What are the important themes of Drupa?

1. 4-up and 8-up digital-based sheetfed presses.
2. New inks that do not require coated or treated paper, or pre-coating.
3. 5- to 7-color presses that claim to get 95% of the Pantone colors.
4. Folding carton and corrugated digital presses.
5. Over 20 digital label presses.
6. Inkjet printing of flexible film.
7. Many roll-fed digital presses.
8. Digital presses approaching offset press speeds.
9. Quality is no longer an issue in digital versus offset.
10. Many systems for embellishing paper with laser diecutting, foil printing, embossing, and coating.
11. Cloud-based workflows and systems for machine monitoring and service.
12. 3-D printing in many shapes and sizes.

Just getting around Drupa is not for the faint of heart. Nothing is close and the 19 halls are gigantic. There is one moving sidewalk. There are still seven days to go.

So far, I have been to 21 press conferences, 9 boardroom meetings, and 8 one-on-one interviews. I sat through 12 demonstrations and attended 6 parties. There are still seven days to go.

I have met over 100 Americans and lots of folks from all over the world.  I have been stopped everywhere, including the trams and train stations, for impromptu “seminars.” I must start wearing a disguise.

I do enjoy meeting up with RIT graduates who are working in the industry. I have met with former students from India, Italy, Germany, Oman, Thailand, Equador, and, of course, the US.

The exhibits are generally good. Demo’ing software is not easy and I object to standing while someone moves a mouse around a screen at high speed. 

Samples abound. Digital quality is now mainstream and the suppliers are proud to show it.

Too many visitors only come for two days. You need at least four to take it all in. Almost everything on this planet for the printing business is in one place at one time. Seize that opportunity.

Digital printing suppliers outnumber analog printing suppliers.

I am now a veteran journalist. There are five of us, from US, UK, India, Italy, Germany, who have covered 9 Drupas or more. Number 1 had 14 Drupas, I had 11, and the others had 9.