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New Report from Smithers Pira Reveals Heidelberg Presses are Most Productive in the Industry and Produce the Lowest Cost Per Sheet

Press release from the issuing company

Smithers Pira’s newest report – “Real production capability of pre-owned sheetfed litho presses” – analyzes the impression count of almost 450 pre-owned sheetfed litho presses under 10 years old from five different manufacturers. Averaged across all platform sizes, the report finds that Heidelberg presses are 24.1% more productive than all other manufacturers’ machines when comparing the overall impression count of all machines in all formats. In the case of the Speedmaster XL 105/106, the press is 66% more productive than all the competitive machines. Smithers Pira costing model showed 11% lower production costs per 1,000 sheets. 

“When we studied the data available online for the used equipment market, we started truly understanding the reality of how much more productive Heidelberg equipment is versus our competitors,” said Global Head of Marketing, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Andy Rae. “But to have the data verified by a respected organization such as Smithers Pira, it now shows the whole industry the astounding proof of Heidelberg productivity.” 

The Proof is in the Productivity 

The study analyzes the output of B1, B2, and B3 machines – with a primary focus on the two larger format sizes. For all B2 (29”) presses, Heidelberg’s average annual impression count is 68.5% higher than the machines from the other four manufacturers. Across all 

B1 (40-41”) formats, Heidelberg presses (Speedmaster CD 102 and Speedmaster XL 105/106) are an average of 36% more productive. 

When comparing the average production costs of Heidelberg B1 presses to competitive equipment, both the XL 105/106 and CD 102 formats were more cost effective in producing 1,000 sheets. Heidelberg’s entry level B1 press, the Speedmaster CD 102, even outperformed the “highest specification” competitive model in terms of lower production costs. 

“What this study proves is that buying a new press from another manufacturer, regardless of purchase price, means that you will be paying a higher cost per sheet,” said Rae. “Even with a 25% purchase price premium, Heidelberg machines only need to produce 8.75% more to justify the price difference versus our competitors’ machines as shown by the PIA White Papers. This report proves that we far and away exceed that!” 

To conclude, Smithers Pira states, “This additional productivity provides a significant competitive advantage to Heidelberg machines…the analysis shows that the profit opportunity for Heidelberg machines is significantly higher than for the competitive models.” 

To read Smithers Pira report in full, please visit http://www.smitherspira.com/resources?categoryname=WhitePaper 

To read the PIA’s Reports in full, please visit 




By Eddy Hagen on Oct 19, 2017

I just downloaded and read the complete report. It has some serious flaws: they looked at the total impressions the presses had, divided it by the age to get the number of impressions/year.

To use that figure as a benchmark/comparison to make claims about the productivity of a brand is unfair. There are at least two important variables that weren't taken into account (since unavailable) two variables that are company specific:

* number of shifts they were used in: going from 1 to 2 shifts doubles the number of impressions/year. Maybe the Heidelberg presses were mainly used in companies running 3 shifts, the others maybe only in 1 or 2 shifts.

* the average run length: if the Heidelberg presses were mainly used for really large orders, e.g. packaging jobs running in the millions of sheets and the others only for short run lengths (let's say 2500 copies), involving lots of job changes, that would also significantly impact the annual number of impressions. Fast job changes are also an important measure for productivity, especially when you're in those smaller run lengths.

Without those two variables, you can't make any fair judgement about productivity of a specific brand.

Also in some categories, the number of presses were very to extremely low: e.g. Manroland had only *1* press in the B3 category, KBA and Komori only had 4 in that category.


By Eddy Hagen on Oct 20, 2017

PrintWeek (UK) got a reaction from Koenig & Bauer about this study: https://www.printweek.com/print-week/news/1162590/koenig-bauer-rejects-smithers-pira-report



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