2016 – Corrugated board goes digital

The Bank of England issues its first polymer banknote called ‘The New Fiver‘.
Polymer banknote 'The New Fiver' printed by De La Rue
It is another drupa year and this time the trade show lasts 11 days instead of the usual 14. It attracts 260000 unique visitors. 76% are international, coming from 188 countries. Digital printing in general and specifically inkjet printing on corrugated packaging board attracts a lot of attention. Several vendors showed digital embellishing and finishing equipment, such as the Scodix E106 shown below, which can be used to add foils to short or medium run folding cartons.
Scodix E106 digital enhancement press
Cloud based workflow solutions are another major theme. The screen below shows PrintOS from HP.

HP PrintOS cloud solution
HP takes over from Heidelberg as the dominant exhibitor with the largest booth. The big buzzword of the show is ‘Print 4.0‘ which refers to ‘an end-to-end digital workflow made possible by the intelligent networking of machines and systems.’

Rose Quarz (Pantone 13-1520) is one of the two colors of the year.

Serenity (Pantone 15-3919) is the other one.

Version 1.8 of the OpenType font file format introduces OpenType Font Variations. Using this technology font foundries can embed multiple weights, widths or other variations of a font in a single file.
OpenType 1.8 font variationsVersion 4 of the Adobe PDF Print Engine focuses on optimizing the RIP architecture for wide format printing applications. This is achieved by breaking up posters or other large assets into smaller sections that each are processed by a separate instance of APPE running on a separate CPU core.

Esko introduces its CDI Crystal 5080 XPS flexo platemaking system, which combines a flexo plate imaging unit with a UV LED exposure device.

Esko CDI Crystal 5080 XPS flexo imaging system

A Pew Research Center study about book reading shows that the majority of readers in the USA still stick to printed books.

book versus ebook readership

The Swiss 50 Franc note is the banknote of the year.

Switzerland banknote 50 Francs

These are some important or remarkable events from 2016:

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for a number of attacks, including coordinated bombings in Brussels and Istanbul.
  • The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland is the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel. It took two decades to build this 57-kilometer long tunnel.
  • By ratifying the Paris global climate agreement the US and China, together responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, confirm their intent to fight global warming.
  • In a referendum the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union. The so-called Brexit is expected to take place in 2017.
  • 3D printing, which first appeared in the 1980’s, is now a well-established production technology in a market that continues to grow rapidly.


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