A Cornish printer has just returned from a leading international trade show to learn about some of the latest technological developments in the industry.

Drupa 2016, which took place in Dusseldorf, Germany, is only held every four years and gives businesses and investors a platform to discover new technology, discuss global trends and develop key relationships.

Next-generation print, packaging production, multichannel, 3D printing, functional printing and green printing were all given special attention.

Julian Hocking, MD of St Austell-based Nationwide Print, said keeping up such developments is vital for his business.

He said: “Drupa is important because it’s a key forum for new technologies and ideas. Print is changing rapidly and we need to be at the forefront in order to remain competitive.

“Digital print is going to become dominant in all forms and sizes – including B1. The quality of digital is now matching litho and the cost is becoming more attractive, especially for SMEs like us.”

However, perhaps the most important development for Nationwide Print is the evolving ‘total solution’ and ‘added value’ approach to printing needs showcased at Drupa.

Hocking explained: “Print has become more than ink on paper. We recently purchased state of the art equipment and software from global technology company Ricoh. MarcomCentral offers a complete online marketing asset management solution for delivering cross media campaigns. One of the reasons I travelled to Dusseldorf was to promote this collaborative project with Ricoh.”

One of Nationwide Print’s biggest clients, St Austell Brewery, will be the first to benefit from the new system.

“We plan to help them manage their multiple brands in a more effective way,” said Hocking. “With improved asset management, we will create a highly responsive process that minimises human touchpoints and reduces errors. MarcomCentral adds value to what we do and enables us to offer a total integrated digital solution.”

As well as research and promotion, the trip also offered Hocking an opportunity to network – catching up with old colleagues and making new contacts.

“Dusseldorf is a vibrant city that I probably would not have visited if it wasn’t for Drupa. I enjoyed good food and company, and the biggest bonus was a direct flight home to Newquay!”

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