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Oce and Higgs International to be Partners in Digital Newspapers

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

Poing, Germany, October 1, 2001 — Oce, the world leader in digital short-run specialist newspaper printing, has announced today that it has launched a partnership with Higgs International for its worldwide roll out of newspaper production sites. Higgs International, which has been established for over 50 years and has long-standing relationships with publishers and distributors worldwide, is to become a key partner in Oce’s move to become an international data distributor to support plans to set up printing operations where the digital printing pioneer already has 400 established sites. Higgs International will provide logistics and management support in a unique one-stop service specifically tailored to the short-run on-line digital print market for specialist publications. Publishers will send the newspaper format data direct to Higgs International, which, in turn, will forward on to the printer. The company will also receive distributor order requirements, which be done via a web-based facility. It will also be responsible for the invoicing, revenue collections, supply and sales statistics for the publications. Details were announced on the same day that Oce revealed that it had linked up with Xerographics Reproduction Centre Inc (XRC) to open a second production site, in New York. The first newspaper to be printed using the unique way of digitally printing newspapers via the internet will be German international daily Sud Deutsche Zeitung. Paul Krisson, business development manager for Oce Printing and Publishing Division, said: “This is a logical step in the development of our international data network, which we know will have far-reaching benefits for publishers. “We, as Oce, have the technical expertise to provide the a digital workplace and systems, and Higgs International, major transporters of newspapers globally, have a unique understanding of the market and are used to offering these services to the publishers. It’s a win-win situation.” Colin Turner, managing director of Higgs International, said: “It was a logical move for us to work together with Oce to develop this new service of distributing newspapers, one that naturally compliments our existing business base in the world of publishing. Our one-stop service is unique, as is Oce´s digital printing and technological know-how. “We are very happy to be part of this partnership, which is a very positive progression in a fast-moving world.” Oce’s aims to have 30 to 50 print sites throughout the world digitally printing short overseas runs of business and specialist newspapers that look and feel the same as traditional litho-printed versions. Publishers benefit through lower distribution costs and faster delivery, which means they can make a profit from a print-run as low as 100 copies, compared with the 5,000 minimum required for traditional methods to be cost-effective. A key revenue source for Oce is the sale and service of its $1.1million Demandstream 8000 series digital printing machine. The system was launched in May with a partnership between Hunkeler, a Swiss-based manufacturer of paper-handling equipment for the printing industry, and Stroma, part of the Creative Print Group, that owns the printing plat in Wembley, north-west London. The system cuts distribution costs, because the data is transferred digitally to a print site closer to the newspaper’s final destination. Swiss financial daily Neue Züricher Zeitung was the first to sign up. The newspaper had been previously printed in Frankfurt and then taken to London via lorry involving a 10-hour journey. Now it takes a matter of minutes for the data to be digitally transferred via the internet.




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