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drupa 2012 : Something for Everyone

April 2012 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
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A good deal of industry journalists and analysts have been focusing on what the theme will be for drupa 2012. Themes are better left to fourth grade language arts classes. Let Ralphie Parker argue for his Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock “and a thing that tells time.” We’re here to discuss the down and dirty, relevant issues that are on everyone’s mind.

What does drupa mean?

Sure, the simple answer is that drupa is an acronym for the German words “druck und papier.” But legend has it that the show was named in honor of two elephants, dru and pa, who were residents of the Düsseldorf City Zoo. Clearly, dru was the prominent pachyderm of the pair. Otherwise, we’d be gearing up for padru 2012.

It’s time for a gaggle of statistics to demonstrate that we’ve done our homework on the show, or at least read the first chapter fairly well: The leap year extravaganza is set for May 3-16, with 350,000 visitors from around the world (50 countries) set to converge on 19 halls and 1,850 exhibitors (a sellout) at the Düsseldorf Fair Grounds in Germany. An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 Americans will be on hand.

We’ve lined up a an assortment of industry pundits and prognosticators to help you sort out the substance from the hype, and separate the pedestrian from the arcane. They don’t agree on everything and, generally speaking, it’s tough to slap a label on a worldwide trade show, anyway, because what may be true of web offset printing in Springfield, IL, may not ring true in Budapest, Hungary. Our concern is with how technologies are impacting U.S. printers, and vice versa.

David Zwang
Industry Consultant
Zwang & Co.

What to Expect: There's a lot of great stuff to see, some of which never makes it past the initial display, and for some it will take four years to make it out of manufacturing and into the field. I'm interested in seeing the new 28˝ equipment that's going to be shown. And, I am sure there will be other surprises…there are still plenty of manufacturers who are keeping things in their back pocket.

The Skinny On: Offset. These guys will probably be relegated to a lower position of interest in the scheme of things. I give the offset manufacturers a great deal of credit for trying to squeeze as much efficiency as they can out of offset equipment. Companies like Kodak with its Prosper S-series inkjet units extend the life and add value to web offset presses. I'm sure we will also see some sheetfed inkjet solutions from offset press manufacturers. I don't think offset is going to go away, but if you talk to people, that's not what many of them are coming there to buy.

 
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