drupa 2024: Digitisation and sustainability are key topics

Visitors to the world's leading trade fair for printing technology from 28 May to 7 June 2024 can expect to see many new products as well as an extensive supporting programme in 18 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.

It will be a major event, and visitors should have the right footwear on their feet: drupa 2024 will occupy 18 halls and around 140,000 m² of net exhibition space at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre. 1627 exhibitors from 52 countries are taking part. This will make drupa even more international. More companies from India, China, Egypt, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates in particular will be coming to Düsseldorf to present themselves and their products.

At the last drupa in 2016, around 260,000 visitors were counted, 75% of whom came from abroad. Will this figure be topped this year? "Pre-registrations are developing very positively and we are again expecting visitors from all continents of the world," says Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa/Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf (see pages 16 and 17). "We assume that we will once again achieve an impressive number of visitors." However, it is also a fact that the market is continuing to consolidate. "Fortunately, we have succeeded in tapping new potential in the field of industrial printing applications, both in terms of exhibitors and visitors, which makes us very confident," adds Sabine Geldermann.

Packaging with more importance

Visitors will have plenty of new things to see this year. According to Messe Düsseldorf, the areas of packaging production and packaging printing in particular have become significantly more important. It seems that the industry is now stepping on the gas to demonstrate its full innovative power, market significance and relevance (see pages 18 to 28). Secondly, the general conditions for the printing industry and its suppliers worldwide have changed massively in the last years.

drupa takes this into account in many ways. Sustainability and digitisation are the key topics at this year's trade fair. "drupa showcases cutting-edge technologies along the entire value chain of the industry with a special focus on future and cross-sectional technologies," the organisers have explained ahead of the show. This is reflected, among other things, in an extensive conference programme and numerous specialist forums.

These forums offer visitors additional information and present examples of best practice.

  • In the drupa cube (hall 6), visitors can gain inspiration and expertise in more than 50 sessions on topics such as "Boosting business success", "Circular economy and sustainability" and "The future of print and packaging".
  • Touchpoint Sustainability (hall 14) is dedicated to the role of the printing and paper industry in the sustainable transformation. Here, manufacturers, industry players, brands and users will demonstrate how successful change is possible.
  • Touchpoint Packaging (hall 3) focuses on visionary and intelligent packaging solutions and brings brand owners together with designers, print service providers and converters. In terms of content, the focus will be on global megatrends and their impact on packaging production. Young talents will also be involved. Touchpoint Packaging is divided into five thematic areas: Neo-Ecology, Connectivity, Glocalisation, Consumer Mind and Future Regulations.
  • With drupa next age (dna) in hall 7, the trade fair is targeting young entrepreneurs, giving them the opportunity to showcase their solutions and make new contacts.
  • As a world premiere, Touchpoint Textile (hall 4) will be showing a digital textile microfactory, i.e. a digitised, networked production line with all stages of the process chain, from virtual simulation, design, animation and virtual rendering through to production.

Another novelty is the drupa Imaging Summit on 30 and 31 May on the dna stage in hall 7. This is driven by the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI). Over the past few decades, the imaging industry has mastered the transition to digital photography and digital workflows. Artificial intelligence is now leading to further upheavals and is having an impact on the business models of creators and companies. In addition to many challenges, new AI tools are also creating fresh opportunities and business areas. This will be one of the central topics discussed at the drupa Imaging Summit. The summit will also delve into discussions about the current state of the art and its applications, explore new product ideas and address techniques for optimising images for better prints.

Caption: 1627 exhibitors from 52 countries are taking part in drupa 2024. (Picture: Messe Düsseldorf)


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