The great and the good from the printing world are gearing up to see what the future holds for the industry at the drupa exhibition in Germany. The event, which happens every four years, is coming to Messe Düsseldorf from May 31 to June 10, the most significant dates in the diaries of everyone in the sector.

The 2012 show attracted 314,500 experts from more than 130 countries – 79% of which were people who had a key part to play in their companies’ investment decisions. So what can we expect to see at the upcoming 2016 drupa and what will it mean for the future of the printing industry?

More From Landa?

Back in 2012, Benny Landa wowed drupa by unveiling his Nanotechnology printer. Back then, pundits expected the Nanotechnology printer to finally end the ‘digital vs. offset printing press debate’. Since then much work has gone into perfecting the technology for the commercial market. In a tantalizing sign that it’ll be taking big news over to Germany, Landa has doubled the floor space it is taking at the 2016 event.

3D Printing

Since the last drupa, 3D printing has been a hot topic in and out of the printing industry. Big brands like Ricoh, Xerox, HP, Mimaki, Leapfrog, TU Chemnitz and Roland – along with newcomers Stratasys and Massivit 3D Printing – will be showing off their innovations in this field. Drupa director Sabine Geldermann said she expects a revolution in the mechanical engineering, spare parts, and design and packaging solutions world.

Going Green

With governments across the globe signing up to cut their emissions at Paris last year, businesses must do all they can to pick up the baton. It’ll be no surprise, therefore, if green printing would set to be high on the agenda at drupa 2016. The latest thinking on energy efficiency, sustainable production methods, eco-labelling and clean technology are all expected to be presented.

Intersectional Thinking

Part of the joy of a show like this is that it brings together the best minds in the industry, with thought leaders giving their insight. On May 31, bestselling author Frans Johansson (of The Medici Effect) will base his talk on ‘Intersectional Thinking’. The talk will address the question: “What happens when technological revolutions meet an industry that has been around for a millennium?”. Essentially this involves considering the practical impact of the last technological innovations and thinking, for example, what 3D, Nanotechnology and green printing could mean for individual industries and sectors. Johansson will also give further thought to this at a second keynote speech on June 2.

Thought Leaders

Other keynote speakers at this year’s drupa will be Silas Amos, on June 6, and Shane Wall, on June 8. Amos has worked as a designer and strategic partner for several firms in the FMCG industry, including AB InBev, Bacardi, Diageo, Heinz, Mars and Unilever, while Wall is Chief Technology Officer at HP and Global Head of HP Labs.