Drupa unveils show premiere for digital textile printing applications

Touchpoint Textile, a new special show for digital textile printing applications, will make its debut at drupa 2020 in Hall 4. “The textile industry is opening up cross-sectional technologies for numerous sectors, and Touchpoint Textile will bring these companies together, offer space for cross-sector cooperation and new projects, as well as product and manufacturing ideas that will be vividly realized in a micro-factory on site,” said organizers. Drupa will be held June 16 – 26, 2020 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. As the world’s leading tradeshow for printing technologies, drupa will provide this forum to reflect the increasing importance of digital textile printing and to emphasize its status as a driving force of innovation and growth for new business areas within the printing industry. The special show also represents the increasing establishment of drupa in new markets, which, in addition to textile printing, include packaging, large-format printing, industrial and functional printing. All these segments are undergoing the same processes of change and offer enormous growth potential.

Sabine Geldermann.

“Continued digitalization and cross-sectional technologies are drivers of innovation,” said Sabine Geldermann, Director of drupa and Global Head of Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf. “Drupa’s role is to be a source of momentum for our industry, fostering and shaping change. We’re committed to identifying all relevant issues and integrating them in our forums. The growth potential in textile printing is impressive. It’s against this backdrop that we are dedicating a special platform to these applications.” Digital textile printing will also be an important part of the exhibitors’ range of products and services beyond the Touchpoint Textile special show. Drupa visitors are thus guaranteed a 360-degree view of current developments and trends in textile printing, show officials added.

The two partners of Touchpoint Textile are Europe’s largest textile research centre, the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), and the non-profit association ESMA (European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association). Together with cross-industry partners, DITF will set up a Digital Textile Micro Factory at drupa – a fully networked, integrated production chain from customer specifications and design to fabric finishing. Demonstrating new possibilities for digitalization and direct customer interaction (such as 3D garment simulations with direct data transfer to virtual and augmented reality applications), the micro-factory will demonstrate how digital textile printing, cutting and colour management can be integrated in a fully connected production environment. A variety of products (such as flags, t-shirts and bags) will be fabricated “hot off the press” each day. Such networked production chains, said drupa, will enable the textile industry to react even faster and more specifically to customer wishes and trends in the future, even with small-order quantities. The combination of agility, creativity, flexibility and productivity are considered drivers for success. ESMA is in charge of the conference program, inviting speakers from research, development and industry to discuss printing and finishing technologies, workflows, market developments and sustainability. “Textile printing is expanding rapidly thanks to innovations in printing processes. Both, digital and conventional technologies can contribute to this change,” said ESMA General Manager Peter Buttiens. “We’re looking forward to demonstrating our expertise and know-how in textile applications to visitors at drupa’s Touchpoint Textile.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.