The world’s largest and most important trade event for print and cross-media solutions, drupa, was recently held in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia Germany. With over 260,000 visitors from 188 countries, this 11-day event focused on future themes with strong growth potential — such as 3D printing, digital printing, functional printing and packaging printing.
A small team from Phototype was on hand to engage with exhibitors and ensure we continue to remain on the cutting edge of any emerging technologies. Every new, innovative digital press, substrate, ink and finishing equipment was shown at this event.
While at drupa, the main goal was to understand how everyone—especially Phototype—is going to play a part in the digital print world. We were looking for new technologies, along with future visions from manufacturers and adjacent prepress companies. Another area we were able to explore was the hybrid solutions that will bridge the gap as digital print begins to grow and evolve.
This event was also a great opportunity to network with a wide range of industry experts, providing visibility for Phototype on a much broader scale. The team explored potential new partnerships and picked the brains of vendors about current challenges and their visions for the future. We had a chance to see, and to explore in detail, digital presses from Kodak, HP, Fuji and Landa, among many others.
Digital printing is taking on many forms in today’s marketplace. When someone refers to a digital “press”, they may be talking about everything from a desktop label printer (which is a few inches wide, running a few small labels per minute) to a 110" wide digital press, running at over 600 feet per minute.
Digital presses, like the Indigo, have been in the market for more than twenty years and are a workhorse of the mailing industry. Indigos are fast becoming a strong option in the packaging industry for short-run label work.
Competing with the Indigo are numerous new inkjet-based solutions, covering narrow to wide-web sizes and speeds, as described above.
Also competing for market share are a number of “hybrid” presses that bolt inkjet heads onto a flexo or offset press — think “Frankenstein”. This approach lets inkjet manufacturers take advantage of the web-handling capabilities of a proven press design, while adding digital printing capability to the traditional press. This method also allows a printer to print the “static” parts of the design with the flexo or offset portion of the press, and then add customization with the digital portions of the press.
Phototype is a 4th-generation, family-owned company that provides fully integrated graphic solutions to the consumer packaged goods (CPG), medical/pharma, retail, printing and converting industries. To learn more, contact us.