Heidelberg invests in digital future
Monday, April 07, 2014
Press release from the issuing company
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is offering its customers the opportunity to run offset and digital technologies in parallel, using a user-friendly and integrated process. The company's digital portfolio already encompasses printing presses, consumables, software, and services for a whole range of market segments - and further expansion is on the way. As part of this growth, Heidelberg is collaborating with prestigious partners including Ricoh and Fujifilm. Furthermore, almost a third of the company's research and development resources focused on digital. This approach is the company's response to the factors that are critical for the printing industry's success, such as the use of new business models, maximum versatility, and end-to-end workflow integration with innovative technologies. "Our ability to offer integrated offset and digital solutions for a range of market segments is unique in the industry. This reflects our drive to remain the partner of choice in this sector moving into the future," says Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. "As part of our expansion in the digital sector, we are investing in technologies such as digital inkjet printing. We are also exploring printing on three-dimensional objects and thus breaking into market segments that are entirely new to Heidelberg. Overall, we estimate that the digital sector offers us sales potential of more than EUR 200 million per year in the medium term."
Collaborations bring in expertise and accelerate development work
To ensure that Heidelberg can also rapidly establish itself as a global player in the digital market, the company is primarily working to expand its collaborations. In terms of digital solutions for the printing industry, Heidelberg is widening its range of offerings with cooperation partners Ricoh and Fujifilm, to meet customer requirements with added efficiency and speed. The same applies to existing and future partnerships that will enable Heidelberg to break into new market segments. In pursuing this strategy, the company is bolstering its own expertise with that of its partners to develop an integrated system. One example of this is the printing of three-dimensional objects.
Digital label printing presses leveraging Fujifilm technology to be showcased in Autumn - launch of development work using inkjet for commercial and packaging printing markets
Heidelberg is announcing the first concrete steps in its collaboration with Fujifilm. In fall this year, Heidelberg and Gallus are presenting a new digital printing system for the label market that incorporates Fujifilm technology. This solution is designed to meet the growing demand for a cost-effective means of producing short runs and customized labels.
In parallel with this development, Heidelberg and Fujifilm have initiated a joint project to develop a new highly productive industrialized inkjet-based digital printing system for use in commercial and packaging printing.
Partnership with Ricoh gains traction: More than 400 Linoprint C digital printing systems already sold
With more than 400 Linoprint C digital printing systems already sold worldwide, Heidelberg has highlighted its expertise as the only manufacturer in the industry to successfully market integrated digital and offset applications. The company is working closely with its Japanese partner Ricoh to broaden its offerings for this sector in the near future. Heidelberg currently generates sales of Linoprint products in the low eight-figure euro range, and these figures are set to grow, as more and more presses are installed and demand for the associated consumables continues to grow.
Software offerings combine productivity with flexibility
More and more customers want to be able to run highly productive offset printing solutions in parallel with versatile digital technologies. Heidelberg meets these demands with the comprehensive software portfolio of its Prinect print shop workflow. Prinect can integrate all the management and production processes in a print shop into one standardized workflow to ensure they are managed efficiently. Heidelberg already generates sales in the mid eight-figure euro range with these offerings and plans to expand this sector with new products, for example in web to print, and multi-channel publishing.
New "4D" printing solution opens up market potential
The Jetmaster Dimension from Heidelberg is an inkjet-based digital press for printing on three-dimensional objects. The very first application for this system is being implemented at one of Europe's leading online print shops - flyeralarm, where standard sports balls are to be embellished with personalized printing, based on customer requirements. The next step is to move into industrial applications in the automotive or aerospace industries, for example. Inkjet technology could be used to print customized full-color motifs on the cars, trucks, and even airplanes - thereby increasing flexibility, and dramatically reducing costly labor-intensive processes used today. The overall market volume for printing on objects - in the consumer goods and industrial sectors - is estimated at several hundred million euros in the medium and long term.
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