Africa Print is in Düsseldorf at the pre-drupa press conference on 27-29 February. Drupa officials discussed trends and highlights for this years event.

Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO & President, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, said that the expo was sold out – all 19 halls are reserved. He is expecting more than 350 000 visitors, with the majority being international visitors. 68% of exhibitors are international – with over 1 850 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and around 166 000 square metres sold, the expo will once again not only be this industrys largest trade fair, it will also be the most international.

In the past, the media have continued to predict the decline of classical print products and have announced that the future belongs to the internet as the only true distributor of contents. However, nothing is more sustainable than print, said Dornscheidt.

The printing industry:

Many parts of the industry were hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and they are still dealing with the consequences today.  During 2012, drupa will experience and accompany a fundamental transition in the print and media industry. Web-based technologies, digital printing, smart phone communication and of course classical sheet and web offset printing – these are all just a few of the headlines for current discussions. Drupa has come at the right time in this phase of transition. It stands for the complete global market offering by print and media industries, the trends of today and tomorrow and it facilitates the future transition to Print 2.0 and actively pursues this with its conceptual cornerstones, said Dornscheidt.

Drupa is the worlds leading trade fair for the print-media industry and will remain so in the future. At the same time, we are undergoing a structural transition. While traditional markets are largely saturated, print is undergoing a dynamic development in developing countries. In Asia, the market volume has increased from R1.3 trillion (133 billion euros) to 1.68 trillion (168 billion euros). 

Bernhard Schreier, Chairman of drupa 2012 Exhibitors Advisory Board, said that drupa is not exclusively a presentation of technical innovations, but that it provides possible answers to the changing demands of the market.

Digital printing at drupa:

An important component in the future of print lies in the areas of digital printing. Key words in this respect are printing on demand and personalised printing as well as printed electronics. A study from the Pira research institute predicts that by 2015, with around 125 billion euros in revenue, approximately 30 percent of worldwide print products will be digitally manufactured, said Dornscheidt.

At drupa 2012, six halls are already devoted to digital print and digital links, in comparison to 2008, where drupa only hosted four halls for digital printing systems.  

The importance of digitalisation and automation of the printing processes is growing. These allow processes to be comprehensively standardised and arranged profitably. They thereby deliver the basis for an optimal workflow and help to realise significant competitive advantages. The benefit of this is illustrated in one of the currently most important success models: Web2Print has perfected the standardisation of processes, said Schreier.

With Web2Print providers, the complete process from order to shipping is completely organised. Their products are limited to print and material standards. In so doing, they can bundle many small orders in a collective form. Running at full machine capacity can be reached quickly in this way. Some estimates show that through these standardisations, time savings amount to up to 60% in the pre-press phase and a total of 40% in the printing. For customers, automation in order receipt and processing results in 80% time savings.

For this reason alone we expect that in the medium term, this model will be in even greater demand and will establish itself in the industry. Ill venture another prognosis: Over the long-term, cloud computing technology will be an even greater driving force for this field. It will allow customers to design standardised online print templates with programmes and tools provided on the web by printers, said Schreier

Schreier added that the market is changing, and the printing industry still has enormous potential to help define this transition and said that drupa 2012 is the drupe of integrated technologies.

The combination of digital and offset printing, which is one of the big printing trends, will be displayed at drupa 2012. It allows all participants to realise profitable applications. I could think of addressing customers on a personalised one-to-one basis, for instance. This is made possible with the aid of digital printing and in conjunction with high-quality offset printing. This opens up new potential for direct mailings or marketing concepts like mass customisation, said Schreier.

Green printing at drupa 2012:

Media Mundo@drupa and the theme world Green Printing in the drupa innovation park describe a mega-trend that cannot be avoided in the future.

All large, as well as countless smaller companies worldwide, orient themselves towards environmental protection guidelines, which apply to the entire value chain. Service providers who do not fulfill the associated demands dont stand a chance in the medium term. Ultimately, it depends on more than adhering to guidelines. The use of eco-friendly consumption materials, avoiding waste, low energy use, minimised CO2 emissions – these are not just environmental benefits. With certain order conditions they can mean an environmental win – both for the print service provider and for the customer. The decisive factor here is the interaction between both, in order to determine these specific order conditions and to determine the savings potential, said Schreier.

Schreier said that print service providers must increasingly position themselves as consultants for their clients and that this is how they consistently differentiate themselves from the competition.

Drupa innovation park 2012:

This conceptual cornerstone has represented IT and software innovations for the print, advertising and online industries since its début in 2004 and has enabled young, innovative companies or start-ups to exhibit at drupa. Several of these former small, garage companies have become successful medium-sized companies in the meantime and have made the leap to international business.

Around 130 exhibitors will be presenting themselves in nine theme worlds this year. The themes are very up-to-date and reflect the dynamic developments in media production.

-The Dynamic Publishing Park stands for the link between the media channels of print, web and mobile. Companies show solutions for multi-channel publishing, applications for print and the web, web-to-print and print on demand.
– Print is more than publishing. Printing as process engineering is the emphasis in Printed Electronics/Functional Printing Park. These technologies will soon revolutionise production in many industries. This theme park was realised in collaboration with the OE-A (organic and printed electronics association) and industry partners.

Drupa cube  

Cube addresses programme visitors who are not interested in technology such as people in sales, the creative industries as well as publishers and marketing decision-makers. This target group can find out about current trends for various applications in the media.

This year, each of the 13 conference days will have its own motto.

It will kick off on 3 May with Print – Web – Mobile and then move on to Day of Corporate Communication and Day of the Newspaper.

Whether magazine, book, out of home application, dialogue marketing, packaging, electronic printing or media production – there is a half-day symposium on various print genres every day.


One central attraction will surely be the shopping malls around Kö avenue this year. The project drupart allows young artists to present their imaginative works with print and paper at the Schadow Arkaden, Stilwerk, Sevens as well as the three Düsseldorfer Kaufhof department stores, to mention but a few.

A real attraction will be the paper boat drupaperboat dropping anchor in the Kö-Graben well. Dutch paper artist Filip Jonker built the boat from 2 000 kilograms of paper and 2 500 kilograms of sand as ballast especially for drupa 2012 in Düsseldorf.

The thematic structure in the 19 exhibition halls allows visitors to quickly find desired products, solutions and applications.

The most important cornerstones for drupa 2012 are:
– Halls 1 and 2: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG with network partners (such as Polar-Mohr).
– Hall 3: Print as well as materials and services (e.g. Leonhard Kurz, Sakurai).
– Halls 4, 5, 8a, 8b, 9 and 10: PrePress and Premedia (e.g. Agfa, Canon, Kodak, Epson, Fujifilm. ?- Hewlett-Packard, Landa, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Screen and Xerox).
– Hall 6: Printcity with manroland sheet-fed and Manroland web-offest systems as well as additional exhibitors (e.g., Wohlenberg).
– Hall 10 through 12: Paper processing and packaging materials production (e.g., Bobst AG, Mitsubishi Paper, Comexi).
– Halls 12 to 14: Post-press processing (e.g., Horizon, Müller Martini, CP Bourg).
– Halls 15-17: Printing presses and post-press (e.g.: Cerrutti, Ferag AG, Goss, Koenig & Bauer AG – Körber PaperLink, Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG, Shanghai Electric, Windmöller & Hölscher KG).