Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PrintCity Preps for Drupa 2012: Next Month's Quadrennial Printfest to Feature Latest Production Technologies

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PrintCity Preps for Drupa 2012: Next Month's Quadrennial Printfest to Feature Latest Production Technologies

Article excerpt

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At a pre-drupa media event hosted by PrintCity Alliance, member companies hosted news briefings and discussions about what they will show next month in Diisseldorf and the larger issues they see facing the printing industry. Held in mid-February at Schloss Hohenkammer near Munich, the event brought nine member companies and journalists from around the world together in the same room. New products, sustainability, and future trends were a few of the key issues raised by top print industry professionals.

While struggling in the U.S., globally, newspapers in print reach 2.3 billion people every day, according to IFRA. That number is some 20 percent more than the Internet's exposure rate of 1.9 billion people per day. The world's population, now at around 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. And while such explosive growth could be a boon to print, the medium's future depends on all of us in the industry "thinking and working harder," said Helmut "John" Dangelmaier, president of the 14-year-old PrintCity Alliance. More than 350,000 of those people are expected next month (May 3-16) at the quadrennial drupa printing trade fair, where roughly 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space and vendors from 56 countries will await them.

PrintCity editor Nigel Wells said that purveyors of the print medium tout numerous features and benefits, including research from Stanford University that shows how ink printed on paper can enhance concentration levels. Reading a newspaper with your morning coffee can relieve stress, too, according to the Stanford research, while multitasking is overrated and even counterproductive.

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As part of a sustainable "green" print discussion, Thomas Ehrnrooth, vice president of marketing and communications at Finnish papermaker UPM-Kymmene, said, "The forests in Europe are growing by 1.5 million football fields per year." Ehrnrooth added that UPM, the world's largest user of recovered paper, is constructing the first-ever biorefinery to produce wood-based biodiesel fuel. The firm's new "responsibility hub" website launched in March at upmhub.com.

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When it comes to so-called green printing (see sidebar), "perception is not reality," Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC) in New York, told

MyPrintResource.com recently. After all, the print and paper industries are not what tree-hugging conservationists would have the world believe (think dark, dirty visions of desecrated virgin forests and overfilling landfills). But Carli, who has tracked print-related green advancements for more than a decade, acknowledged that explanations of how paper is a crop that is farmed and highly sustainable falls largely on deaf ears. A highly animated PrintCity discussion on the topic concluded that arguments against anti-environmental accusations sound too defensive, even to those who are willing to listen.

PrintCity preview

The event's main attraction was the preview of what member firms will show at drupa next month in Dusseldorf. manroland Web Systems, whose theme is One-Touch Automation, will bring its flagship, mega 96-page Lithoman heatset web press. …

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