Siegwerkers at drupa 2016 – Interview about trends, highlights and experiences
Q: drupa just ended last week. What’s your personal conclusion of the show, Matthieu?
A: For me, this year’s drupa has qualified itself as a real technology show for packaging printing. You didn’t see the picture of today but rather how the future of the industry could look like. In addition, drupa is definitely a great opportunity for networking with partners, customers and also with colleagues from around the world. All in all, this year’s drupa was a very good show for me, especially in terms of insights into the future of packaging.
Q: What were the major trends at this year’s drupa?
A: By walking through the halls you easily recognized that this year’s drupa was dominantly shaped by digital printing. The main question that many exhibitors tried to address with new solutions was how to deal with short runs. There were three major trends shown in the packaging printing field:
1. Water based inkjet printing is today seen as the technology of choice for many types of large width packaging including folding cartons, corrugated board and flexible packaging.
2. In addition to ink, digital is today going up to the finishing solutions, offering additional value to prints via inline digital overprint varnish, metallic or special effect coatings.
3. In analogue printing, electron beam curing caught a lot of attention: EB offset positioned itself to answer short-run challenges in flexible packaging.
Q: Where do you see the future of packaging printing and which topic will be trending at drupa 2020?
A: In 4 years from now, digital will have further extended its technical capabilities in segments like folding carton, corrugated board and flexible packaging. By 2020, technology providers in digital will have to go beyond questions like print quality, printing speed and cost effectiveness to answer packaging converters’ expectation in pack functionality and food packaging regulatory the same way that analogue printing is achieving today. Brand differentiation strategy and focus on production efficiency will continue to push further the trend for short runs. In this respect, digital has a great prospect but analogue printing will continue its transformation trough more automation and flexibility to cope with market needs. Exciting times ahead!