Heidelberg on the Final Stretch to Launch its Digital Printing Portfolio
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Press release from the issuing company
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is on the final stretch with the international market launch of its digital printing portfolio and is due to complete this by drupa 2012. The portfolio comprises the Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition digital printing system and the new Pro C751 series, which is available in the Pro C751, Pro C751 EX, and Pro C651 EX versions.
It is just weeks since UK company Healeys Print Group became the first printer in Europe to take delivery of a Ricoh Pro C651 EX. It was supplied by Heidelberg. This investment underlines managing director Philip Dodd's optimism about how his litho and digital line up will complement each other and how the adoption of Web-to-Print will cement new opportunities in the market.
Healeys is not a newcomer to digital printing. The company has previously used Indigo and Xerox machines, but when it saw the Ricoh Pro C 651EX, Philip Dodd was struck by the incredible quality. After he had found out that he could source the machine via his trusted partner Heidelberg with its proven service track record the decision was made.
Six years ago Healeys was the first company in the world to invest in a Speedmaster SM 52-8-P long perfector, having been selected as one of the first beta sites outside Germany to test this machine. He was also an early adopter of the SM 52-4+L Anicolor. Both presses still run alongside the new Ricoh Pro C651 EX digital press and a Speedmaster CD 74-5, a Speedmaster SM 52-2 and a Printmaster PM 52-2.
The 40 strong Ipswich-based company produces a broad range of commercial and fine art printing to top quality standards. The company led by Philip Dodd takes a consultative approach to selling, realizing that to grow it must fulfil customer needs not just supply a commodity. The company offers a design to delivery service including wide format, litho and digital printing. It holds ISO 9001 quality and ISO 14001 environmental standards and is FSC Chain of Custody certified. The company has a turnover of £3.6m.
"The Ricoh Pro C651 EX was the right cost-performance press for us. We need quality for all our customers but with 15 percent of our turnover from art galleries it is a particular issue for our business. The Pro C651 EX means we have a scanner, so we can reproduce documents, too. To date, we have used digital largely for short runs and for the tightest timescales. With our Anicolor press, which we have had for nearly four years now, we believe a realistic cut off between digital and litho is a run of 300," says Philip Dodd.
"We can see great potential for combining litho and digital, and for one customer in particular we are looking at a litho UV coated cover with a personalized digital proposal bound in. Most customers would not be able to differentiate the look and feel of litho and digital, but we will send samples when necessary.
"The rise of digital does not mean the end of litho. When you look at a press like the Speedmaster XL 75 with Autoplate XL giving plate changing in one and a half minutes and Inpress Control bringing makeready times down to five minutes, you know it will still win when we need to produce runs of a few hundred. We will look at this machine again at drupa in May."
Healeys is now reviewing Web-to-Print options. It had considered this before, but at that stage the cost of implementation was a deterrent. Now Philip Dodd has looked at three options and will shortly move ahead with a buying decision.
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