Just two months after an exciting drupa, Heidelberg USA is seeing countless incoming orders as customers continue to grasp the ongoing business benefits from the enormous strides shown in equipment productivity (as seen in Hall 1 at drupa). With many developments and improvements taking place under the banner of Industry 4.0, let’s take some time to recap the key highlights of the show:

  1. Push to Stop: The “push to stop” concept, the core of drupa demonstrations, leads to the potential advantage of another 30 jobs per shift (yes, per shift!) for ultra-short run printers on a Speedmaster XL press. It’s plain to see that this is a quantum leap for all printers as the quest for ever-increasing productivity and reduced costs is never ending. At the end of the day, equipment purchases are made to deliver net sheets on the floor that you can sell. Rated speeds are not what you invoice, and nothing outperforms Heidelberg in terms of net productivity!
  2. End-to-End Workflow: To handle such high levels of output, the right processes need to be in place in order to maximize production efficiency and minimize work in progress. Prinect received much praise at the show as Heidelberg’s front-to-back business process system, streamlining everything from receipt of customer file and the presetting of equipment (saving valuable makeready time) through to full production data analysis to ensure cost rates are correct and maintained. Knowing your true costs is paramount to your business, and Prinect brings that analysis full circle by minimizing touch points and automating processes — all under the banner of Industry 4.0, which provided a huge buzz at the show.
  3. Matching Output: It has long been an ambition of the industry to align the output of one cost center to that of the capacity of the following process. In the world of folding, this was always a distant dream with printers needing 2 to 3 folders to keep pace with the output of an 18,000 sheet per hour press. With the launch of the Stahlfolder TH 82-P (Heidelberg’s InterTech award winning “P” technology) promoting the stream feeding of all stations, this dream has become a reality. By keeping the linear speed within a comfort zone of 165 meters per minute, our “P” technology increases the net output so that one folder can keep pace with an XL 106 press.
  4. Invest to Save: Customers who continually invest in the latest, most productive equipment across their business have the lowest costs per 1000 sheets. That production time is what you sell to your customers. If we assume the market rate for a job is set, that in turn means that printers with the most productive, efficient and accurately monitored processes earn the highest profit margins. The overwhelming response from drupa proves that the print industry is seeing itself more as a manufacturing process, focused on knowing its true costs of production and true potential output capacity in order to drive business results.

After a successful drupa and the launching of key new product developments, we are excited to take our customers performance to the next level. To see more highlights from drupa, watch the video below:


A. Rae-3

Andy Rae
Senior Vice President, Equipment