations of drupa, believing current market conditions should result in significant changes in the way packaging is produced. Responding to this belief, Comexi is offering innovative platforms with benefits in four areas of the converting process: high print quality, energy efficiency, sustainable printing and waste management.
On the Comexi stand, visitors can see live demonstrations of the new range of innovative and sustainable products, including sustainable printing solutions, involving electron beam and water-based printing inks.
In this latter context, Comexi and BASF are combining their strengths to focus on a new vision for flexible packaging and demonstrating how the combined power of innovation and chemistry can enable printers to switch to sustainable printing. The innovation comes from the Comexi Flexo F2 press on show, while BASF is highlighting its sustainable approach to the converting world by presenting water-based printing inks, lamination adhesives and biodegradable films for flexible packaging. Both companies share the common aim of driving the move to solvent-free printing.
Under the Proslit trademark (a division of the Comexi group), drupa also sees the introduction of the S-Turret slitter rewinder.
It’s aimed at markets outside flexible packaging where Proslit hasn’t previously had a large presence. Motivated by excellent results from its Eikon, Duo and Uno models, Comexi is now promoting its Proslit machine into markets where Comexi is in the development phase – the converting of rigid or semirigid materials such as paper and cartonboard, lidding, aluminium foil and laminates, adhesive and silicone materials (eg pressure-sensitive labelstock), BOPP and PET.
The S-Turret features an unwinder with three diameters – 1 000mm, 1 250mm and 1 550mm – supporting weights of 1 350kg, 2 150kg and 3 000kg respectively.
The machine is available in widths of 1 400mm, 1 700mm and 2 200mm; it can rewind reels up to 1 000mm in diameter; and can support a maximum weight of 1 000kg along the entire width of the rewinder shaft.
Many improvements and innovations have been incorporated into the S-Turret, the most important being Proslit’s Advance Linea Winding System. This control system maintains the lay-on roller fixed to the frame and moves the rewind reel shaft as it becomes larger. In the process, the distance between the slitting area and the lay-on roller area remains constant, greatly improving rewind quality.
Offering energy saving techniques and simple maintenance, direct drive technology is part of the design features to improve energy efficiency and reduce maintenance time and cost.
This smart and efficient solution is another step towards strengthening the markets in which the Comexi group is already present while offering alternatives to new markets.
Further information regarding Comexi’s product lineup is available from local agent, Advanced Packaging Technology.
Next-generation Atlas and Titan on show
Atlas Converting Equipment (Hall 12, Stand D67) is presenting its new CW Series for primary and secondary slitters/rewinders for film and flexible materials. The CW technology platform introduces the next generation of more compact film slitting solutions from Atlas in web widths from 2,5 to 10,4m, and is said to deliver higher efficiency, increased productivity and reliability, higher quality rewind reels, reduced noise levels and more effective operator-friendly control systems.
This latest Atlas technology also features wireless rewind arm positioning, automatic knife positioning, direct drive web path rollers and running speeds up to 1 500m/min with precise web tension control.
Also being demonstrated is the next-generation Titan SR9 slitting/rewinding technology, again providing higher performance, improved productivity, and a more flexible and sustainable solution in slitting/ rewinding.
In the development of the SR9 Series, Atlas focused on achieving significant reductions in machine downtime, including reduced set change time, lower operator intervention and a reduction of costly waste materials, which all add up to outstanding gains in productivity.
The Titan SR9 Series platform features three separate modules of unwind, slitter and rewind sections, the idea being that a converter need only change the rewind section of the slitter from a Dual Shaft (DS) to a Single Turret (ST) or Dual Turret (DT) configuration to meet changing production requirements, without the need to change the existing unwind and slitting modules.
The Titan SR9-DT Dual Turret rewinder was introduced towards the end of 2011. The Dual Shaft (DS) module will be available later this year, followed by the Single Turret (ST) module for a wide range of flexible materials including plain, printed, coated or metallised films, laminates, paper, board and flexible packaging materials.
Innovative engineering design has led to the application for four patents on the Titan SR9 Series, including the unique Turret Support Device (TSD) for faster turret rotation. Such advanced engineering design has led to significant improvements in the quality of slit reels and significant reductions in set-up procedures.
A newly designed Linear Tracking Slitter (LTS) section ensures a constant web length between the knives and the rewind shafts for improved web control, giving the best possible side wall quality and reducing the possibility of waste.
On hand on the Atlas Converting stand to answer queries from South African packaging printers are members of the Beswick Machinery team.
Turning to the digital stuff . . .
An important component in the future of print lies in the areas of digital printing.
Among key words in this respect are print-on-demand, personalised printing and printed electronics.
A study from Pira predicts that by 2015, approximately 30% of worldwide print products will be digitally manufactured.
At the 2012 drupa, six halls are already devoted to digital print and digital links (compared to four halls in 2008).
See the bigger picture with Canon
It’s always good to catch up with David Preskett, a personable young man who’s not only Canon Europe’s professional print director but doubles up as president of Ipex 2014 and chairman of the Ipex Advisory Committee.
Among other things, he focused on his company’s growth in emerging markets as well as its added strength since the merger of Océ with its complementary products into the Canon empire.
At drupa, Canon confirms its position as a leading supplier to the digital printing market with its largest ever stand. Dominating Hall 8a is the 3 750 m² Canon stand (Hall 8a, Stand C06-1) – the fourth largest at drupa – displaying the full range of Canon and Océ technology, from image capture to output.
Whether visitors are looking for mono- or full-colour, inkjet or toner, high speed or outstanding print quality, A4 or large format, stand-alone device or multiple engines managed by a production workflow, Canon promises a solution.
As David comments: ‘The depth of expertise and technology that Canon and Océ can now offer is very exciting, so I’d urge visitors looking for inspiration to come to the Canon stand to see that there’s more to print than printing. As well as observing the latest Canon and Océ technology in action, they’ll also have access to valuable advice from independent business consultants and to fascinating insights about customers. Add to that the 100-plus customer success stories on display, and the Canon stand should be on the itinerary of every visitor looking for new opportunities to grow his or her business.’
Konica Minolta reveals easy path to digital print
Konica Minolta has set ‘Brainpower, your printing business!’ as this year’s drupa motto.
According to Leon Minnie, Konica Minolta South Africa’s product specialist, the objective behind the motto is to enhance customer business through the use of fresh concepts.
‘With its customer-centric approach, Konica Minolta is presenting an innovative exhibition concept at its largest-ever trade fair stand,’ he adds.
‘We’re launching our vision over a 2 300m2 space, paving an easy path to digital printing. With an eye on added value, we’re outlining the business benefits of digital printing; and realising this aim includes providing consultancy services regarding the effective use of digital equipment.’
At drupa, the entire current Konica Minolta production printing range is on show (Hall 8B, Stand B78) – from entry-level to mid-level production printing as well as new colour and mono devices, including a prototype inkjet digital press capable of printing on B2 size paper.
Systems are being demonstrated in ‘real-world’ production print situations using Konica Minolta’s software solutions and third party best-of-breed applications.
‘The company’s production print systems recently won a series of high profile awards for excellence, including the BERTL Best Production Line of the Year and the Buyers Lab five-star award for the bizhub PRESS C7000’s colour consistency. Additionally, we won the BERTL Exceptional Certified Five-Star Award for our flagship bizhub PRESS C8000,’ says Leon.
He goes on to note that the commercial print market is adopting more and more digital printing systems to meet growing demand for high-variety, low-volume and short-run orders, plus the surge in demand for one-toone marketing and variable printing. ‘As preparation for this growth, we’re focusing on final print products and not only devices, and plan to show an inkjet digital printing system (prototype) under joint development with Komori Corporation for development into the commercial printing market,’ he explains.
The press, with Konica Minolta head and ink technology, is being demonstrated six times a day in printing mode. Highlights include its small footprint compared to an offset machine, its output of 63 B2 cut sheets/min, its image quality of 1 200dpi CMYK and its paper-feeding registration that’s the same as offset.
Other new equipment on the stand include the Chagall, the new bizhub PRESS C1100 that’s based on the bizhub PRESS C8000 engine, and the bizhub PRESS 2250, which delivers 250items/min through tandem configuration.
The Konica Minolta exhibit also includes digital presses, inline finishing, offline finishing, inkjet presses, wide-format printers for graphic arts, CAD and signage usage, and professional colour measurement.
HP highlight new profit opportunities
HP is showcasing new digital printing solutions and applications that help print service providers (PSPs) grow their businesses and deliver higher value to their customers.
HP’s 4 952m2 stand (Hall 4) is drupa’s second largest exhibit. It’s also the show’s single largest exhibit of digital printing technologies, building on HP’s legacy of bringing innovation to market.
‘This year, we will again raise digital printing performance to new levels, helping customers extend the advantages of digital production to more applications and create greater impact,’ comments Christopher Morgan, senior VP of HP’s Graphics Solutions Business.
All HP Indigo digital presses are shown, featuring high-quality liquid HP ElectroInks for commercial, photo specialty, and label and packaging applications; HP Inkjet Web presses for high-speed publishing, transactional and commercial applications; HP large format systems using HP Latex and UV inks for sign and display applications; and HP Speciality Printing Systems – inkjet solutions for high-productivity, low-cost imprinting, addressing, coding and marking applications.
HP is also showing complete end-to-end solutions, including new HP SmartStream workflow solutions; HP Exstream communications management technologies; HP web-to-print and MIS solutions based on Hiflex technology; advanced HP service and support offerings; and third-party software and finishing systems.
The stand features a full range of tools and programs available to PSPs through the HP Capture business development program, including the DSCOOP (Digital Solutions Cooperative) HP users’ group.
drupa visitors from nearly every segment of the graphic arts industry will see production solutions to meet their business needs, with the HP stand divided into demonstration areas for general commercial; photo specialty; publishing, direct mail and transaction printing; labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons; and sign and display printing.
‘We’re accelerating transformation by helping PSPs reduce overall printing costs, improve their supply chain with on-demand and web-to-print solutions and create new applications and business models where digital printing adds greater value,’ Christopher adds.
Biggest Kolbus stand ever
With its largest drupa stand to date (over 2 000m2), Kolbus (Hall 16) is featuring a range of bookbinding machinery, packaging and postpress solutions for digital printing applications. Kai Büntemeyer, CEO, told delegates at the media conference that his company’s vision is to use inkjet printing for mass production of books.
‘This year’s drupa will generate new impetus and ideas for the book finishing sector,’ he predicts.
Photobooks are already a success story and other digital printing applications are opening up. The many machines in action on the Kolbus stand give some idea of the comprehensive range of Kolbus machinery, available locally through Ipex Machinery.
From ‘Book’ and ‘Inkjet’ comes Bookjet – a key concept in digital post-print processing from Kolbus. The Bookjet concept changes the traditional approach to post-print processing in every way. A Bookjet is capable of producing books with different content and different number of pages, not in batches, but one after the other. The number of pages can vary widely – from 20 to a thousand or more pages. 1 000 titles a day, millions of books a year – each book in a matter of seconds and with zero make-ready effort – the Bookjet concept offers cost-competitive and profitable finishing of digital print products.
However, much space on the Kolbas stand is also devoted to conventional post-press machines. Highlights include the KM 600.C (pictured below), a perfect binder targeted at fast, cost-competitive production of brochures, magazines, catalogues and book blocks. The KM 600.C is a universal machine and a candidate for many applications in multistage printing companies, trade bookbinders and digital print shops. Many engineering innovations – from infeed to delivery – have measurably improved performance and user-friendliness and cut make-ready times still further. The Kolbus KM 600.C is a perfect binder for industrial-scale post-press in the performance range up to 9 000 cycles/h. Visitors to drupa can watch the new Kolbus inline perfect binder line consisting of a ZU 822.C gathering machine, a KM 600.C perfect binder and an HD 153.M three-knife trimmer.
Kolbus is another company that’s turning its sights on packaging and at drupa is launching its new business area for Packaging Production.
Know-how transfer from casemaking enables Kolbus to open up new markets with clear growth potential – especially for machinery to produce packaging for luxury products such as jewellery and cosmetics.
The company is demonstrating efficient production systems for packaging, especially for handling sensitive, easily-damaged and expensive materials. The production line incorporates a DA 260 automated casemaker linked inline with an SA 260 lining machine and can be operated by one person.
Finishing for digital and offset
Among Kemtek’s numerous principals on show is Duplo International, showing the latest in print finishing systems (Hall 13, Stand B53).
The new DBMi saddle stitching system, for instance, provides book production for both digital and offset presses with fast make-ready times of approximately 60 seconds.
Coping with book thicknesses up to 120 pages it accommodates a variety of formats including the increasingly popular A4 landscape size right down to formats as small as 90mm x 75mm.
The system incorporates the latest technology allowing automatic set-up of all book parameters with precise registration.
Up to four Hohner heads in either flat or loop configurations are automatically positioned with wire stitching sensors to ensure that a correct book is produced every time. This product is being launched with the brand new DSC-10/60i suction collating towers, the heart of the system, to provide accurate and consistent feeding of all paper stocks from 50 to 300g/m2.
For digital finishing, highlights include the DC-745 production colour finisher with integrated folding system is the latest multi-function finishing machine in Duplo’s range designed for high volume digital colour print.
End-to-end communications management
With its theme, ‘The Art of Success’, Pitney Bowes (Hall 4, Stand C04) is demonstrating technology that supports an end-to-end customer communications strategy.
When it comes to business communications, Pitney Bowes defines ‘The Art of Success’ as the ability to transform ordinary mail and messages into masterpieces of productivity, quality and efficiency – all within ever-tightening budgets.
Visitors can see how today’s messages can build on past interactions to drive detailed personalisation, delivered via the recipient’s channel of choice.
This capability is being demonstrated using two transactional applications that utilise the latest Pitney Bowes technology.
The efficiencies of an offset shell replacement strategy are on show in the form of a simple electricity bill featuring limited colour. This application demonstrates a starting point for the ‘White Paper Factory’ concept – where pre-printed stock is replaced with the means to print every job on blank paper and white envelopes. Basic applications of this kind are particularly attractive for customers looking for ways to begin reducing costs and driving revenue.
Additionally, visitors can see the dynamic impact of personalised transpromo messaging in the form of a mobile phone bill. This application will be printed in full colour, demonstrating the high print quality, productivity and effectiveness of the IntelliJet 20 (pictured above). The two applications will be comingled into a single production job to show how postal and production savings can be realised – a significant ROI. Pitney Bowes’ latest DFWorks White Paper Factory software enables these comingled jobs to be tracked and reported on separately – a key requirement for businesses looking to achieve best-level job efficiency and integrity.
Both applications are to be finished using the new Mailstream Wrapper that ‘wraps’ the printed document rather than using envelopes. Each wrap matches the printed content with the addition of a simple logo for the electricity bill application and a targeted, personalised message for the transpromo phone bill.
Also on the Pitney Bowes’ stand, a special lounge area will showcase the Volly secure digital delivery service, a cloud-based digital mail communications platform that empowers consumers to receive, view and manage bills, statements, direct marketing, catalogues, coupons and other content from multiple providers using a single application. The Volly secure digital delivery service enables large-volume mailers and service bureaus and national posts to help grow their business and provide a multi-channel communications experience.
One-stop knowledge centre
PrintCity Alliance members and partners have announced their plans for drupa 2012, offering visitors access to their Connection of Competence knowledge sharing and industry leading hot topics.
The PrintCity drupa theme is PRINT: SEEN! LEAN & GREEN. A shared networking environment will be created under this headline by members with ‘hot topic’ visitor attractions located in the centre of Hall 6.
SEEN! focuses on all areas of ‘Value Added’ opportunities, through advanced materials and techniques, plus their benefits in product branding, visibility, differentiation and increased business.
LEAN & GREEN focuses on the inter-relationship between lean manufacturing concepts and the latest thinking on environment good practice. Both used together increase profitability and ensure printers, publishers and packaging professionals stay ahead of the competition.
Industry-leading businesses with specialist knowledge across conventional and digital web and sheetfed printing, packaging and publishing will be active at drupa – these PrintCity members are Baumüller, Cofely, Eltosch, Kurz, manroland, MEGTEC, Merck, M-real, Océ, Procemex, Sappi, Sun Chemical, Tolerans, Trelleborg, UPM, Weilburger Graphics and Westland.
PrintCity partners offering technology, market reach and other benefits include Finest Fog, Fujifilm, Metrics, PrintGraph and Sonoco Alcore.
Visitors can see the latest products and technologies from PrintCity members and partners and gain knowledge in these special areas:
• Digital & Offset Printing – The Best of Both Worlds
• Tune-Up Your Web Press – Extending Web Printing Performance
• Value Added Printing & Packaging – Touch the Emotions and add new Functions
• Lean & Green Opportunities – Improving Economic & Environmental Performance
Everyone should visit PrintCity in Hall 6 – the ‘one stop’ drupa knowledge centre!
Fischer & Krecke takes 100th order for smartGPS
Among Beswick Machinery’s principals on show at drupa is Fischer & Krecke (part of the Bobst group) which recently announced the 100th order for its smartGPS graphic positioning system.
This retrofitable option for F&K gearless presses became available in January 2009 and in 2010 was recognised with the prestigious FTA Technical Achievement Award. The 100 order milestone includes both retrofits and options as sold on new F&K presses worldwide.
More than an incremental improvement of existing processes, F&K claims that its smartGPS is the only system available for flexo printing equipment that ensures perfect registration and impression set-up while producing next to zero waste of substrate and machine time regardless of printed material, number of colours, drying characteristics of inks, operator skills, and other production conditions. Unlike conventional systems which perform set-up in the press through a manual or automatic optical process of trial and error, smartGPS™ does the job offline at the plate mounting stage. The technology is easily understood and implemented. The savings derived from eliminating wasted time and material increases profits on all jobs and give printers a decisive advantage in their ability to accept and run short jobs profitably.
With smartGPS the shorter the print runs and the more frequent the changeover, the greater the cost savings. And, the more expensive the substrate, the greater the cost savings achieved by reduction of waste. These compelling advantages make smartGPS an exceptionally attractive investment.
Learn more about this by visiting the F&K stand at drupa (Hall 10, Stand A04).
Impressive new stamping foil generation
Coating specialist Kurz reports consistently positive results for the new hot stamping foils developed since the last drupa.
According to Kurz, three new stamping foils have established themselves extremely well in the market: Luxor/Alufin MC-Pro, Luxor/Alufin MP and Luxor/Alufin ML.
To complete this successful range of high-performance hot stamping foils called M series, Kurz has developed the foil quality Luxor/Alufin MTS, which will be introduced at drupa. The new stamping foil is intended to give the print finisher an especially wide scope of processing.
The easy-to-process Luxor/Alufin MTS is suitable for all kind of motifs and offers high abrasion resistance, also for relief stampings. It adheres well on different substrates and excels with high coverage even on large-area applications. As Kurz reports, today’s finishing market demands a highly differentiated range of stamping foils. Processors find it very challenging to come to terms with the complex and constantly changing stamping conditions they encounter. They need to be able to deliver consistent and high-quality results for vastly different stamping jobs, while working as quickly, and producing as little waste as possible. The M series is aimed at assisting processors in better satisfying the wide variety of requirements with which they are faced.
To learn more about Kurz’s wide-ranging products, visit the stand at drupa (Hall 3, Stand D70), where members of the Synchron team will be on hand to provide South African customers with comprehensive information about the properties of various hot stamping foils, and their suitability for various stamping jobs.
Esko outlines drupa 2012 attractions
It was during Labelexpo in Brussels that Antalis signed its distributorship agreement with EskoArtwork (for more on this topic see PPM Issue Two page 25). Lauded by Keith Solomon, director of Antalis South Africa, as a leader in the flexo solutions arena, Esko’s management team has been quick to support its local ambassador by hosting a special drupa 2012 preview in Johannesburg.
Armand Gougay, VP of sales and marketing, and Jacques Staelens, regional manager MEA, outlined Esko’s impressive expo line-up, which includes Suite 12; its ground-breaking HD Flexo software; Inline UV 2, the new inline UV exposure unit for Cyrel Digital Imagers (CDIs); the Kongsberg i-XP24 and Kongsberg i-XE10 Auto, fully automated, die-less digital finishing table; and other globally-renowned digital finishing solutions in collaboration with partners DuPont, HP, Fujifilm, Forex, PrintCity, and more. The Esko stand will cover an enormous 900m2 and, dubbed the ‘Full Esko Experience’, will be its largest exhibition showcase to date.
‘There will be lots on colour!’ promised Armand during his presentation. ‘Esko has made huge developments in the flexographic printing industry during the last 15 years and we continue to hold a 70% global market share in CDIs alone. We place much emphasis on our R&D efforts with a focus on three specific domains – software, services and hardware. drupa, as always, is the ideal platform to showcase all our latest technologies.’
As for Antalis, a dedicated team of technicians and sales staff have already received full product training in Europe and have begun making new footprints in the local industry, where Esko is already widely respected. ‘Our relationship with Esko is of particular value to us and I believe the partnership is the springboard we both needed into new and exciting markets,’ Keith asserts. ‘We’ve placed a big investment in the local growth of Esko and next on the cards is a DuPont/ Esko roadshow in March, where we look forward to connecting with even more potential and existing local customers.’
Esko already has 79 established sites in the South African packaging and sign and display sectors and, according to Armand, there’s more exciting news on the horizon: ‘As well as addressing the South African media, we’re taking the opportunity to cement some new local business relationships in the packaging market,’ he confirmed.
Watch for more drupa news in Issue Four 2012!