22nd of April is Earth Day – and it is virtual drupa day three 2021. Still there were 57 vendor or conference presentations to choose from. Again, I listened in into about a dozen, with a few more briefly looked at.
As Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection it is no surprise that one of the drupa main conference topics today was sustainability – or in the words of drupa “circular economy”. The other theme of the “connected consumer” was less visible – I guess since all attendees were connected this counts as well.
Virtual drupa seemed to run a bit out of steam on day three – or maybe it was just me. There were not too many highlights. It was good to get a recap on printing ink compliance in a few sessions – which fits well into the sustainability topic. Not all sustainability presentations were that inspiring however – despite the topic remaining extremely important. Konica Minolta did a nice job in printing and finishing 5 different jobs on different substrates on a KM-1e, with MGI embellishment and a Motioncutter within the 30 minutes presentation time slot. Xeikon had a nicely balanced presentation on toner vs inkjet – pointing towards a white paper written by Inkjet Insight. ESKO pointed to a “digital maturity” test on their website, which I hope I can take some time.
Comexi upped their digital offerings and provided the most interesting product launch in the sessions I watched. On day one I already mentioned the Digiflex inline inkjet bar, using UV inks and to be installed on flexo presses, laminators and slitters. There will be a whole flexible packaging inkjet press as well. The Comexi D4 inkjet press uses water-based inks in contrast to the Digiflex. It will be configurable from 4 to 8 colors with CMYK plus OGV and white. This press will print at a high- and low-resolution speed of 75 m/min (246 fpm) and 150 m/min (492 fpm), respectively. In both systems development partners are Sun Chemical for inks, Fujifilm for inkjet heads and Meteor Inkjet for integration. While the Digiflex will go beta in a few weeks and become fully available in October, the D4 is still more than a year out.
Virtual drupa day three was the day I was set to try out the matchmaking feature. The mechanics do not seem to be overly complex. You can search & filter for other attendees, signal interest (they can as well) and initiate a chat or call. I did not get to the last part however. Still I am not sure how to initiate a conversation with persons I have not met and I am not sure what there field of expertise is. Some of the persons I wanted to catch up from presentations were not on the list, others did not get back to me yet. There is still another day to go. No virtual bar mates yet.
And for all those really wanting to know: yes there is a new drupa song.