Disha's Diary: What the Japanese are bringing to Drupa

What should the Indian visitors to Dusseldorf expect from Japan at Drupa? Disha Chakraborty says Japan’s technology momentum is one to keep an eye out for.

23 May 2024 | By Disha Chakraborty

For starters Japan has deployed USD 59 billion to prop up the yen. The Japanese economy could be in better shape, and the weak yen risks suppressing a recovery in domestic consumption.

But Japan’s foreign currency reserves stand at well over USD 1 trillion. From an Indian point of view. There has been an investment surge in equipment from Japan; and many Indian print and packaging CEO's are looking at Japan as a haven in these troubled times.

So, what are the Japanese bringing to Drupa? A quick look.

Komori will showcase three new machines on its stand at Drupa, including a new digital press. The stand will be split into zones and the theme is ... ‘Connected Automation’. In the Packaging Zone, there will be the Lithrone GX40 advance EX edition (GLX-740A+CC), a UV-equipped 40-inch seven-colour sheetfed offset press with inline double coater. The press will have double coating capability as well as Komori’s Super Short Makeready and Smart Color features. The manufacturer said lower makeready waste and help solve print problems. The new offset presses will be available from June, with typical lead times of around six months.

Canon is very serious about mainstream packaging at Drupa. Its exhibit in Hall 8a will include a concept digital sheetfed corrugated press. This will be a single-pass inkjet architecture printing at 8,000sqm/hour and 1.7m-wide. Specification includes four to seven colours, and water-based inks. It will also showcase a short-run alternative to traditional litho lamination print using its Arizona wide-format device with UVgel ink. In the labels space, Canon will showcase the new LabelStream LS2000, with food safety compliant inks. The press is 340mm wide, and prints in CMYK plus white, at up to 40m/min.

Fujifilm has taken additional space in Hall 8b and plans to use every cm.  Launches will include new mid-range models in its line-up of Revoria toner-based presses plus the the global launch for the Jet Press 1160CFG continuous feed inkjet. 

Konica Minolta which has notched up more than Rs 1200 crore of business in India with its digital production engines is streamlining its business units. Konica Minolta said the revamped structure would implement the goals of its 2025 medium-term business plan. The overall group had consolidated revenues of USD 6.9bn) in its most recent financial year. From a Drupa perspective, Konica Minolta will have a large presence at the show, with six interlinked stand areas in Hall 8b. Its motto is 'see the potential in the future of print'.

RMGT will debut two new presses at Drupa. The company will mark its Drupa presence with the theme “Assist your potential with technological expertise and constant innovation.” On display for the commercial print market and the packaging market will be the 970PF-8+LED, RMGT’s eight-colour convertible perfector, available in straight configurations for up to eight colours and perfectors for up to 10 colours. The 1060LX-6+CC press is a 1,060-mm format six-colour offset press with a coating unit, extended delivery, and a printing speed of 17,100-sph. These advanced presses feature new-generation skeleton cylinders and the most comprehensive automation packages available, resulting in higher operating rates and speedy job changeovers.

There is much more. The point is, tech tweaks have been on the rise since the previous edition of Drupa in 2016....

As the above examples indicate, the Japanese press manufacturers will announce ‘the most significant’ upgrades at Drupa. Japan’s technology momentum is one to keep an eye out for ....

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