A sneak peek of 2024 DRUPA⼁From background history to current situation, exhibition products, and visitor results at once

A sneak peek of 2024 DRUPA⼁From background history to current situation, exhibition products, and visitor results at once

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            DRUPA is one of the largest printing and post-processing exhibitions globally, with unparalleled scale and influence worldwide. SBL Machinery, boasting over fifty years of history as a manufacturer of die-cutting machines, folder gluer machines, and hot stamping machines, is also poised and eager to participate in this grand event in May 2024 (Hall 11 / B02). This article will first introduce the historical background and current status of DRUPA, then compile the types of products exhibited by vendors this year, and enumerate the benefits visitors can gain from attending the exhibition. Let’s seize the opportunity to organize and share this firsthand information with everyone in the printing industry!

    1. DRUPA: Historical Background and Current Overview

            DRUPA can be considered the largest global exhibition for printing equipment, as it gathers almost all renowned printing, packaging, and post-printing giants. It is often hailed as the “Olympics of the printing industry.” Organized by Messe Düsseldorf, the event takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany. Let’s delve into the origins of the DRUPA name, its frequency of occurrence, the scale of the exhibition, and other pertinent information to provide a comprehensive understanding of the event.

    1-1. Origin of the DRUPA Exhibition Name

            The term “drupa” is derived from the German compound word “Druck und Papier,” which translates to “printing and paper.

    1-2. Frequency of the Event

    Many who have attended or heard of the exhibition are aware that DRUPA is held every four years. However, strictly speaking, it was only after the year 2000 that it became a fixed quadrennial event. From the inaugural DRUPA exhibition in 1951 until 2000, the event was held every 3 to 5 years. Since 2000, it has been held consistently every four years. Notably, due to the pandemic, the 2020 event was postponed until 2021 and conducted online. This year, in 2024, it has returned to an in-person format, adding to the anticipation and excitement surrounding the event.

    1-3. Scale of the Exhibition

            Based on data from the previous edition in 2016, there were a total of 1,828 exhibitors from 54 countries participating in the exhibition. The number of attendees from 183 countries totaled 260,165 visitors.

    1-4. 2024 DRUPA Exhibition Dates and Venue

    • Exhibition Dates:
      May 28, 2024 – June 7, 2024
    • Exhibition Website:
    • Exhibition Venue:
      Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Germany
    • SBL Exhibition Booth:
      Hall 11 / B02

    2. Drupa Exhibitors Products Categories

            As attendees of the DRUPA event, one of the primary benefits should be personally understanding in detail the features, specifications, and nuances of products from brands of interest at their respective booths. According to official DRUPA data, the exhibitors’ products for this exhibition are categorized into six main types. Attendees can refer to the information compiled by SBL Machinery based on their own needs or directly search for manufacturers within these categories using the links provided.

            In the category of prepress and printing, it can be said that it’s the second-largest category of exhibitors at this year’s DRUPA exhibition (second only to post-press/converting systems/packaging). The trio of prepress, printing technology, and printer manufacturers is the winning formula for the printing industry. Therefore, for those with demands related to printing, don’t miss out on the exhibitors and products in this category. The main categories of products from exhibitors in this category are as follows:

    2-1-1. Publishing and prepress software

    • Software for Publishing
    • Software for Workflow and Datahandeling
    • Software for Packaging Prepress

    2-1-2. Printing equipment

    • Equipment & systems for printing forme production
    • Sheet-fed offset printing machines
    • Web-fed offset printing machines
    • Flexographic printing machines
    • Letterpress machines
    • Gravure printing machines
    • Hybrid printing machines (combination of methods)
    • Digital printing machines and digital printing systems
    • Screen printing machines
    • Pad / Tampon printing machines
    • Printing machines and systems for special printing applications

    2-1-3. Coding and identification technology

    • Encoding and Identification systems

            The convenience of online printing services and the transformative impact of multimedia printing on multi-channel publishing and e-commerce printing solutions are increasingly expanding. It’s conceivable that in the future, the printing channel through the internet will be widely utilized.

    The main categories of products from exhibitors in this category are summarized as follows:

    • 3D Software
    • Data security
    • Remote Services
    • Online Print Shops
    • Web-to-Print
    • Editors
    • RFID-Systems

            It can be said that the post-press and packaging category boasts the largest number of participating exhibitors at this year’s DRUPA exhibition, with a total of 507 exhibitors. Post-press and packaging represent a dynamic field where aesthetics and functionality intertwine, requiring meticulous attention to detail. The emergence of post-press processing is pivotal in transforming printed materials into captivating entities, often likened to the role of a makeup artist for printed products. SBL Machinery is also among the exhibitors in this category.

    The main categories of products from exhibitors in this category are summarized as follows:

    2-3-1. Category of Manufacturing and Processing Machinery

    • Bookbinding machines and print finishing machines
    • Laser cutting machines
    • Pressing stations
    • Book-on-demand systems
    • Book back gluing and back stripping machines
    • Foil stamping machines
    • Laminating machines
    • Paging machines
    • Coating machines
    • Mailing and envelope filling machines
    • Lettershop services
    • Converting
    • Cup making machines
    • Box making machines
    • Block-making machines
    • Metall foil converting machines
    • Finishing

    2-3-2. Category of Label-Related Items

    • Label and bar code printers
    • Matrix code systems
    • Label processing machines
    • Label cutting machines
    • Labelling machines for printed products

            The printing industry, like any other, evolves with the passage of time. To maintain a leading position, understanding and adapting to emerging trends and cutting-edge technologies are essential. Within the exhibition, the categorization of future technologies allows you to explore the dynamic landscape of the printing industry. Key areas of focus include printing electronics, RFID technology, brand protection biomarkers, autonomous printing, integration of artificial intelligence solutions, and other emerging trends in future technologies.

    • Printed Electronics
    • Machines and Manufacturing Processes for Organic and Printed Electronics
    • Printed Functionalities
    • Applications for Organic and Printed Electronics
    • Printed Sensors
    • Printed Speakers
    • Printed RFID
    • Printed Batteries
    • Organic Field-Effect Transistors
    • Nanotechnology Applications
    • MICR Inks for Inkjet Printing
    • Biomarkers for Brand Protection
    • Industry 4.0
    • Autonomous Printing
    • AI Solutions (Machine Learning)
    • Smart Factory
    • 3D Printing
    • Inspection and Testing Systems
    • Research and Development

            In the printing and packaging industry, the range of printable media is extremely broad. Apart from paper, materials such as ceramics, metals, textiles, and more are also included. Any materials that can be imagined for printing and packaging fall into this category. Depending on your needs, you can find products or suppliers within this category.

    2-5-1. Paper-related

    • Paper, cardboard, board
    • Label paper
    • Paper, cardboard and board for packaging
    • Paper, cardboard and board for technical and special applications

    2-5-2. Other materials

    • Films / foils
    • Glass
    • Ceramics
    • Metal
    • Metallized synthetic materials
    • Polyester / polycarbonate
    • PVC hard foam board
    • Textiles
    • Ink, varnish, toner
    • Chemicals and other additives
    • Adhesives and glues
    • Bookbinding materials
    • Embossing and laminating materials
    • Conveyor belts and tapes

            This category falls under others related to the printing and packaging industry but is difficult to classify into the top five categories. For example, education and training, used machinery dealers, measurement and testing engineering, etc. If you have specific needs related to the printing industry, it might be worth exploring this category to find service providers who can address your pain points.

    • Peripheral equipment
    • Measuring and testing engineering
    • Knives & grinding machines
    • Ink / processing systems
    • Light sources and Colour matching systems
    • Input devices
    • Output devices
    • Industrial associations and professional organizations
    • Basic and further training
    • Press and Media
    • Print services providers
    • Used machinery dealers
    • Certification, testing and standardization
    • Machine transportation and machine mounting
    • Archiving and documentation
    • Consultancy services
    • Financial services & insurance services providers
    • Research and development
    • Infrastructure
    • Network systems

    3. Benefits for Visitors

    The investment guru Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay, Value is what you get.” In the context of the 2024 DRUPA exhibition, the ticket price for visitors is 60 euros per day(Multi-day ticket prices are discounted). However, the author believes that the benefits and value that each visitor can gain far exceed the price of admission. The benefits that visitors can obtain are listed below:

    How SBL Gains Customers’ Satisfaction

    3-1. New Technology Insights

            DRUPA serves as a vital hub for technology and innovation, gathering the latest printing technologies and innovations, providing visitors with the opportunity to witness the forefront of the industry firsthand. Through various exhibitions and demonstrations, visitors can gain in-depth understanding of new technologies and insights into future developments. Additionally, interactions with experts allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the applications and value of these new technologies.

    3-2. Industry Connections


            Visitors will have the chance to interact with peers, suppliers, and experts from around the globe, expanding their business networks and providing a platform for finding collaboration opportunities. Through these global exchanges, visitors can gain valuable experience sharing and potentially discover new collaboration opportunities. This exchange also helps enhance visitors’ understanding and awareness of the global market.

    3-3. Educational Opportunities

            Visitors can participate in various lectures, seminars, and workshops to learn about the latest industry knowledge, best practices, and future trends. These learning opportunities not only enhance their professional knowledge but also help them gain a competitive advantage in business development. Such learning also provides visitors with more opportunities to grasp industry changes and adjust their business strategies accordingly.

    3-4. Market Insights


            Visitors can personally observe industry trends and consumer demands, helping them gain deeper insights into the market and adjust their strategies and product positioning accordingly. This market insight can provide visitors with more accurate market information, giving them greater confidence in decision-making.

    3-5. Product Comparisons

            Visitors can compare the features and performance of products from different suppliers. This direct comparison helps them better understand the strengths and weaknesses of products and find solutions that best suit their business needs. Such comparisons also help visitors gain a more comprehensive understanding of product choices in the market, providing them with a basis for product selection.

    3-6. Business Opportunities


            Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with potential customers and showcase their product advantages. This direct contact can lead to cooperation and orders, potentially bringing new business opportunities. This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to better understand customer needs through such interactions and find better business opportunities.

    3-7. Procurement Opportunities

            Usually, exhibitors at the exhibition will announce or begin selling the latest generation of products during the exhibition period, offering promotional prices. Visitors can seize this rare opportunity during the exhibition to make purchases, which not only saves costs for visitors but also allows them to obtain new products earlier. It can be said to kill two birds with one stone.


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