New Print Media Center Commercial at Wiesloch-Walldorf site reflects strategic reorientation of Heidelberg with focus on customer benefits
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The transformation in the global printing industry has created new challenges for the entire sector. To meet customers’ current and future requirements and maintain its leading position as the industry’s most reliable partner in the future, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has also undergone a transformation and reoriented its corporate strategy accordingly. Heidelberg places the benefits to customers and their success at the center of all its activities.
In addition to the traditional main markets of commercial and packaging printing, the product portfolio will also be geared further toward the global market’s future growth segments, especially digital printing, consumables, and services. This approach is now also reflected at the new Print Media Center (PMC) Commercial in Wiesloch-Walldorf and marks the start of the run-up to drupa in 2016.
“The focus is no longer simply on equipment, but far more on the integrated overall process and all the requisite components,” explained Heidelberg CEO Dr. Gerold Linzbach. “The benefits we offer our customers are always our key consideration, because our own success depends on that of our customers,” he added.
The reorientation essentially consists of placing the core business of sheetfed offset printing on a profitable footing and providing further support in successfully establishing the growth areas of digital printing, services, and consumables on the market. This new approach is also reflected in a modified brand image.
Over 500 customers came from all over the world for three days of celebrations to mark the opening of the PMC Commercial, which covers an area totaling over 4,700 square meters and offered visitors practical demonstrations of integrated print production with a constant focus on customer benefits. The centerpiece of the PMC Commercial is an innovative presentation platform that uses interactive media to illustrate the aspects of workflow, consumables, and services and highlight their role in the overall process from the customer’s perspective when it comes to delivering high-quality, stable production.
Together with the Print Media Center Packaging, Wiesloch-Walldorf now boasts the industry’s largest demonstration center for commercial and packaging printing anywhere in the world. The PMC Packaging opened in 2008 and covers an area of around 5,400 square meters. It demonstrates expert know-how in folding carton production, surface finishing, and all kinds of special applications. A total of 100 employees and 10 trainees work at the two Print Media Centers, conducting almost 1,200 customer-specific demonstrations in 2014. In addition to this, a total of nearly 2,000 visitors attended open house and other events.
The two PMCs form part of the global Print Media Center Network that also serves the American and Asian markets with centers in Kennesaw near Atlanta and Qingpu near Shanghai.
What are the challenges currently facing customers?
It is a well-known fact that print shops are facing ever greater competition. Prices are falling and delivery times are getting ever shorter. Runs are also steadily shrinking, which means frequent job changes. To ensure their long-term profitability, customers need a comprehensive service offering for effective and reliable production processes, the right equipment representing the best possible investment, and extremely easy access to all the necessary consumables. With its wide range of digital and offset presses, software modules, services, and consumables for all customer requirements, the Print Media Center Commercial offers highly concrete and practical support in this respect.
In addition to customer demonstrations and events, it also organizes application training for customers and the company’s own instructors, sales staff, and application consultants. The demonstrations and events are aimed equally at customers making an actual investment and those looking for new ideas for business models who are keen to obtain an overview of future trends.
The regular Heidelberg Info Days cover every facet of activities – from digital, packaging, and UV printing to cost-efficient short-run production and the use of surface finishing to stand out from the competition. Heidelberg Open Days are held on the third Thursday of every month and provide customers with an overview of the latest solutions without them having to register in advance.
Practical demonstration of customer benefits
The new Print Media Center Commercial devotes a great deal of space to ways in which customers can tackle their day-to-day challenges, including a comprehensive range of services that keep customers’ options open and are available 24/7. Remote Services, for example, can identify faults before they cause a production stoppage. This has the benefit of maximizing customers’ production availability. Performance Services give customers access to the comprehensive expert knowledge of Heidelberg, enabling them to boost the overall efficiency of their production operations with the help of a tailored package. Heidelberg underlines its partner role by measuring the costs to the customer against the improvements achieved in practice.
The digital and offset presses on show support customers’ existing and future business models. In digital printing, Heidelberg is increasingly working with partners so as to give customers access to market-leading technologies while also being quick to offer innovative solutions. Examples include entry-level solutions for commercial printing based on Ricoh toner technology, and Fujifilm’s inkjet technology for industrial-scale digital printing in the label and packaging market. In the case of offset presses, all the necessary dryer technologies and their specific applications are covered. In addition to conventional and UV drying, some presses are also equipped with energy-saving LED or LE UV dryers to support the widest possible range of surface finishes. All equipment benefits from automated processes and extremely straightforward operation. No matter how many different operators are used, this ensures consistently high quality and production outputs. Postpress equipment for cutting and folding puts the finishing touches to print products. This equipment can also be integrated into the Prinect workflow if required by the customer and, for example, adopt presetting data from the prepress and press stages along with operating data for an accurate costing.
The digital inkjet press for multidimensional printing is a highlight of the new PMC and just one example of the new business models available. It enables customized lettering and logos to be printed on three-dimensional items. This example from Heidelberg is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new possibilities on offer. Technology is moving beyond the two-dimensional printing of flat materials that has been the norm over the past centuries.
It goes without saying that having the right consumables at the right time and in the right place is vital for customers. They can benefit from the wide-ranging application know-how of Heidelberg experts to obtain the appropriate consumables for their specific needs. The best available materials are approved in advance to give customers a comprehensive portfolio from a single source. Naturally, these materials are also available to order online to make life easy. In the future, e-commerce will lead to the further expansion of the digital marketplace, including a chatroom as a platform for dialog with Heidelberg experts.
Technical equipment at the Print Media Center Commercial in Wiesloch-Walldorf
- Suprasetter A 75 DTL
- Suprasetter 106 DCL
- 2 x Linoprint CV
- Linoprint CP
- Jetmaster Dimension
- Speedmaster SX 52-5-P+L with LE UV
- Speedmaster SM 74-2+P
- Speedmaster SX 74-5+L with LE UV
- Speedmaster XL 75-6+L Anicolor
- Speedmaster XL 75-5+L
- Speedmaster CX 102-6+L
- Speedmaster SX 102-8+P+L with LE UV and LED UV
- Speedmaster XL 106-8+P
- Speedmaster XL 106-6+L
- Stahlfolder CH 56 and Stahlfolder CH 78 folding machines
- Stahlfolder BH 56 folding machine
- Stahlfolder TX 96 and Stahlfolder KH 82 folding machines
- POLAR 56 ECO cutter
- POLAR PACE System 200 (137) cutter
- POLAR Cutting System Pro 200 (137)
- Saphira, Saphira Eco, Saphira Starter Kit
- Heidelberg Systemservice, Remote Services, Performance Services