Drupa to return after eight years

Team Messe Dusseldorf kicked off its Drupa 2024 India Yatra in Mumbai on 13 December 2023 with a late evening event at the JW Marrriot, Juhu, which saw close to 50 participants comprising CEOs of the print companies and media.

14 Dec 2023 | By Noel D'Cunha

(l-r) Dr Andreas Plabke, Sabine Geldermann and Dr Thomas Schiemann

The second Drupa 2024 India Yatra was held in New Delhi on 13 December, and the third will be held tomorrow, 15 December, in Chennai.

The Drupa team included Dr Andreas Plabke, CEO Koenig & Bauer and president, Drupa; Sabine Geldermann, director, Drupa (Messe Düsseldorf), Germany; Dr Thomas Schiemann, member of the board of management at VDMA Printing and Paper Technology; and Millie Contractor of Messe Düsseldorf.

The event presented current technology and sustainability trends in printing and packaging. We all know that Drupa 2024 is taking place after a gap of eight years, as the 2020 edition had to be first postponed to next year before it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the Mumbai Drupa 2024 yatra, Amit Shah, president of Bombay Master Printers Association (BMPA) and Prakash Canser, president of Mumbai Mudrak Sangh (MMS), were given the honour of introducing the show to the audience. The duo briefly explained how to spend time at Drupa and what to look for. "Look at innovation beyond plastic – innovation and sustainability have become indivisible in the food segment; look at raw materials, alternatives before recycling; and how to tackle supply chain challenges," was the message.

The Drupa exhibition will be hosted in 17 halls from 28 May (Tuesday) to 7 June (Friday) 2024, with exhibitors from 50 countries occupying 1,40,000-plus sqm of space spread across 17 halls.

Dr Andreas Plabke, CEO of Koenig & Bauer and president of Drupa, said in his presentation that one must look into the best possible crystal ball vision and visualise how the business environment will be three to five years from now. "You must anticipate where the world will be in five, seven or ten years. Hence, the major decision of buying equipment means that you must operate it for 5-8 years to make the best out of it. That's what is needed for an investment, and that is one of the things we want to deliver."

Dr Plabke said, packaging, sustainability, digitalisation, and geo-political challenges will influence the printing industry. And what are the factors that will push the industry forward? "Keep an eye on regulations, big international brands, young generation (who may not accept plastic), digitalisation and big population and growth of the middle class." 

Dr Plabke explained how international brands, the big population and the rise of the middle class will translate into growth for the print industry. "International brands have one thing to protect. That's the brand name. An Adidas sticker makes the box of shoes USD 100 more expensive." He added, "The number of people with income of USD 20,000 will primarily consume packaged food, beverages and other higher-quality goods; will use highly decorated commercial printed products; and can afford to pay more attention to sustainability. All these will drive the growth of the industry." The printing industry employs about four-million employees, with revenue of more than USD 950-billion globally and a growth rate of 4%.

(clock-wise) Amit Shah, Dr Andreas Plabke, Sabine Geldermann and Dr Thomas Schiemann

Sabine Geldermann, director, Drupa (Messe Dusseldorf), Germany, informed that 50 nations had confirmed participation. The Top 10 exhibitors include 74 from India, which has doubled from 42 in 2016, with a net space of 4,618-sqm. "China, with 291 exhibitors, is the biggest, while Germany, with 252 exhibitors, is the second biggest exhibitor contingent." 

HP is the biggest exhibitor and has booked Hall 17, while Koenig & Bauer has booked its presence in Hall 16.

Besides the Drupa show, there will also be side shows such as Drupa Cube, Drupa next age (DNA), touchpoint packaging (TPP), touchpoint sustainability (TPS) and touchpoint textile (TT). 

Dr Thomas Schiemann, the member of the board of management at VDMA Printing and Paper Technology sharing the industry's current status, said there is high pressure for transformation. "Key drivers are digitalisation, sustainability. Major market developments include increased paper applications and stagnation of paper production."

Citing Smither's report, Schiemann said that among the segments, the world labels and packaging, growing at a CAGR of 3.5 in 2018-23, will grow at 2.9 from 2023 to 2028. "However, in Asia, this print market number is good news. The market will grow from CAGR 1.5 in 2018-23 to CAGR 2.9 in 2023-28.

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