There is this hopeless tradition of predicting what the new year has in store for us. Magazines love to do this, so in order to uphold this noble tradition we at ME Printer have also decided to offer you our take on what will happen during next 12 months in our industry. However, if nothing Coronavirus taught us that predicting the future is a futile enterprise, especially in a midst of pandemic. So, I had to dig deep and use my feelings of anticipation and anxiety about 2021 to come up with some sort of prediction. A word of caution is in order here, all these so-called predictions are based on premonition rather than real analysis, so, you’ve been warned!
After cancelling Drupa 2021, Messe Duesseldorf management suffers deep feeling of guilt and loss of a beloved cash cow, so they arrange a series of ghost tours for visitors where they can visit empty halls of trade fair and meditate while fantasizing about crowded isles and company stands full of roaring printing and finishing equipment. Ditto interpack!
For 7th consecutive time Heidelberg announces the Gallus divestment has been delayed and Mr. Corvi, benpac’s CEO, is nowhere to be found. Wiesloch/Walldorf site turns into an amusement park and learning Chinese language will become mandatory for all Heidelberg employees across the globe.
Koenig and Bauer
Now that Heidelberg has already pulled out of large format offset press market, the company ceases the moment and solidifies its position with introduction of a new large format 5-meter-wide offset press capable of printing on thinnest paper and thickest boards. Koenig and Bauer calls the new press GOP (Gang Offset Press) and claims that with this new press in the market grand format digital printers soon will be vanished from the face of the Earth
Following the successful launch of Evolution sheetfed press in drupa 2016, the company introduces Revolution sheetfed press in 2021. The people responsible for designing the new press at manroland sheetfed explain the concept behind the new press: “We all know that these two words, Evolution and Revolution, closely resemble one another, and yet they are constantly used in their social and political sense as though their meaning were absolutely antagonistic.” They also said in order to design and conceptualize the new press they had to study all works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Well, nobody reads newspapers anymore, so go figure.
Komori and RMGT
The clever Japanese press manufacturers which have already realized that COVID-19 makes many press manufacturers redundant decide to merge and create a new nimbler company called KRMGT. Following the huge success of 7 o’clock cylinder arrangement which Japanese claimed is their own idea they come up with 8 o clock cylinder configuration concept which creates confusion and chaos in entire global graphic arts industry.
The American company launches a Coronavirus vaccine during 2021 tailored for printing industry professionals. The new vaccine meets with huge success. However, people who have been vaccinated by this Kodak product start to act weird, hoarding huge amount of Kodak processless plates.
Xerox and HP
Carl Ichan, the activist investor behind Xerox’s hostile HP takeover quest during 2019 and 2020 finally manages to do so in year 2021. The new company XHP is much smaller than sum of its parts and the new name is kind of lame. Meanwhile Konica Minolta is smiling
The company is still regretting why they didn’t enter packaging long time ago
Landa sells his company to XHP and starts a new project called Macroink. Based on this new concept a drop of ink will suffice for printing an entire B1 sheet.
– End to end workflow is a huge buzzword and it will remain so during 2021 and perhaps years to come.
– Reshuffling top management team becomes popular among companies while some come to the conclusion that they are better off without management team.
– Sustainability becomes unsustainable.
– Zoom meetings become unbearable.
– Mergers and acquisitions among printing companies increase dramatically, which makes you wonder why there were so many companies in the first place.
Label Industry’s Big Event
During 2021 despite ongoing pandemic anybody who is anybody in global label industry gather in Brussels to discuss and solve one of the enduring mysteries of label industry; hence why the heck self-adhesive label is also called pressure sensitive label and vice versa.
I could go on and on but I decide not to and let you ponder about a year that definitely will be full of surprises.