“Open for Innovation” – Heidelberg Drives Printing Industry’s Digital Transformation with New Innovation Center
Friday, December 14, 2018
Press release from the issuing company
The new Innovation Center (IVC) of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) for the graphic arts industry is now “Open for Innovation” at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. A former production hall has been converted to create the industry’s most state-of-the-art development center. By opening the new Innovation Center, Heidelberg is looking to accelerate the digital transformation at print shops and its own company. “The digitization of the graphic arts industry is progressing at top speed and we are actively driving this process with our “Heidelberg goes Digital” strategy, so our new Innovation Center plays a key role in safeguarding the future of Heidelberg and the entire industry in a number of ways. Our technology leadership is continuing to grow thanks to the unrivaled expertise of the center’s highly skilled workforce of around 1,000. What’s more, we are increasing the speed of the entire industry’s digital transformation. The IVC’s proximity to our production operations also encourages an agile, multidisciplinary development process,” explains Stephan Plenz, member of the Heidelberg Management Board responsible for Digital Technology. “The Innovation Center is the new hub of our company and the future high-tech campus we are gradually creating at our Wiesloch-Walldorf site,” he adds.
Development projects drive the industry’s digital transformation
In addition, various teams of developers are working on the Smart Print Shop – where all print shop processes are digitized – and on the further expansion of digital business models – such as Heidelberg Subscription – under which customers are increasingly paying for the benefits a system offers them. This development is supported by the largest collection of data in the industry, which Heidelberg has been generating for over a decade from the customer systems networked with the company.
“Our customers are channeling all their energy into digitization, including the possibilities for producing customized digital printing applications in the three traditional areas of commercial, packaging, and label printing on an industrial scale that optimizes costs,” says Frank Kropp, Head of Research & Development at Heidelberg. “The digitization of all value-adding processes also opens the way for new business models and enhanced overall efficiency to maintain and improve competitiveness. Our Innovation Center produces the ideal solutions to the challenges of digitization, true to its “Open for Innovation” motto,” he adds.
It is important to keep up with the dynamic pace of change in an increasingly digitized world. “So Heidelberg is making increasing use of agile working methods such as Scrum. This enables development teams to respond quickly and flexibly to the increasing, changing demands of the digital world and incorporate new market findings into the development process at an early stage. Products reach market maturity faster and can then be further optimized for specific market segments in collaboration with customers,” continues Kropp.
Heidelberg has also designed its development process to ensure openness. This means customers, suppliers, partner companies, and employees can be integrated into the process as and when required. It also helps with cost efficiency and effectiveness in the customer benefits context.
European development network gives Heidelberg unrivaled industry expertise
“It’s the knowledge and commitment of our employees that ultimately make all the difference and ensure Heidelberg is successful,” underlines Plenz. “The new Innovation Center provides them with an environment and atmosphere they enjoy working in, enables creativity to thrive, and serves as a model for future work practices at Heidelberg as a whole,” he concludes.
The new Heidelberg Innovation Center at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site is the industry´s most state-of-the-art development center. The office area in the former production hall comprises 13 sections whose transparency creates a new working environment with a creative atmosphere.
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