“We call it ‘Print in Production’ as printing has truly become a production method for fluid deposition. It can serve decorative or functional purposes but the potential is similar if not greater than that of 3D printing. Many visitors regarded ESMA as a platform for new areas of expertise and we could offer them guidance at the show through our member companies who specialise in conductive and dielectric inks, pastes, bespoke printing equipment, EL technology and applications such as photovoltaics, NFC antennas or bio-medical,” said Peter Buttiens, CEO of ESMA. Organised for the second time at drupa, the pavilions of European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association covered over 550 sqm and included 22 members or technology partners in halls 3 and 6.
For some of them it was the first time as an exhibitor at world’s largest print fair. “The interest in functional inks, particular Intrinsiq’s range of conductive copper inkjet inks and screen print pastes, was exceptional, resulting in numerous new potential clients and collaborations. It was an excellent show which reached customers who do not typically attend the printed electronics events,” evaluated Ian Clark from Intrinsiq Materials, one of the newcomers to drupa. Debbie Thorp, Business Development Director at Global Inkjet Systems, added “drupa has always been an important meeting place, but with this year’s broader industrial coverage, it has become an essential event for companies like GIS. We had a very successful show and we look forward to increasing our presence at drupa 2020.”
Inkjet technology has enjoyed particularly strong exposure during the fair which was reflected in the huge interest for the upcoming edition of The Inkjet Conference, organised by ESMA on 5-6 October 2016 in Düsseldorf. “drupa has been a supporting partner of TheIJC since its inauguration in 2014. During the show we met many of our past delegates and exhibitors presenting new products and solutions, all confirming to join us again in October for further insight to the future of inkjet engineering and chemistry. In general, the ESMA Lounge at drupa was a great meeting point for those looking to the future,” said Steve Knight, the co-founder of TheIJC and The Inkjet Training course. The latter, held at the iPrint Institute in Fribourg, Switzerland, attracted many of drupa attendees by displaying and operating one of the test printer units used at the course.
Founded originally as a screen printing manufacturers association, ESMA dedicated a substantial part of their pavilion in hall 3 to companies which mastered this conventional technology, not least for unconventional and specialist applications. “Many visitors were certainly impressed by the massive presence of digital printing at drupa but we were able to show them that there is a whole range of high-end applications which are still only possible with screen printing or at least require screen going hand in hand with digital,” explained Jorge Ellert, Applications and Training Manager at Ulano. Manuel Zuckerman, owner of FIMOR, underlined the importance of a joint screen printing pavilion: “If we were isolated and left on our own, we would miss a great number of contacts who would not find us or not even look for us. Anyone with an interest in screen printing has to come by the ESMA pavilion where the key brands are represented and this is a high value for us.”
Whether from the digital, screen and at times even offset printing businesses, ESMA Lounge welcomed visitors who came with specific questions for the Expert Team. This new initiative kicked off at the first day of drupa and, supported by a special expert publication, completed the association’s profile as a knowledge body of the industry, responsible for promotion of best practices and innovative processes. Nine experts: Roland Biemans, Fritz Bircher, Jochen Christiaens, Frank Eirmbter, Steven Harnie, Oliver Kammann, Philipp Klinger, Steve Knight and Lucien Moons received dozens of appointments which encouraged the further development of this new ESMA project. Everyone who seeks advice on all issues in the broad scope of industrial printing can visit www.esma.com/drupa/expert-sessions to learn more about the topics handled by the Expert Team and to submit their question.
Considered not only the topmost printing show but also a must-attend for all who either provide industrial printing solutions or look into innovating their printing business and expanding it to new market applications, drupa 2016 was an extraordinary event. “With the growing industry awareness of new printing capabilities, the recognition of ESMA activities increases, as well. We would like to thank all member companies who contributed to the success of ESMA pavilions and all visitors who took their time to come by and learn more about industrial, functional and speciality printing. We will return with ESMA member pavilions to Messe Düsseldorf for glasstec on 20-23 September and K show on 19-26 October 2016”, concluded Peter Buttiens.