Arjowiggins' special correspondant at Drupa

Will Green Drupa
Will Green – Digital Marketing Manager, Arjowiggins Graphic

As a first timer at Drupa, it is hard not to have built a preconception and have been influenced by other opinions before attending the print show. The show, the events, product launches and talks are talked about perpetually – and every conversation builds a picture in your mind – but nothing compares to actually attending the show in person.

After 2008 everyone was talking about HP sharing the technology that eventually became the T-series. After 2012, it was Benny Landa’s presentation that caused such a stir. But the overriding preconception I had about Drupa was that it is a demonstration that different parts of the industry are integrating, working together and showing unity as an industry.

The first thing you see when entering the show at the North entrance is a huge paper sculpture hanging in the atrium designed by Wanda, Barcelona. The paper sculpture gleams in the sun, through the glass ceiling. The sculpture was made using Maine M1, a flame retardant paper made by Arjowiggins Graphic. Wanda worked with Arjowiggins, Highcon, Maison Lack and KBA on the project.

It doesn’t take long to realise the scale of Drupa – it is impossible to see everything, so doing some prior research is an absolute must. I had a particular interest in digital printing, so HP, Ricoh, Landa and Xerox were all at the very top of my list.

HP occupied Hall 17 in it’s entirity, it was HP’s inkjet machines that blew me away here, the scale and speed were phenomenal and the Indigo machines were consistently printing remarkable samples on a variety of grades including a variety of Arjowiggins Graphic papers. HP have a daily happy hour, with free local beer and a band in which Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President and General Manager of HP Indigo made a guest appearance on Guitar.

At the Ricoh stand, an Environmental Benefit Statement takes pride of place, demonstrating the environmental savings Ricoh made by using Arjowiggins Graphic recycled papers. Ricoh displayed some inspiring dry toner printed samples that were printed and converted at Drupa on Cocoon, Cyclus and Satimat papers.

Landa continuously printed high quality Cocoon Gloss, 170gsm samples on their S10 machine. The samples were prized by many at Drupa and were in serious high demand. Benny Landa’s presentation in their purpose built theatre was jaw-dropping – with dancers, lights, projections and all the theatrics.

On the Xerox stand, some fantastic examples of Digigreen and Novatech Digital were on show, with Antalis taking up a booth with a range of digital products.

The advances in digital printing are prevalent at Drupa – OEMs are all showing off their latest developments, whether it is Inkjet, Dry toner, Nanotechnology or Indigo. The machines are always impressive, but coupled with the showmanship of the presentations and under the glitzy lights – you can’t help but be impressed.

Presentations and key sales arguments focus on shrinking print runs, fast turnarounds and smaller margins. However, this was not something that was taken as a threat, but rather a challenge that can lead to opportunities for the Print Industry. As such, personalisation in digital print is something at the forefront of recent developments and OEM’s and printers alike were all showing fantastic examples of personalisation.
Drupa was a staggering experience – I will certainly remember my first Drupa for a long time to come.