Heidelberg: A Year-End Review

Outgoing CEO Bernhard Schreier made a surprise visit at the Wiesloch-Walldorf facility.

Journalists were treated to a number of demonstrations at Heidelberg’s PMC at its plant in Wiesloch-Walldorf.

Commercial printing company h.reuffurth, gmbh was an early adopter of Heidelberg’s Prinect Inpress Control system shown here.

The packaging segment has been a focus for Heidelberg during the past ten years, said Plenz, with the company investing in press automation, post-press, and very large format technologies. Turnover in this segment has increased steadily during that time frame, now accounting for 25 percent of its total.

The opportunity for growth in consumables was highlighted by Peter Tix, head of consumables. While the worldwide market for sheetfed consumables is about 2.5 times larger than sheetfed printing presses, Heidelberg’s share of consumables is about 4 percent versus about 40 percent for presses. At the heart of Heidelberg’s consumables strategy is its Saphira product line, which positions the company as a one-stop-shop for its customers.

In the digital printing segment, Heidelberg offers Linoprint C (Ricoh technology primarily for commercial applications) and Linoprint L (CSAT inkjet targeted for label applications). Heidelberg’s marketing plans for these digital color presses seem predominantly focused on its base of existing offset customers, rather than on printers that are exclusively digital. Linoprint models are being offered as a way for an offset printer to handle very small run lengths, while enjoying Prinect integration and Heidelberg color management.

Using Prinect technology to integrate Linoprint digital printers with prepress, offset, and postpress equipment and manage the entire workflow was a recurring theme. Demonstrations in Heidelberg’s Print Media Center (PMC) showed how its Web-to-Print Manager integrates with the Prinect Business Manager MIS to enable a seamless hybrid workflow for digital and offset printing.

In discussing Heidelberg’s partnership with Landa Corp. to develop and manufacture digital printing presses based on Landa Nanographic Printing technology, Heidelberg’s Andreas Forer seemed cautiously optimistic. “If everything works as he [founder Benny Landa] has promised, then definitely we have a bright future,” he said, alluding to some hurdles that have already been encountered.

During the visit, journalists also toured two of Heidelberg’s Print Media Center (PMC) locations, which function primarily as demo centers for potential customers and house almost every piece of equipment sold by the company. Just opened in October, the PMC in Heidelberg (54,900 sq. ft.) highlights the company’s commercial print offerings, as well as CTP and post-press equipment. The PMC in Wiesloch-Walldorf (58,100 sq. ft.) focuses more on Heidelberg’s packaging and very large format presses. In the future, Kiessling noted, Heidelberg will use these PMC locations, as well as the ones in Atlanta, Sao Paolo, and Shenzhen, as its primary customer contact platforms.

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