Heidelberg seeing market recovery everywhere
Rainer Hunsdorfer, CEO at offset press giant Heidelberg, says the company is seeing a surge in orders and investments in its print solutions from “all over the world” with printers “looking to invest in new products” on the back of “market recovery everywhere” from the impact of Covid.
Speaking to print industry journalists at the company’s Innovation Week, Hunsdorfer said Heidelberg was “increasingly optimistic” both for its own business and for the print industry. In its own case the charge to recovery is being led by China, packaging, and its new electric charging offshoot.
Hunsdorfer said, “We have done our homework. We are moving into new areas in addition to our core business. We are developing into a technology company that still makes the world’s best printing press.”
He pointed to the success of the new universal CX104, which sold 500 units before it was even launched. He said the company was currently transferring its Prinect workflow into the cloud, “step by step”. He said, “Heidelberg will remain as the print technology leader. We will stay by the side of printers as their service partner.”
Innovation Week is seeing Heidelberg showcasing its latest offset and digital technology for the commercial, packaging, and label market segments under the Always a step ahead banner.
The hybrid event has European printers in attendance with printers from everywhere else receiving live stream. There are nine separate trails being presented covering different topics, for instance Push to Stop. Short-run packaging was highlighted, along with commercial print productivity enhancements, and label printing opportunities on the CX75.
The company has been presenting its Heidelberg Plus, which is its digitally integrated one stop portal, which gives uses one point of entry for all applications, from real time data analytics to consumables ordering. The analytics has some nifty functions, for instance waste sheets can be reported by number of by dollar value.
Berlin print business Pinguin Druck, which was involved in the development of Heidelberg Plus, presented at the event. The 24 year old business has two eight colour XL 106 presses, and operates as a commercial printer, a web to print operation, and as a service provider for other web to print businesses. It praised Heidelberg for listening to its input during what it described as a “collaborative” process.
Taking questions, Hunsdorfer said Heidelberg was not planning to join the digital corrugated market, and said that its PrimeFire press, no longer being produced, was ahead of its time and may come back at some point in the future. He also said Gallus was now a key part of Heidelberg, following its aborted sale to Benpac, a sale he said was driven by the promise of €120m when Covid was contracting print, and press orders, everywhere. He said now that time has passed, the need to sell has gone.