Continental’s world of printing technology now also as a virtual experience
70 years trade show participation at Drupa
- Printing technology as a digital tradeshow experience: multimedia features, chatrooms, product highlights
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable product development thanks to fewer solvents
- Trendsetting: expert insight into the world of functional printing by Dr. Erhard Barho
Dusseldorf, Germany, April 20, 2021. From April 20 to 23, the technology company Continental is exhibiting at Drupa 2021, the world’s largest trade show for the printing and print media industry. For the first time ever, Drupa is being staged as a virtual event. Continental’s innovative product offerings can be explored and experienced on-screen, whether from home or at the office, as presented at a virtual tradeshow booth. Numerous multimedia features contribute to the live feel of the experience. Online visitors can even have real-time conversations with their preferred contacts, just like at a physical trade show. Making ad hoc appointments is easy via chatrooms within the company’s virtual booth.
“Our products and services have been digital and highly innovative for many years, and now – with our very first virtual showcase – our tradeshow appearance is also going completely digital,” remarks Dr. Dirk Leiß, responsible for the Surface Solutions business unit at Continental. “We have a rich and varied program to offer, and those who stop by our booth to see us can discover a host of trendsetting, sustainable printing solutions, just as they would at a physical trade show.”
Product highlights on a virtual stage
As leading specialists in the field, Continental will be treating its virtual visitors to a world of print applications and sophisticated finishes. The journey will also highlight the company’s core expertise in printing blankets and printing forms made of elastomer materials, e.g. for the printing of flexible packaging and labels as well as beverage cans, cups and tubes. Continental’s glass bead blanket, for example, can be used for foil lamination and for printing security features on banknotes or stocks and bonds.
Continental is tooling up for the future of gravure printing: With its Dynasurf concept, Continental is presenting a special innovation for the printing and packaging industries. This pioneering technology with elastomer-coated gravure printing plates not only significantly saves weight, manufacturing costs and time, but also allows sustainable production without the use of electroplating and toxic heavy metals.
Another highlight: Straight from Continental’s new technical center in Freiburg, Germany, Dr. Erhard Barho, Head of Functional Surface Solutions, will be sharing fascinating insights into the world of functional printing, as well as showing what the future holds for a wide variety of applications.
Continental has been making continuous strides towards solvent-free manufacturing. A key step along the way: replacing conventional products with innovative, more environmentally compatible upgrades. This year, for example, Continental invested in a new machine park enabling the company to more sustainably manufacture its Conti-Air and Phoenix Xtra Blankets products, among other things. Thanks to innovative carcass technology, this saves 85% in solvents compared with conventional printing blanket production. “We are committed to offering our customers sustainably produced offset printing blankets for efficient printing and excellent results,” says Thomas Christensen, head of the Elastomer Coatings market business unit at Continental.
Another increasingly hot topic is the direct laser engraving (DLE) of elastomers for the purpose of creating unusual reliefs and characteristic surfaces. As it is completely solvent-free, the DLE process is gentle on the environment and also offers the benefit of simplified and time-saving plate production during the printing process.
Printing expertise ever since 1911
Continental’s R&D and production efforts for the printing sector have traditionally been concentrated in Germany. The brand has served the industry as a competent and efficient partner since the year 1911, and this is being commemorated in a brochure entitled 110 Years of Printing Solutions available both at Continental’s virtual tradeshow booth and in printed form. The brochure takes readers on an historical journey from the company’s first offset printing blanket on up to its current role as a world-leading provider of solutions for the printing industry.
As a perennial exhibitor at Drupa, Continental has been showcasing the future of printing at every edition since 1951. “That’s why this year’s tradeshow appearance marks a very momentous and also emotional occasion for us,” explains Christensen, adding: “I’m looking forward to lots of interesting dialogue at the show with the common goal of taking printing to the next level.”