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Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schreier talks about potential partnerships in digital

Published on May 24, 2010

Bernhard Schreier at IPEX 2010

Interviewer:  Hello.  This is Andy Tribute at WhatTheyThink.com reporting from IPEX.  Today I'm going to have another interview with Bernhard Schreier, the CEO of Heidelberg, who we spoke to about two months ago and I want to find out more of what's happened since that time with Heidelberg.

We've asked the four about the digital strategy, in terms of you said you're going to look for a partner.  Has anything moved forward in that since we last spoke? 

Bernhard Schreier:  Yes.  There is a lot of development going around.  We are talking to the most important potential partners, even here at IPEX we are a good way to find out what technologies, what kind of business models, what kind of future developments are these partners providing and with this we can make up our mind.  I'm very confident that in two to three months timeframe we can make a choice and as I said in 2010, in this calendar year, we want to have a partner contracted and then move ahead.

Interviewer:  And this would mean a partner.  You wouldn't be putting a Heidelberg brand on this machine; you would simply be having a working relationship with that company?

Bernhard Schreier:  No, our target is as far as we can go.  Also putting a Heidelberg brand on such kind of a machine.  We want to offer Heidelberg service.  We want to have an offering of Heidelberg technologies as well as workflow integration.  We want to use the Heidelberg logistics to supply it.  So all things Heidelberg can provide today will be part of the package.

Interviewer:  The other thing we asked you about last time is the state of the market and you were saying how you were now moving into profitable quarters.  Has that continued and are you seeing IPEX is going to be a major help in ongoing business development?

Bernhard Schreier:  The last four quarters were quite successful.  I mean, after a steep decline of activities beginning of 2009, we are today the fourth quarter in a row with accelerating and increasing order intakes, which seems to be moving into a direction, which we have also in our plans.  IPEX will definitely give an additional booster because now we're having the opportunity to show also new development at this show.  This will help to put even more confidence into the customer's business environment and we think IPEX will be in history maybe a turnaround point of a crisis situation.

Interviewer:  Well we certainly hope so.  Now the other thing at your press conference yesterday you did a very impressive demonstration -- well, I say you, the company did a very impressive demonstration of the Speedmaster CL 105 in a short run printing application when you are actually doing three separate jobs with different setups in a 10 minute period when you printed 600 copies of each job.  Is this something that many of your customers with these high performance XL 105's doing in terms of very short run work and rapid turnaround.  Or was it something that you're selling them on the idea that this is a very good short run versus as well as an exceptional long run verse.

Bernhard Schreier:  I mean, it's clear that printers and print shop owners in industrialized countries in high professional organized countries can only survive and push their business forward if they use a maximum in automation and a maximum in make-ready features and maximum in also print color management as well as automatic registration features.  All this is the top of the in our XL 105 machines and therefore what we are showing here in IPEX is clearly what's the state-of-the-art in top productivity print production and therefore we are absolutely convinced that printers in very competitive environments printers who have very small margins today in their print productions, they need to reduce costs even more.  And reducing costs in industrialized environments is mainly done by automation and this is what we show here and this is where we think we have a tremendous advantage against those who compete with us in the market. 

Interviewer:  Now the final question is you've had a lot of success since you introduced the product with the Speedmaster 52 Any Color and I asked yesterday can we expect to see a larger format version of the any color and I hear rumors that there is a Speedmaster 75 XL Any Color possibly under development.  Is that likely to be a product and if so is there any indication as to when it might come to market?

Bernhard Schreier:  Yeah.  I cannot give any indication on when it will come but it's definitely that Any Color as a technology is now very much introduced and has proven that this is clearly something which needs to be extended and therefore there will be also other formats in the future and this is where Heidelberg is working on.

Interviewer:  And will be even more efficient for shorter run work with minimum waste and being ecologically sound.

Bernhard Schreier:  Same as it was in our 35x50 machinery; it will be in larger formats, and ecological printing and less waste.  This is where the trends are moving and Heidelberg will definitely be a driver of it 

Interviewer:  Well I thank you very much indeed and I wish you a successful IPEX and I hope we do move into this recovery period, which we're all expecting.

Bernhard Schreier:  It is a pleasure, Andy.  Thank you.

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