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Five new Heidelberg presses stoke offset revival

Tuesday, 19 August 2014
By Patrick Howard

‘A return to the industry status quo,’ is how Richard Timson describes the surge in offset press investment over the past two years.

Top of the range offset presses going in to commercial and packaging printers  will boost productivity in a sector that cannot be serviced by digital technology, according to the managing director of Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand. He was commenting on the most recent press announcement of a highly specc’d Heidelberg XL six colour with UV drying to go into the new Print Bound factory in Melbourne before Christmas.

"We believe our technology is superior," Richard Timson.

The press is destined for the old GEON site in Mount Waverly as Print Bound moves from its current Oakleigh premises. This follows the Print Bound takeover this year by Indian entrepreneur, Naresh Gulati, who vowed to revolutionise the printing industry in Australia through his company BPO Intelligence and reclaim work that was lost overseas.

The investment in the customized XL signals the move of the supply chain business to seriously address the packaging market. According to Timson the press is top-of-the-range technology that will substantially add to the firm’s current line-up of a Heidelberg 102 12-colour and a Heidelberg A2 five-colour with aqueous coater.

“It’s a new generation press, very fast and productive and equipped with the most sophisticated controls,” he said. “It’s part of an investment cycle of printers who are upgrading their machines in an area where there is no digital alternative.”

He nominates four other recent press sales in addition to Print Bound, including one in New Zealand that cannot yet be identified:

  • Packaging and label printer, Abaris in Melbourne’s western suburbs, bought a second XL 106 six-colour with double coater.
  • The Van Dyke Press in Brookvale, NSW is trading out its Komori for a Heidelberg XL106 seven-colour with a CutStar sheeter.
  • Lighthouse Press in Caringbah put its hand up for an XL 57 five-colour to go in over Christmas.

He believes the current buoyant market is underpinned by the need for printers to reinvest as their presses become older. The new presses are many times more productive across a range of measures, including short run and quick change over than previous equipment. This expands the range of work and the variety of print runs.

A refocusing from the fascination with digital is also part of the equation as he maintains that market is reaching saturation point. “Investment goes in cycles and commercial printers need to get the balance of investment right. Interest rates are pretty good as is the exchange rate. It’s a good time to invest.”

This is looking at being the second year in a row where the local Heidelberg business (HAN) has beaten its budgets and returned a profit. Plus there will be “a couple of other deals over the next few months,” said Timson.

Good offset sales are also reported this year by Rayne Simpson, Ferrostaaal, with five Komori most with UV drying and at least the same number of Ryobi by Cyber. KBA recently installed a major press in Perth while manroland started the year with two serious installs. It all adds up to an estimated $40 plus million investment in offset presses. Who said offset was finished?




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