June 11, 2004 -- POLAR wholeheartedly agrees with the conclusion reached by the exhibitors, commercial associations and Düsseldorfer Messegesellschaft when they said that "... drupa 2004 surpassed all expectations ...".
A perceptible restraint has been present in the market since 2001, but POLAR recently noticed an improved atmosphere for investments at the drupa 2004 which was held in Düsseldorf from May 6 to 19. There is now a substantial shift in demand, away from stand-alone machines, toward automated systems. This proves that smaller businesses clearly have more economic problems than the larger ones. Large companies now want to stave off rising labor costs at the drupa 2004 by purchasing automated cutting systems, pile turners and highly efficient label systems.
POLAR sold 550 units directly from its drupa stand, including PACE* systems, cutting systems (one single client from China bought ten complete systems!), jogging systems (including several Autojog machines) and LabelSystems (e.g. to clients in Switzerland, Brazil and Russia). The volume of orders finalized at the fair was just about the same as in 2000.
POLAR sold the equivalent of two entire months worth of machinery manufacture; across the range of our products. A very pleasing aspect was the excellent sales results that we had in Germany, where investments, until recently, were very restrained. The same applied to China and other Asian countries. The South American market has also begun to revive. But we must not allow these positive signals to mislead us about the current economic situation which continues to be very difficult.
POLAR was surprised by an unexpected number (394,000) and higher qualifications of the visitors. When compared to the 2000 drupa, the number of visitors from abroad and overseas has also increased. The official numbers published by Messe Düsseldorf confirm our observations. Never before has POLAR shown so many innovations at a fair as it did at the 2004 drupa.
For details, please refer to POLAR's main report about the fair, which includes pictures, and is available on the Internet at www.polar-mohr.com.
The following exhibits were the center of attention at the POLAR stand at the
- POLAR Autojog – automatic no-operator jogging (both in-line and off-line)
- POLAR Autosort – automatic sorting of identical sheet sections on pallets (up to 5 different ones)
- POLAR Autotrans – stream-lining gripper loading / unloading
- POLAR Autoturn – turning grippers as a precondition for unattended production
- POLAR Autotrim – automatic waste removal during cutting
- POLAR Autocut – the new generation of automatic cutting machines for single and multi-strip cutting
- POLAR die-cutter DC using counterpressure - a new quality for square-cut label production
- POLAR automatic banding machines
BT (single-head bander, off-line / in-line, for square-cut labels)
BT (single-head bander, off-line / in-line, for die-cut labels)
BM-105 (multi-station bander, for square-cut labels) and, of course,
- the new POLAR high-speed cutter generation X with P-Net option, 15" display and OptiKnife.
All of these innovations have lead our visitors to more intensively consider the wide range of cost cutting possibilities in the jogging, cutting, die-cutting, banding and pile turning processes. These new technical solutions give businesses even more ways to reduce costs. Many cost conscious employers have also come to realize this. Because of that POLAR was happy to take a great number of projects home to Hofheim, especially those dealing with the PACE* systems, Autojog and LabelSystems, in order to optimize them for the individual customer and to work out very specific proposals.
From POLAR's point of view this most important of worldwide graphic trade fairs happened at the right time and acted as a clear signal that things are looking up in the graphics industry. POLAR's success at the fair had been intensively and meticulously prepared with Heidelberg. As a result, the visitors perceived the presentations in drupa halls 1 and 2 to be an integrated whole which automatically guided them to the product areas that they were most interested in. Solutions were presented in practical environments. In precisely coordinated presentations these solutions were explained under realistic operating conditions.
At POLAR's stand in Hall 1, a live production was carried out together with customers' enterprises. This was probably the most extensive production performed at drupa 2004.
From 5.5 million printed sheets (half-size format to 70 x 100 cm), and 4.5 t of cardboard, size 102 x 142 cm we processed the following products during the 14 days of the fair:
17 m. square cut labels
9 m. diecut labels
2 m. postcards
24 m. diecut labels
plus Heidelberg's entire demo production from Halls 1 and 2 as well as the demo areas of Hall 3, where IST produced posters of time pieces, and holograms.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.