From a virtual.drupa event to the promise of an actual Fespa show

Nessan Cleary · Journalist & Editor · Week commencing 19th April 2021

No surprise to find that most magazines have carried stories from this week’s virtual.drupa event. Print Business mourned the lack of networking opportunities over an Altbier, while PrintWeek covered the event’s keynote speech from Michael Gale on the advantages of artificial intelligence.

PrintWeek also has a story on Stora Enso’s plans to close two of its loss-making paper mills, including its large Veitsiluoto Mill in Finland, which will cut its total paper production capacity by more than a third.

The company has blamed this on declining paper demand, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Africa Print reports that Canon has signed four new distributors, in Ghana, Libya, Kenya and Morocco, after a survey found that the pandemic had accelerated the growth of digitisation leaving untapped customer demand in the region.

The Italian magazine Converter has a story on the Swedish company, Grafotronic having established a new subsidiary in Italy for sales and servicing of its digital finishing equipment.

Indian Printer and Publisher has picked up on Kodak’s acquisition of ECRM’s CtP business, noting that ECRM’s founder, the American MIT professor William Schreiber, was also a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur from 1964 to 1966, helping to motivate the first generation of Indian engineers and students to write scripts for computers.

Digital Labels and Printer features Global Graphics’ new SmartDFE, a front end for the labels and packaging sector that’s designed to help integrate the printing element into a wider manufacturing environment.

Labels and Labelling looks at the challenges in quality control when printing luminescent colours, which the German printer Oscar Mahl has been grappling with. According to L&L, the solution comes down to Erhardt+Leimer’s ‘200 percent’ inspection system SmartScan.

From North America, PrintCan of Canada reports that Xerox sales fell 8 percent in the first quarter of this year, which Xerox has attributed to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic

PrintCan also has a story on Media Resources, which offers billboard and signage advertising, having acquired Impulse Graphics as part of its growth strategy. Impulse Graphics provides in-store retail signage and display solutions to national chains such as Tim Horton’s cafe chain.

Inkjet Insight has a fascinating article on the development of inkjet printers for corrugated packaging, looking back over the recent history and technical requirements for these printers.

From Australia, Print 21 celebrates the achievements of Charles Geshke, who has passed away. Together with John Warnock, Geshke co-founded Adobe and developed Postscript, the basic building block that led to desktop publishing and had a profound impact on the printing industry.

In a separate story, the magazine notes Fespa’s determination to hold its Global Print Expo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, this October, with the organisers anticipating that the virus restrictions will have abated by then.

ME Printer carries the same story, noting that a recent survey of the Fespa audience found a “strong appetite for the live event” hardly a surprise after the year of social distancing and travel restrictions that we’ve all endured.

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