The most recent physical meeting of drupa was in 2016. The drupa scheduled for 2020 was postponed to 2021, due to the pandemic. But after consultation with exhibitors and partners, the organisers decided to replace a physical tradeshow with ‘virtual.drupa’, a four-day digital event. The dates fell within the period originally planned for drupa: 20-23 April 2021.
The virtual event attracted 212 exhibitors from 35 countries, as well as team participants from global subsidiaries presenting their product portfolios and innovations within the online showrooms and more than 125 live web sessions with an average of 140 participants.
Amongst the well-known companies listed under the ‘holographic foils’ product category Dragon Foils Limited from Foshan, China featured prominently. Established in 2006, Dragon Foils is a subsidiary of Guangdong Ruian Group, which is a national high-tech enterprise in China. Covering an area of 70,000m², the company’s manufacturing facility is a short drive from Hong Kong.
With its own R&D team, Dragon Foils has developed a long-term and close cooperation with the South China University of Technology resulting in their own range of cold foils and digital enhancement foils.
Under the security printing category of the trade show, Iscent Oy from Finland boasts a set of strong environmental credentials with its claims of generating no wastewater and using no chemicals. no solvents and no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in its manufacturing processes.
Iscent’s technology generates patterns at a microscopic scale on a range of different base materials using heat and mechanical force applied in rotary format. The material to be treated needs to have a degree of viscoelasticity but can be as a thin as a matter of microns. The optical effects on paper can replace the traditional holographic effect that are often seen on plastics.
Elsewhere in the trade show, Univacco from Tainan City, Taiwan presented its credentials as a vacuum and coating firm, providing various decorative and functional foils which include hot stamping foils, cold foils, digital foils and holographic foils.
Univacco’s seamless range of holographic patterns increase the flexibility of design and layout, which don’t have to be planned to avoid the interruption of the shim line. The company also has a range of holographic cold transfer foils that offers overprinting for flexographic printing.
The company’s headquarters in Taiwan operates as its R&D and global operations centre as well as its management hub. Univacco also has 23 subsidiaries and sole distributors, and more than 60 distributors around the world.
To create a lively online environment to allow colleagues and visitors to mingle, the virtual event ran a ‘matchmaking’ facility that helped companies make sales contacts. But for an industry that thrives on a ‘don’t tell me just show me’ mentality we are all looking forward to 2024 when drupa can return to its natural home in the Messe Düsseldorf.