28.02.2019 / Paul Fischer

The motor show for digital printing

In the automotive industry, there are numerous global trade fairs for the sector to present and celebrate itself: the IAA in Frankfurt, the Tokyo Motor Show, the Detroit Auto Show, the Paris Motor Show, and the Geneva Motor Show. The fact that such a gigantic show is also held in Switzerland is actually astonishing. Although Switzerland is home to many industrial companies that supply the global automotive industry with key components, the lack of any major final assembly lines makes it impossible to speak of "automobile nation Switzerland". 

The situation is somewhat different in digital printing and in the graphics industry in general. Swiss companies such as Muller Martini, Hunkeler, Ferag, Bobst and Gallus (today part of Heidelberg) are among the world's leading suppliers in these areas. But the drivers of the development, the suppliers of digital printing technologies, are based elsewhere: in Japan, in the USA, and in Israel. And, yet, the Hunkeler Innovationdays have become the leading global digital printing trade fair. 

A remarkable development, considering that it is still a de facto “home fair" of Hunkeler AG. What is the recipe for its success? Its manageable size? The absence of "walk-in customers" in contrast to a drupa trade fair? The hospitable atmosphere of Lucerne just before carnival begins?

The secret of its success is, above all, based in the "solution" concept that Hunkeler AG has pursued from the very outset. The various suppliers, some of whom are in direct competition, present complete print and output solutions at the fair. Meanwhile, if larger aggregates are even still installed at trade fairs, this idea is also applied at other trade fairs. But the Hunkeler Innovationdays are and remain the unmatched "original". The event can be compared to the Geneva Motor Show in terms of its significance for the industry.

From a Swiss perspective, it is attractive to marvel at solutions and systems that may never be installed in the local market. Visitors have the opportunity to meet all the important "gurus" of the global digital printing scene in a day or two - something that is unimaginable at drupa. And you can quickly get an overview of what is moving industrial digital printing worldwide and how manufacturers see the future. 

Read what Muller Martini has to say about the Hunkeler Innovationdays tomorrow in our fifth trade fair blog.

Please click here for further photos of Muller Martini’s stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne.

Paul Fischer
Viscom Editor-in-Chief