Customer Confidence in Industry and New Investments Positive in All Sectors
KENNESAW, Ga.--Oct. 11, 2002--Heidelberg USA today reported strong results from this year's Graph Expo and Converting Expo in Chicago, Oct. 6-9.
The company far exceeded pre-show targets for sales and lead generation across all sectors, including enhancements to existing product lines and new product introductions.
"Despite the soft economy and negative industry reports, we committed to approaching Graph Expo with the same presence and attitude we've had in previous years," said Niels Winther, president of Heidelberg USA. "This strategy clearly paid off. Sales were extremely strong in all market segments and we are further buoyed by a tremendous flow of quality leads."
Heidelberg featured a 38,000-square-foot exhibit space, including 14 running presses and a multitude of informative product demonstrations. The anchor of the show was the Prinect "Connect the Passion" presentation in Heidelberg's new showcase theater. Throughout Graph Expo, Heidelberg reported standing-room only crowds in the booth and at product demonstration areas.
"The most encouraging part of this year's Graph Expo was the confidence we felt from our customers," Winther said. "The industry is recovering, printers are more eager to invest and there is a high level of belief and trust that Heidelberg can help printers enter a new era of productive and profitable business. Passion for printing indeed remains alive."
Workflow Message Received Loud and Clear
One of Heidelberg's top highlights was the introduction of key workflow tools, which are part of the company's Prinect(TM) portfolio of computer integrated manufacturing products. Strong interest and leads were gained during demonstrations surrounding the Prinect Internet Portal(TM), which will be available to the market next month, as well as Heidelberg's JDF-based prepress workflow, the Prinect Printready System(TM).
"Graph Expo allowed us to bring Heidelberg's current and future workflow products and plans fully to life for the first time," said James Mauro, product manager, Prinect. "We proved just how comprehensive the Prinect product portfolio is and got customers excited that Heidelberg is delivering a fully integrated workflow system that spans across all areas of their business."
Prepress Hits Two Milestones on Day One
Heidelberg reached two prepress milestones on the first day of the show: the 100th U.S. sale of its Prosetter violet CtP device and the 700th global sale of the Topsetter thermal CtP device.
The Prosetter, which offers high-performance violet technology, simple plate handling, small space requirements and the potential to upgrade to full automation, provides cost-effective CtP production. The Prosetter was introduced at Print 01 and to date, 430 Prosetters have been purchased worldwide.
The Topsetter P 74, which was on display for the first time in the U.S. at Graph Expo, was introduced in August 2002. The new model offers an expanded format to support the Speedmaster CD 74 line, and it also offers increased performance, producing 20 plates per hour.
Offset and Digital Succeeding Hand in Hand
Sales were solid for both offset and digital printing, further validating Heidelberg's position that both types of equipment will coexist, and in fact, produce an optimal printing environment.
In digital, Heidelberg proved its strength as a major player in both the monochrome and color digital production markets. Numerous orders were taken for company's Digimaster 9110 and the new Digimaster 9150i digital monochrome press as well as the company's Nexpress 2100 digital color production press, a 2002 GATF Intertech award-winner. Heidelberg continually demonstrated live variable data jobs on the show floor. Four new variable data software products for Nexpress also gained high interest and orders.
Heidelberg highlighted results of a comprehensive study of Nexpress users that revealed many customers are gaining 30 percent more productivity from Nexpress' operator replaceable components as well as seeing high uptime and lower-than-expected printing costs for high-volume jobs.
Offset reported healthy sales in its DI sector, with both the Quickmaster DI and the Speedmaster 74 DI 28-inch press. The sheetfed division received a strong reception to its new Speedmaster CD 74 with UV integration. Many customers even admired what they couldn't see - that the new press' UV capabilities are so fully integrated that they're nearly invisible to the operator, greatly enhancing its ease of use.
Other popular sheetfed products included the Printmaster line, pointing to growth for small printers, and the Speedmaster 102, which offers flexibility as a straight press as well as perfecting, for one-pass productivity. Results for 40" offset press sales were also encouraging, revealing there is actually strong demand in a sector that many industry observers thought was slowing.
Web Orders Exceed Expectations
Heidelberg's Web division reported sales and leads that far exceeded company expectations. High attendance and interest was reported for the demonstration of the new Sunday 2000 Autoplate feature, which reduces makeready times and simplifies operation by allowing a single operator to change all plates in less than two minutes.
Additionally, several orders were concluded for commercial web presses and high-volume bindery equipment.
Remarketed Program Gains Momentum
Heidelberg also reported solid results for its Remarketed Equipment program, topping pre-show revenue targets. The introduction of the remarketed Quickmaster DI Classic into the program captured high interest, offering a high-quality, entry-level option for DI technology.
A Strong Finish
Inline, nearline and offline finishing equipment gained a bright spotlight at Graph Expo. The North American debut of the Stitchmaster ST 400 resulted in numerous orders and sales inquiries. The automated saddle stitcher is designed as a quick-changeover machine with preset capability using CIP3/4 (PDF) files via a network connection.
Additional Graph Expo success stories include strong interest in the Stahl TD 78 automated folder and the introduction of Heidelberg's Probinder, an innovative new finishing system for double-loop wire comb binding that makes books-on-demand a reality by producing the optimized size wire binding from a single wire for each individual book.
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