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Drupa Snooper – still rocking for a dwindling crowd

Friday, 18 May 2012
By Andy McCourt
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drupa 2012 crowds surely thinned out near the end out but some areas showed no sign of letting up in vitality and buzz. Big orders still flowed on the last days, such as Pitney Bowes first Intellijet 20 press – an HP T 300 clone – to a Mexican customer and a $3.5 million Mailstream line to Switzerland. Heidelberg continued its renaissance with a brace of new Speedmaster 106XLs and Polar kit to Birmingham, UK printer Alltrade. On the topic of the XL106, I vote it one of the slickest press demos of the show; poetry in motion but eclipsed by – you guessed it – Landa Nanographic press demos.

Take a look at the photograph. It was taken at 12:15pm on the penultimate day of this two-week trade fair, a time when many exhibitors are surreptitiously packing things into boxes, powering down machines ready for a quick exit tomorrow. (In fact several Chinese exhibitors have done just that, but left 3 days early leaving empty shells of stands!). But not on the Landa Nanography stand. The crowd you see are outside the live presentation theatre, watching it on a huge video display screen. There just isn’t enough room to fit everyone in! The interest in the Nanographic process and ink technology is phenomenal. If the indications prove correct in 2013 when presses start to ship, Nanography could potentially make other ‘new’ processes obsolete before they have even had time to roll fully into market. Yes, that’s a big statement but I’m backed by Heidelberg, Komori and manroland who have all signed license agreements to bring their own Nanographic presses to market.

I was privileged to be granted one of very few one-on-one interviews with founder Benny Landa; that’s the two of us in the picture. Look out for June Print21 magazine where the full interview will be published.

Drupa Snooper slideshowThe drupa 2012 highlights

In other drupa sales news, Scodix, the digital spot UV and embossing innovator from Israel – available in ANZ through Currie Group – has sold several of its S74 machines as has rival MGI with its JetVarnish. This type of kit is pure value-add and literally puts the ‘gloss’ back into print; now spot UV is digital, every digital printer should offer this as an option, especially for short-run packaging. It’s tactile, eye-candy and just beautiful.

Kudos to manroland web for signing up the largest heatset web press in the world, a 160-page Lithoman to WKS Druckholding in Germany. Even Flexo presses are flying with a second Comexi to India. As mentioned in the last drupa Snooper, KBA has sold everything off their stand and some. Pictured are Dave Lewis and Grahame Harris from KBA Australia and Stefan Segger, managing director for KBA Asia-Pacific, with good reason to smile having booked three orders from Australia.

Delphax Technologies, the Canadian-US company who blew cut-sheet colour printing speeds away when they announced their Memjet-powered Elan digital press at 500 impressions per minute, have sold their first machine to UK book printer Berforts Group. Vice President Sales & Marketing Kevin Howes said, “We have had interest expressed from Australia and I am looking for a capable partner who knows colour management in particular in that region.” Delphax has also entered an agreement with Colordyne, another Memjet-powered machine but for labels, where Delphax assumes master distribution for outside of North America including Australia. This would offer any potential dealer the fastest cut-sheet colour machine plus the fastest narrow web label machine currently available.

Fujifilm is pressing ahead with bringing its B2 digital press to market with a special folding carton version, provisionally named the JetPress ‘F’. Samples shown were excellent and there does seem a bias towards packaging work from all of the B2 digital vendors.

As I prepare for a mad dash to the airport and bid drupa farewell, some observations. The show is probably now 3-4 days too long. The dwindling numbers in the traditional halls, countered by still strong crowds looking into digital, indicate that all could be accomplished in an 8-10 day show in 2016. The influx of exhibitors from China was somewhat disappointing in that, for many their idea of exhibiting was to paste a couple of posters up on the wall and sit around on chairs. Adding to the mixture was the early exit of some, leaving bare walls and boxes behind them. With some notable exceptions such as Shanghai Electric, Purple Magna, Founder and Donghang, our Chinese industry friends need to learn how to exhibit themselves a little better.

Having said all that, hearty congratulations to the drupa organisers and all exhibitors for staging a surprisingly excellent trade fair so soon after the GFC and right in the middle of a Eurozone crisis!

2 Responses to “Drupa Snooper – still rocking for a dwindling crowd”

  1. May 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm,

    said:

    The impression I got from the Landa “Stand/Event/Experience” was it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. At the front it was all happy, positive, sunshine and rainbows. Walk around the side of the stand and there were locked doors, grim faced people and barriers.

    Don’t get me wrong it was really impressive, but if they were really really good the experience would be consistent even after you scratched the surface slightly.

    Makes you wonder….

  2. May 17, 2012 at 9:14 am,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    John,
    Sorry we did not catch up at drupa. I went behind the scenes a fair bit and can’t say I saw anything but professional people running the busiest stand at the show and making sure the 1,000+ people packing the stand were safe, secure and taken care of. Remember, Nanographic presses and ink won’t ship until first half of 2013, there is still development work being undertaken.
    Yes it was a sense of deja vu; IPEX 1993 when Indigo was launched. People were saying and wondering much the same things ‘It can’t possibly work; it defies physics.’ Look at HP Indigo today.

    You can rest assured that Heidelberg, Komori and manroland have ‘scratched the surface’ – and there will be more licencees for Landa Nanography to follow. It’s the next big thing in our industry, almost a Chester Carlson/xerography moment. Sure, lots of pizzaz but what’s wrong with a bit of ‘show business’ in the trade-show business?

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