DRUPA 2024 review: Three trends in print manufacturing

Jörg NölkeJune 2024

Trend 1 – Workflow automation and low-human operations

A key topic at this year’s DRUPA was workflow automation and optimised support for customer jobs to increase production efficiency further. Given the current shortage of skilled labour, this is a crucial aspect that can be found in almost every manufacturing segment. Automated processes and the use of modern technologies as well as deeply intuitive software for machine controlling and operational optimisation mean that production lines can be operated with minimal human intervention. This not only reduces the error rate but also increases productivity and lowers costs. Manufacturers are increasingly focussing on intelligent machines that work independently and only require minimal supervision by qualified personnel.

Trend 2 – Near real-time analysis and digital twinning

The ability to analyse production activities almost in real-time is becoming increasingly important for the value proposition of companies. The concept of a ‘digital twin’ plays a central role here. By using digital twins, companies can virtually map and monitor their production lines. Thanks to advanced workflow and edge software as well as AI technologies, they can carry out past and predictive analyses and identify potential problems at an early stage. This enables proactive maintenance and optimisation of machines, leading to greater efficiency and a reduction in downtime. Customers benefit from this technology as they always have a precise overview of the status of their orders and can react to changes quickly. This predictivity can also be integrated with digital commerce services for ordering spare parts as well as professional customer services.

Trend 3 – Integrated customer portals and digital experience portals

Another important trend that became clear at DRUPA is the increasing importance of integrated customer portals. This requires the interaction of a wide range of digital services for buyers (e.g., engineers, purchasers, printing press operators) as well as for the sales partners of the manufacturing companies. These portals accompany customers along their entire customer journey and offer a seamless connection between marketing, sales and customer service. With a digital experience portal, customers receive an end-to-end solution for all their requirements that can be supported digitally. This not only creates a better customer experience but also increases business efficiency. Customers can easily manage their orders online, receive real-time updates and communicate directly with the service team. These integrated solutions are an important step towards a fully digitalised and customer-centric production environment.

ROSEN Group

Global Technology Group ROSEN Launches New Website

Global Technology Group ROSEN Launches New Website

Conclusion

This year’s DRUPA has shown that the future of print manufacturing lies in automation, real-time analytics and digital customer interaction. Manufacturers who recognise and implement these trends at an early stage will have a decisive competitive advantage. The technologies and solutions presented at DRUPA offer a wide range of opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. It will be exciting to see how these trends develop in the coming years and revolutionise the printing industry.

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