Wolfgang Pfizenmaier Helps Teachers See Future at IGAEA Conference
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Pittsburgh, Pa., August 21, 2002 —"Printers will climb the learning curve of new architectures and equipment, learn to price for value and not for volume, and create service offerings that complement the new digital media rather than combat them," said Wolfgang Pfizenmaier about the future of the industry. Pfizenmaier, president of Heidelberg Digital LLC, recently addressed a group of graphic arts teachers—from high schools, community colleges, universities, and vocational schools—about what skills the industry will demand tomorrow of today’s student. His presentation, Global Innovations in Graphics, was the keynote address at the International Graphic Arts Education Association (IGAEA) 77th annual conference. Hosted by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the event was held July 28 through August 2, 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In sharing Heidelberg’s outlook for the industry, Pfizenmaier’s predictions for 2010 included (1) a continued strong demand for print, (2) the market micro-segmented by consumer, (3) even shorter runs and fully customized jobs, (4) competition and opportunities from new media, and (5) a need to expand services. Pfizenmaier also told how Heidelberg believes the business of printing is changing. He believes in 2010 that managing information will be the primary focus rather than producing documents. Instead of a few large runs, there will be many short runs and turnaround time will be measured in minutes and hours as opposed to days and weeks. As manual workflow is converted to automated workflow, the industry will see less "craftmanship" and more "business." In short, the industry will change from offering a product to being thought of as a service. "Successful printers will make the transition from a manufacturing model to a service model; from simply producing documents to helping customers manage and maximize their information assets," said Pfizenmaier. Explaining to the teachers the importance of digital prepress, direct imaging, and variable printing to the future of the industry, Pfizenmaiser said, "The question is when, not whether, digital technology will become a dominate force in the printing industry." "This is a critical time in our industry. Everyone can see that important changes are taking place," said George Ryan, president of GATF. "Heidelberg is one of a number of companies helping to drive the transition to digital print media. It was very gratifying to connect this industry leader with an audience that is responsible for preparing our future workforce." The IGAEA conference offers graphic arts educators a series of technology updates, interactive presentations, and hands-on laboratory experiences in a variety of disciplines that will affect the quality of tomorrow’s workforce.