Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is acting as a driving force behind the industry’s digitization and further expanding the packaging, digital, and services growth segments to coincide with the drupa trade show. One focal point in this respect is making print shops more competitive by integrating and automating the customer’s entire value chain. To this end, systems will in future operate ever more independently and autonomously with the relevant services. Another aim is to extend customers’ business models with new digital printing solutions. The new digital printing system developed in collaboration with Fujifilm is designed to open up new market segments by making industrial printing even more flexible.

“We will take our industry into a new digital era by stepping up our investment in the digital and services growth segments. Our customers expect us to deliver added value and enhanced business opportunities, and we are actively helping them make the transformation to a digitized future,” said the company’s CEO Gerold Linzbach.

Heidelberg will be presenting the industry’s digitized future under the motto “Simply Smart” at drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf. In an industry environment that is still changing rapidly, print shops need to continuously improve their efficiency and respond to the global demands of end customers in ever faster and more flexible ways. It is important when doing so to shape the digitization of their own business model and involve print buyers in this process.

Industrial printing system improves flexibility and productivity

The new Primefire 106 digital printing system from Heidelberg will have its world premiere at the show. The company has joined forces with its Japanese partner Fujifilm to develop a new portfolio for industrial digital printing in less than two years. Following the presentation at drupa, the sales launch is scheduled for 2017. The print market as a whole is increasingly moving toward shorter, more personalized runs. In response to the double-digit annual growth rates of digital printing, Heidelberg now offers a comprehensive digital portfolio that is integrated with the company’s latest offset solutions. “Integrated print shops fare better in a difficult market environment. Automation is the key to remaining competitive in the printing sector. The digitized value chain will be indispensable for most printing companies simply to remain fit for the future,” said Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment.

Digitized value chain in fully integrated pressroom

The basis for this is an integrated software platform enabling a continuous flow of data – from job acceptance to the machines and on to order processing. Heidelberg has combined its entire portfolio in the Prinect print and media workflow. In conjunction with a completely new control system design and concept for sheetfed offset presses, an increasing number of steps for automatic pressroom operation are making their way into the printing systems. With the new Speedmaster generation from Heidelberg, the reality of an autonomous pressroom is getting ever closer, which makes customers far more productive and profitable. “In the Smart Print Shop of the future, we will be demonstrating that Heidelberg is more than the sum of its machines. The benchmark will no longer be the break-even point for individual systems, but the performance of our customers’ entire value chain. We offer solutions for everything – from completely new business innovations to highly efficient overall processes,” stressed Plenz.

Cloud-based service platform to boost competitiveness

The collaboration between Heidelberg and its customers will also change significantly in the digital age. The company is working on a new cloud-based service platform that covers the entire Heidelberg service portfolio and makes it easily accessible. This platform is based on the Remote Service network operated by Heidelberg, which links over 10,000 machines and a further 15,000 software products to the Heidelberg service portfolio. Associated services such as Remote Monitoring and Performance Plus are provided on this platform and help customers with press availability, but also with improving their overall productivity. The large number of machines in the network is key to the quality of the individual service products and productivity recommendations.

Customers gain access to the service platform via a customer portal that includes various apps. All the information, support, and contacts customers require from Heidelberg are to hand – from an overview of their installed equipment and available updates to fault messages and self-help tools.

“In the digitized world of the future, customers will have all the information they need to optimize their company’s operations at a glance. We also offer our customers concrete solutions to maximize machine availability, increase their overall productivity, and obtain very easy access to consumables tested by Heidelberg,” said Harald Weimer, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Services. Heidelberg already generates nearly 50 percent of its sales with service and consumables and is continuously expanding its service portfolio.