Heidelberg expanded on its theme, Connect/The Passion, at its morning press conference. The speakers, Niels M.Winther, Heidelberg, Mark Weber, NexPress and Dr.Klaus Spiegel, Heidelberg, all agreed that the company passion was for printing, for their customers and for the connectivity that customers need to be successful. Along those lines, Heidelberg would be demonstrating the Prinect family of products that composes their CIM solution (computer-integrated-manufacturing) tying together analog and digital, prepress,press and postpress. A few special features are Prinance for finances, an electronic scheduling board and an Internet portal. "Print is alive and thriving," according to Winther, and Heidelberg's focus is on the "integration" that will deliver the greater productivity and profitability on which their customers rely. So convinced are they that process efficiency is the key for their customers&Mac226; success that by Drupa 2004, all products will be connected through a JDF workflow.

In their booth, Heidelberg is not only talking to printers about changes in their company, but demonstrating some changes themselves. Although the multimedia show on a large screen was a creative pitch for Prinect, more important was the new, softer side of Heidelberg it revealed. Instead of "iron", you heard about "a good partnership." Instead of "specs", the comments were about "being almost like a family." The dialogue, done mostly by customers such as Dartmouth printing and RT Associates, referred to Heidelberg as "true blue," "people who called to ask how things were" and "personalization that meant a tremendous amount" over the years. It was good to see the theme of running a totally automated, connected shop extended to the connection between Heidelberg and their customers.

Book printing has a large presence on the floor. In the Xerox Manual+Book Factory, an automated, in-line solution for producing perfect bound books, they produced Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book . The Xerox DocuTech Publisher was used for the text pages and the Xerox DocuColor 2060 for the full color inserts and the DocuColor 12 for the covers. Heidelberg used the newly announced Digimaster 9150i to produce the text pages of the Book of the Everglades . The color covers were printed on a Quickmaster DI. Although not producing books, Canon announced the imageRUNNER Pro 150+ Networked Production System based on Heidelberg's 9150i.

Among other book printing demonstrations was the new Delphax Technologies printing A Short collection of Sherlock Homes Mysteries at 2400 ppm on a Delphax DR1300P continuous feed printer. For large volume book printers, it is worth taking a look at the Delphax Technologies solution. Check Technologies purchased Xerox&Mac226; Delphax Systems last year and the new company is now Delphax Technologies. Although EBT (Electron Beam Technology) has been around more than 20 years, it has always had a niche market such as check printing. Book publishing is actually another good application. Printing 3 pages wide at its high speed, Delphax is probably achieving the lowest cost per page.