22.06.2021 / Sven Olsen

China Print 2021: The Show Must Go On!

Muller Martini will be present with a stand at China Print 2021, which will be held in Beijing from June 23 to 27 and is the first major exhibition for the graphic arts industry with visitors since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. The Muller Martini team is looking forward to meeting many customers – even as the trade fair does not radiate out into the entire Asian region as usual due to travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.
China Print 2021 is one of the three most important exhibitions in the world for the graphic arts industry. And since drupa was recently held virtually, China Print is undoubtedly the most important show this year. However, because there are still travel restrictions and quarantine regulations, the number of international visitors will be very limited. Usually, around 200,000 visitors come to a "normal" China Print with around 15 percent from abroad. This year, however, China Print will primarily be a China focused exhibition for the huge local market.
I am extremely pleased that China Print 2021 can take place physically. Virtual events are indeed becoming increasingly better and more interesting thanks to the technology used. But you still can't beat a face-to-face meeting with customers and machines in a live environment.

The Muller Martini team at China Print 2021 is looking forward to a successful trade show.

Positive momentum in China
China Print comes at an ideal time for the China market. Considering that the Chinese printing industry is currently characterized by a very positive momentum with many discussions around Smart Factory (read the blog of my Swiss colleague Georg Riva from last week) and such topics as automation, increasing efficiency and digitalization, China Print offers visitors an ideal opportunity to get up to date on this and to see live in Beijing what the various manufacturers are offering in this area.
Being at the forefront of the print-finishing smart factory trend with our Finishing 4.0 solutions, the Muller Martini team is really looking forward to showcasing all the options. At our stand, we will be presenting the Prinova saddle stitcher, the InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer, the EMP 513 casing in machine and a Pluton palleteizer from Solema, as well as the Connex Workflow System and the MMServices range.
Because Connex is the backbone of Smart Factory solutions, it will be a central topic at our booth. However, since our solutions are very individual and tailor-made, it is likely that we will have the initial discussions about projects at the exhibition and then follow-up with more detailed discussions with customers later on.
Solutions around the topic of Smart Factory
I am particularly looking forward to seeing how our stand visitors react to the EMP 513. After all, the production of very short, digitally printed runs of hardcover books is also becoming increasingly popular in China. Our book casing-in machine is aimed precisely at this very specific need in the market, for which there are currently not many solutions available.
The InfiniTrim is also sure to attract a great deal of interest. With its ability to cut books in different formats without manual intervention, it is undoubtedly the "sexy" system in our equipment portfolio.
In a nutshell, China Print 2021 offers Muller Martini an excellent opportunity to showcase our solutions in the digital sector around the Smart Factory theme. Plus, of course, our extensive service setup in China to support customers and the large installed equipment base .
Great interest in the run-up to the exhibition
We have already had a lot of advance interest from our customers in the run-up to the exhibition. This gave us additional encouragement during the extensive preparations. Our team worked hard for months to make our presence at the show possible. It has been challenging that a lot of the work is done in “remote mode” – but at the same time this is proof that even under these challenging conditions Muller Martini finds ways to solve technical challenges between the local unit in China, the Asia-Pacific region and the Muller Martini plants in Europe. This should give our customers additional confidence in our capabilities, and hopefully also translate into equipment orders during the show.

The Muller Martini stand already had numerous visitors on the first day.

Regional effects – Asia-Pacific
Finally, allow me to take a brief look at the region I cover. The corona crisis is affecting the graphic arts industry differently in different countries. In general, we are seeing brisk activity and a high level of interest with regard to equipment in North Asia (China/Korea/Japan/Taiwan) and in Australia. For the markets in Southeast Asia, the focus is currently more on maintenance and optimization of existing equipment.
Every market is different, and sometimes we have taken two steps forward and then one step back. But compared to other regions of the world, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region have the situation pretty well under control. Nevertheless, some segments, such as the market for textbooks, have been affected in many countries because schools have been suspended. On the other hand, the strict lockdown requirements have also led to an increase in book readership. So our industry has definitely seen some positive effects on business despite – or maybe rather as a result of – the ongoing health crisis.
Sven Olsen
Regional Managing Director Asia/Pacific Muller Martini