<img alt="" src="https://secure.insightful-enterprise-intelligence.com/784283.png" style="display:none;">
Greg Cholmondeley

Hunkeler Innovationdays Tradeshow Delivers the Tradeshow Solution

This industry event demonstrated many end-to-end printing solutions

Mar 9, 2023 11:22:28 AM


Sign up for The Key Point of View, our weekly newsletter of blogs and podcasts!


Hunkeler Innovationdays (which took place February 28-March 2 in Lucerne, Switzerland) was a massive success with 6,600 attendees thronging the compact hall. Tuesday saw 4,300 visitors and was the busiest day, though Wednesday wasn’t far behind with 4,000 visitors. This event stood out from others in two noteworthy ways: focus and solutions.



Hunkeler Innovationdays focused on high-end, narrow-format printing solutions. The vendors primarily focused on the larger, general commercial print, book print, direct mail, and transactional printing markets. This meant that vendor demonstrations and presentations were always in line with attendee needs—making for lively and informative lunchtime discussions. This also meant that every visitor found interest in most of the vendor products on display. This is very different from many contemporary tradeshows that attempt to appeal to a broad audience, resulting in large halls with many vendors that only appeal to small slices of attendees.


The second observation is that Hunkeler Innovationdays focused on end-to-end solutions. Vendors in most tradeshows tend to exhibit individual products with, occasionally, a line. Hunkeler wants to showcase feeding and finishing, which needs to be driven by upstream presses and software. Thus, the entire event and all participating vendors were focused on discussing and demonstrating software and hardware solutions. This allowed people to spend their time talking about the whole solution ecosystem, including business opportunities, software, automation, print production, and finishing. Every modern industry event incorporates these elements, but Hunkeler Innovationdays was built upon them.


Over 100 vendors were onsite, representing associations, equipment, finishing, media, presses, services, software, and substrates. In addition, there were numerous media meetings, analyst meetings, and after-hours get-togethers at the local pubs, where the most informative conversations were held.


Several of the press vendors used this event for significant inkjet product announcements:

  • Canon announced and demonstrated its new ProStream 3000 continuous-feed press and updated varioPRINT iX 4.3 sheet-fed press.
  • HP demonstrated their previously announced 152 meter/minute PageWide Advantage 2200 continuous-feed press.
  • Kodak demonstrated the previously announced Prosper Ultra 520 Press, a fourth-generation continuous inkjet press that runs at 150 meters/minute with high quality and heavy coverage.
  • KYOCERA demonstrated its TASKalpha Pro 15000c cut-sheet press for the first time in Europe. This one was attached to the company’s newly announced SDD inline booklet maker.
  • Screen demonstrated a prototype packaging press called the TruePress PAC 520P as a test of market interest.
  • Ricoh demonstrated its Pro VC70000e continuous-feed press with environmental enhancements (hence the “e” at the end).
  • Xerox demonstrated its B3 inkjet cut-sheet Baltoro.


But the show is not just an important springboard for the presses attached to unwinders and finishers. Software played a prominent role in the event with numerous announcements, and vendors were keen to relay software workflows connected to their print and/or finishing hardware.


As predicted in our Production Workflow Service 2023 Roadmap, many software vendors are exploring how to use artificial intelligence (AI) in future products. Few have incorporated AI into their existing products, but the discussions about what is in development were exciting. Watch some of the short 1- to 3-minute videos in our official playlist to hear more on this.


There were 15 software vendors, and most of the 15 press vendors also displayed software solutions. Some of the key software announcements and demonstrations include:

  • Canon is working with Autlay, a German company that uses AI to automatically create unique layouts for sales sheets, brochures, and other print applications.
  • Crawford Technologies was demonstrating its PRO Conductor workflow management solution and discussed their upcoming orchestration layer for approval and remediation automation.
  • Ultimate TechnoGraphics announced its BetterPDF module for ImpoStrip, which will be available in the second quarter. BetterPDF simplifies and optimizes PDF files for printing, stripping away non-print elements such as videos and accessibility features to streamline ripping and production.
  • Xerox shared insights about its FreeFlow Vision data and dashboard solution, which is due in the third quarter.
  • Obility, a new German software provider, showed its web-based, subscription Obility Print Business Automation solution. It’s an end-to-end workflow management solution that covers everything.
  • Zaikio announced its new Mission Control workflow management solution that integrates with Switch, PrintX, and Calibrate (which is its own MIS solution).
  • Ricoh announced TotalFlow Producer, which is designed to onboard jobs from various reception alternatives such as e-mail, portal, and application programming interfaces (API) into a single order entry and workflow management system.
  • Ironsides announced its Productivity Analytics solution that will be available this summer.


Hunkler Innovationdays boasts global attendance and is held every other year (it was skipped in 2021 due to the pandemic). The pent-up energy and enthusiasm expressed at this year’s event were exciting and motivating; I can’t wait until the next show in 2025.


Log in to the InfoCenter to view additional research on print automation solutions as well as other technologies displayed at Hunkler in our various production advisory services. If you’re not a subscriber, email us at sales@keypointintelligence.com for more info.