See Andy Tribute's special commentary: Heidelberg – A Strategy for Succeeding in Digital Printing
Today, Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Ricoh) and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) announced a global strategic cooperation. As a first step, both companies agreed to enter into a global distribution contract for Ricoh’s Production Printing Product portfolio. This agreement enables Heidelberg to sell Ricoh’s latest color digital press, the Ricoh ProTM C901 Graphic Arts Edition - Ricoh`s high speed color digital press with Ricoh PxPTM Chemical toner, as well as appropriate future production printing offerings in Ricoh’s pipeline. The global strategic cooperation, which includes Ricoh services and support, will start in April 2011. The first markets will be UK and Germany with a phased rollout to follow in other geographies with completion targeted for drupa 2012.
Digital printing continues to grow as commercial printers extend their business models to offer marketing services, short run color, and same-day service. Offset printers are increasingly seeking to complete their portfolios with a flexible digital solution integrated into their existing high quality offset environment. The Ricoh and Heidelberg partnership will support them in growing their core offset business and enable them to offer more flexibility towards their clients using Ricoh’s latest digital print technology. Today, offset printers have access to a nearly unlimited range of printing substrates, spot colors and state-of-the-art coating applications as well as speciality inks through Heidelberg’s market leading offerings. By adding Ricoh’s leading digital production printing technology, professional printers will be able to offer the well-known advantages of variable data printing, instant delivery of urgent print jobs and cost effective production of shorter run lengths.
The Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition addresses the needs of commercial printers to build a high quality, digital color printing environment. Featuring a production speed of 90 pages per minute (ppm) it is easily the fastest and most productive system in the digital value segment. This segment includes systems providing production speeds between 60 ppm and 90 ppm with an actual monthly production volume from 80,000 to 300,000 A4 pages and beyond. Providing high quality output, the Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition is an ideal solution to meet the expanding demand for shorter print-runs, variable data printing and rapid delivery on a wide range of substrates.
Both companies are committed to deliver a value-added offering which drives long term profitability for their customers. Entering into a global distribution contract is the first step of the strategic partner cooperation between the two companies. Heidelberg’s and Ricoh’s future plans are to include integration with Heidelberg’s industry standard workflow solution in the graphic arts industry, Prinect, as well as joint development activities for future printing applications.
Mr. Shiro Kondo, President and CEO, Ricoh Company, Ltd. says, “In today’s climate it is important that commercial printers have the right tools to be versatile, and meet both long and short run requests. Heidelberg is the gold standard in commercial and packaging printing. This partnership demonstrates its confidence in our digital technology and the ability of Ricoh to meet the needs of the graphic arts industry. Together, we are in a strong position to support businesses seeking to extend their existing equipment and services with a digital solution.”
“In Ricoh, the rising star in production printing, we have found an ideal strategic partner who shares our values of customer focus, environmental sustainability, innovation, quality, and customer service. By rounding off our offset portfolio including Anicolor technology with new digital printing equipment, we are providing our clients the combination of best-in-class offset, and now also digital printing-technology. Utilizing both, our customers are able to offer variable data printing as well as shorter runs, next to their established cost-effective and high end quality offset printing,” says Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberg. “With this new partnership we will also address customer demands in the broad spectrum of hybrid print applications, i.e. the combination of offset and digital printing within a single print product.”
As a world premiere Heidelberg will display the new strategic partnership with Ricoh at the digi:media tradeshow from the 7th to 9th of April 2011 in Duesseldorf, Germany. The visitors will explore a seamless live production portfolio, starting with job offering and ordering using the internet, Prinect workflow integration combining Heidelberg Anicolor Offset and Ricoh Pro C901 digital printing technologies, rounded off by Stahlfolder and Eurobind demonstrations for state of the art book and mailing production.
The first joint press conference of Ricoh and Heidelberg will take place on the 6th of April, 12:00 – 14:00 CET, at digi:media, Duesseldorf, Germany.