If your print process of choice is inkjet web – as it is for some targeted newspapers and publications – the Hunkeler Innovationdays has traditionally been the place to be.
While DRUPA delivers a limited amount of relevant hardware, the get-together now held at Switzerlnd’s Messe Luzern provides the most comprehensive digital print industry update.
And so it has proved this year, with 100 exhibitors working to catch the eye of the registered 6500 visitors when Innovationdays 2023 opened its doors on Monday for a four-day run.
Registrations are back at the level of 2019, but the industry event is even more international in character… some measure of its growth in stature since it began as a small in-house fair in the 1990s.
With digital presses broadly on one side of the main hall and finishing systems on the other, the theme this year is ‘next level automation’, and many makers have reserved their European or world product launches for the event.
Stefan Hunkeler (pictured) was among those emphasising that Industry 4.0 is no longer a vision of the future, but already a reality in many production companies.
“Next level automation no longer just means the automation of machines, plants and systems, but the complete interlinking of all corporate processes and the challenges that the new reality also poses for people.”
It has become the motto and dominant theme for the show, with live demonstrations and discussions showing how fragmented processes can be combined by the intelligent linking of work steps and how this leads to greater efficiency, better quality and absolute planning reliability. This has put the show’s focus on the customer-specific use of current technology and information modules, rather than off-the-shelf technological solutions.
In addition to Hunkeler’s own highlights – shown as workflow integrations – highlights have included more than 50 partner print and finishing solutions.
They included HP’s new PageWide Advantage 2000 press (above), making its European premier, the established Screen Truepress Jet520HD+ press – shown with Hunkeler’s Generation 8 roll to roll and roll to stack solutions – and the new
Kodak Prosper Ultra 520 press, seen pictured printing live three versions of a magalog with different editorial and marketing content. Canon also used the event to launch its ProStream 3000 high-speed inkjet web.
On the finishing front, the Müller Martini Vareo PRO perfect binder (below) for mixed softcover and hardcover bookbinding, was hard to miss.