Behind the Scenes: Exciting Insights into the Printcenter at Messe Düsseldorf

The fair term of drupa is definitely not the only time of the year, when there are people involved with printing at Messe Düsseldorf. Did you know that they have their very own Printcenter on site? Check out this article for fascinating insights on the daily business of the print shop team.


Header picture: © MD Stories

Did you know that Messe Düsseldorf has their own print shop? Our colleagues in charge of the Messe Düsseldorf blog MD Stories talked to some of the team members at the so-called Printcenter and published the German version of this interview on the blog.

The Printcenter belongs to the event technology department and thanks to their amazing work (also for the world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies), they deserve a spot on our drupa blog.

There is always a lot going on in the Printcenter. That’s not surprising, because no matter whether large, small, thick, thin, wide or narrow: Almost anything can be printed in the print shop – and even in a very short time. The team does not only provide the trade fair staff with their impressive services, but also the exhibitors at the various trade fairs we’re housing here in Düsseldorf.

Fresh from the Press: Great Technologies and an even Greater Team

There are additional flyers needed for an upcoming event? No problem for the Printcenter of Messe Düsseldorf! Thanks to their just-in-time production, print jobs can be completed immediately without a loss in quality. But how does the team actually manage to produce that many different print products? The answer is simple: excellent teamwork and state-of-the-art technology! Only with one exception! 😉 In fact, there is a cutting machine from drupa 1986 still in use today – thankfully, with the world’s leading trade fair for the printing industry (that’s drupa in case you didn’t know!) in the trade fair portfolio of Messe Düsseldorf, the colleagues at the Printcenter are right at the source for equipment and inspiration from the printing universe.

In order to enable large-format printing jobs, there are five advertising technicians with three large-format printers, two multi-application tables, a cutting plotter and a plate and reel cutter on site. Many of the billposting, posters and site plans that you see during the diverse trade fairs at Messe Düsseldorf, come into being here. Did you ever wonder where the different signs on the floor leading you through the halls come from? This so-called route guidance is printed just like vehicle lettering or stickers and foils right there in the Messe Düsseldorf Printcenter. Otherwise, you could easily get lost in the fair labyrinth. 😉

For smaller formats up to DIN A3+, a media designer, a printing technician and a media specialist are in charge and ensure smooth printing and processes. With their printing systems, work stations and various tools, they are not only ideally equipped, but also prepared for urgent jobs. Flyers, mailings, forms and personalized admission tickets, for example, don’t take long after the order has been received.

The Messe Düsseldorf Printcenter: Impressive Even Under Pressure

Now you must be curious to learn more about the print team, right? Team leader Dirk Forysch (large format printing) and his colleague Sönke Köppen (small format printing) from the Printcenter didn’t hesitate and let our colleagues from MD Stories drill them with all the questions that preyed on their minds.

Printcenter team

Dirk Forysch (left) and Sönke Köppen (right)

MD Stories: What does a typical day at the Printcenter look like for you? How do you start your working day and what are the last to-dos of a typical day?

Printcenter: The printing systems are started before the first coffee. After a warm-up time of about 10 minutes, they are ready for use. A “normal” working day ends with the billing of completed jobs and the shutdown of the systems.

MD Stories: How does the Printcenter for small formats differ from the Printcenter for large formats? What is printed where and for what purpose?

Printcenter: In the small-format sector, all sizes up to A3+ are covered. This means that everything is possible, from name tags to 50 page employee magazines. The large-format tasks include printing posters, banners, vehicle and stand foiling or temporary routing for trade fair events.

MD Stories: In our office, the black cartridge of the printer is almost always empty. What colour is it for you?

Printcenter: Clearly: Magenta! Since we receive many internal orders, the Messe Düsseldorf orange is by far the most popular colour on our printed products as an important component of our corporate design and, for that, magenta is an important component as a printing ink.

MD Stories: How long has the Printcenter existed in its current form?

Printcenter: The current Printcenter has been in operation since extensive conversion work was carried out in 2018. We have modernized many things and of course purchased some new equipment such as a new large application table, a new HP digital printer and a new cutting plotter.

MD Stories: It is often said that increasing digitization is changing the printing industry. How do you experience this? Can you confirm that and what positive impact does digitization have on your work?

Printcenter: It’s clear that this trend is not passing us by without a trace. For example, the entire job workflow has been replaced by a new digital and therefore more customer-friendly program.

MD Stories: In the Printcenter, you can receive orders from a wide variety of departments at Messe Düsseldorf. Which department do you deal with the most? Do you also work with exhibitors?

Printcenter: We receive most orders from the protocol, press, logistics and marketing departments. Since our exhibitors are usually very well positioned, there are relatively few enquiries from this side. Should an exhibitor still have a need, we are of course happy to help and advise them.

MD Stories: Do you have to increase production when a trade fair takes place or do you have more work to do when there is nothing happening on the exhibition grounds?

Printcenter: Our peak times are often in the weeks before an event. During this time, we usually prepare the next event.

MD Stories: Is it an advantage for your day-to-day work that Messe Düsseldorf organizes #drupa2020? Do you and your colleagues only experience drupa as an organizer in the background or are you a visitor on the exhibition grounds as well?

Printcenter: Yes, drupa is always worth a visit, but so is viscom, a trade fair for visual communication that takes place every year in January as a guest event. At the last event we even found a new supplier there.

MD Stories: What was the most extraordinary print product you have ever produced?

Printcenter: One of the most extraordinary jobs is definitely the production of personalized wine labels.

MD Stories: Finally, a question on our own behalf: Let’s assume we need 100 invitation cards by tomorrow. Design, pictures and Co. would have to be delivered by you. Would you manage that?

Printcenter: That’s no problem for our team, we’ll be happy to provide you on top of that with floor markings for your event.

Thanks to our colleagues at MD Stories for letting us share the exciting insights into the Messe Düsseldorf Printcenter.

As you can see, the Messe Düsseldorf Printcenter team is always ready to create great print products, even under pressure. 😉 And they are already now looking forward to #drupa2020, just like we are. What’s the most impressive print job you’ve come across at drupa?

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