Looking Ahead to PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL 2021

Holding the theme “defining packaging and printing in Asia”, Pack Print International 2021 is set to occur from 22-25 September 2021 at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. Print Innovation Asia catches up with Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf Asia, on a post-COVID19 industry, and what we can look forward to at the biggest packaging and printing exhibition in Southeast Asia.

  1. Please tell us more about PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL (PPi) 2021?

2021 will see the 8th edition of PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL, once again taking place in Thailand – the heart of the region’s packaging and printing sector. Presented in partnership between Messe Düsseldorf Asia, The Thai Packaging Association and The Thai Printing Association, this tripartite relationship firmly positions the exhibition as an event for the industry by the industry and, since its inception in 2007, continues to establish itself on the regional and local calendar as a must-attend exhibition.

PPi 2021 will be staged on the back of global economies seeking rejuvenation in a post-COVID 19 economy where industries and companies, having experienced an uncompromising 2020, will be energised to do business as they regain their strength and confidence.

We are ever optimistic that next year will bring a more positive outlook and PPi 2021 will field a power-packed edition, bringing high quality packaging and printing technology and solutions to the forefront in one central networking and sourcing marketplace.

2. What is the 2021 theme and its significance?

Previous editions of PPi have endeavoured to mould the future of packaging and printing in Asia. With ground-breaking technologies and solutions to be introduced on the world stage at No. 1 global trade fairs interpack and drupa in the first half of 2021, PPi strives to present a showcase of these innovations closer to home – right here to the dynamic markets of Southeast Asia.

In a nutshell, we hope to extend the innovative flavour and technology presented in Düsseldorf to our regional audience; providing a benchmark exhibition for stakeholders here to experience first-hand some of the best the global packaging and printing industry has to offer, hence truly defining packaging and printing in Asia.

As a definitive exhibition, we are confident that this theme for PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL 2021 will provide an impetus and direction that will go beyond shaping the packaging and printing industries in the region, to also define and drive change.

3. What will the industry in Asia want post-COVID19, and how will PPi 2021 deliver?

That is a tough question that many would find hard pressed to answer, but one certain thing is that as the COVID-19 crisis careens around the globe, we have all been forced to innovate and change the way we work and live, resulting in changing demands.

What a post-COVID19 world will look like is anyone’s guess and for sure we will see a ‘new normal’. For countries like Thailand, already a regional hub for printing and packaging, it will continue to be in a prime position to abate the disruption in global supply chains, attracting multinational companies looking to penetrate and expand their footprint in the region.

PPi 2021 will take place about five months after drupa where a lot of exciting new technologies will be uncovered. These packaging and printing innovations could be very well-received by the industry here, particularly against the backdrop of Thailand’s move towards an industrial sector upgrading to high technology following the S-curve scheme.

At the same time, it is also interesting to note that the current crisis has fuelled the craving and desire for personal connection and facetime. It is this essential face-to-face and personal element that is at the very core of traditional trade fairs, promoting healthy business partnerships and instilling business confidence, that will underscore PPi 2021.

Undoubtedly there will be lasting economic setbacks for some companies, but good business continuity is crucial and it is important that the industries continue to pinpoint new trends early and invest in the future in order to seize market opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

Print - with its many different and extensive applications and forms of use, will continue to be indispensable in many markets in the future. Businesses must scan for those trends most likely to push them through this crisis period and, also leave them stronger in the post-COVID19 market. The exchange of ideas between industry players and the necessary inspiration are key means to this end and are realised and introduced in a future-oriented manner at exhibitions such as drupa and PPi.

4. What can we look forward to at PPi 2021?

With the theme defining packaging and printing in Asia, PPi 2021 hopes to inspire the industry to think ahead and to provide the right showcase of products and solutions for the industry to invest in the future. The crisis has been a catalyst for change across the packaging and printing sectors and many businesses have had to restructure how they operate. In a post-COVID economy, Industry 4.0 and automation will be trends that would have been accelerated and companies that used to be resistant or slow in its adoption would have had to make quick decisions to adopt the technologies to stay productive.

Against this landscape, six core tenets will be at the heart of the 2021 edition, where featured on the show floor will be products and technology under such as;

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Self-learning machines

  • Technology with better productive maintenance and zero downtime, clear traceability

  • Premium design

  • Affordable contemporary designs which reflect a premium aesthetic

  • Engaging designs to facilitate social sharing

  • Sustainability

  • Zero-waste concepts

  • Eco-friendly products and solutions

  • Upcycling

  • Sustainable packaging and printing solutions

  • Security and safety

  • Smart packaging for real-time authentication

  • Increased product transparency and traceability

  • Enhanced brand protection

  • Augmented consumer experience

  • Digital economy

  • Digitalization of machine performance and workflow

  • Connected users in interacting ecosystems

  • Collaborative manufacturing

  • 3D printing

  • Additive manufacturing across vertical markets, e.g. automotive, design and packaging, medical, etc.

  • Opportunities for print service providers

  • Opportunities for machine manufacturers and users

Complementing the product and technology showcase, the exhibition will also feature a strong line-up of conferences and seminars with sharing of best practices and knowledge exchange from international and local experts.

5. Tell us about the exhibitors that are slated to appear.

The success of PPi in 2019 has prompted several companies to confirm their participation for 2021.

We have received re-bookings from international brand names such as Konica Minolta, Kurz, Tsukatani, Zund as well as local players and prominent distributors; Bangkok Paper Business, Comprint, Cyber SM, Docusys, Foilmaster, Nationwide, Press Systems, Sansin, to name a few.

At the 2019 edition, the exhibition welcomed 325 exhibitors from 30 countries featuring companies that included Canon, Heidelberg, HP, Koenig & Bauer, and Nakayama, amongst others.

We look forward to welcoming back these and other long time exhibitors at PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL 2021.

In terms of the wider perspective and overall exhibitor interest, many economies the world over are going through a challenging time and the disruption to supply chains is having multiple effects. The printing industry is feeling the effects of the crisis in the form of short-time work, production downtime and supply bottlenecks, while according to industry reports, the packaging and label segments are stable during this period, mainly due to the increasing demand for food and pharmaceutical packaging.

However, as economies and industries plan their recovery from the crisis and look to restore balance in the coming months, for some, launching new products and services will be key, alongside diversification, establishing new business connections and entering new markets.

Thus, we are optimistic that PPi 2021 will be well placed and well timed to be that bridge and platform for the packaging and printing industries in the region, and the PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL team is committed to supporting exhibitors in their efforts to remain successful in the market.

Pack Print International 2021 will happen from 22-25 September 2021 at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. Visit https://www.pack-print.de/ for more information.

First published in Issue 06/2020 of Print Innovation Asia.

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