Posts Tagged ‘Heidelberg’

  • Subscription model boosts Heidelberg

     

     

    Press giant Heidelberg has started off the 2018/2019 financial year with solid growth in net sales, citing high demand for its newly established pay-per-use subscription model and the launch of the Primefire digital press.

     

    Incoming orders improved in the first quarter (April 1 to June 30) by 6 percent to €665 million. The order backlog grew by 18 percent to €714 million (from the previous year’s €603 million).

     

    Heidelberg also recorded growth in traditional business during the first quarter, with group sales rising by 9% in total to €541 million. Earnings before tax were up from €14 million to €20 million. 

     

    The first quarter brought in the first revenues raised from subscription contracts, which allow printers to install machinery on five-year contracts, with the cost of consumables and maintenance known in advance. The company says the strong demand for the new subscription model is “undiminished” and has produced additional contracts in the quarter under review.


    Meanwhile, the first two models of the 
    Primefire digital press were delivered to packaging customers in US and Switzerland. 

     

    “The strong customer demand for our new subscription portfolio and digital packaging printing presses has exceeded our expectations,” says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “Heidelberg is driving digitization in the entire industry. The establishment of the new business models is proceeding to plan and will at first make a relatively modest contribution to net sales and result, albeit one that will increase significantly in the medium term.”

     

    Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe says: “Our financing structure is very solid. We have low leverage and are maintaining liquidity reserves we can use to finance our planned investments in new business models and the company’s digital transformation.”

     

     

  • Hits & misses make the most of IGAS

    Tokyo Typhoon Number 12 of the season was a fizzer, a bit of a blow but nothing to bother the printers attending IGAS at Big Site out in the Bay. It came and went within a few hours; rain and wind enough to alarm the woman at the Heidelberg showroom where I was on Saturday afternoon. She urged us to get out quickly to avoid being stranded. Perhaps a little over the top, but …

    So, why was I at the Heidelberg showroom in Tokyo? Well here’s how the second part of my IGAS went.

    IGAS is an international exhibition, although overseas visitors are still only a small part of it. It’s international in that every manufacturer of note exhibits and as is becoming increasingly obvious that means most are Japanese firms. There are the large well known brands, but a walk around IGAS shows clearly the depth of ingenuity and industry in small firms and startups driving the printing equipment industry in Japan.


    With notable exceptions of course – HP is the eight hundred pound US gorilla in the centre of printing. Its digital reach is immense, encompassing every aspect of printing and packaging. In a prime position just inside the entrance in Hall 1 visitors were treated to a display of printed packaging that leaves no doubt that the future is definitely digital. It provided a testament to just how far the technology has been pushed and how this show was mostly about industrial printing mostly packaging.


    Konica Minolta Australian and Japanese colleagues (L to r) David Cascarino, Toshitaka Uemura, Koji Asaka and Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson.

    Friday afternoon I had an appointment to meet with people from Konica Minolta who took time to talk about the 145-year-old company. Toshitaka Uemura, GM industry print business and Koji Asaka, assistant manager, are fine examples of all that’s best about Japanese corporate life. Dedicated and loyal they not only know the technology, but also are also deeply versed in the ethos and history of the company.

    There’s plenty of disparagement about the supposedly oppressed Japanese ‘salary men’ but they’re a remarkably hardworking and loyal bunch and these two were anything but put upon. Well informed too, as Uemura-san took me through the development of the company, its history as a photo and camera business and its prospects as a manufacturer of leading digital technology.

    There’s no doubt the Accurio KM1 is the flagship, a B2 inkjet press that is the first real contender to HP Indigo’s dominance. But there’s more in the portfolio too. The MGI digital embellishment JetVarnish 30 engine was prominent on the stand.

    Watch for a re-worked version of the Accurio Label press in the next few months, moving away from its BizHub-box appearance while still sticking with toner. It’s the technology the market wants, says Uemura-san, who was part of the planning team. He reckons the inkjet label sector is very well served but there’s a gap in the market where toner works in terms of cost and quality. And he gives every impression of knowing about what he speaks.


    Label specialist, Taishi Motoshige, (left) showed me around the Screen stand and introduced me to Ayaka Sasaki who looks after the CTP.

    Just next door Screen, another iconic Japanese manufacturer had a very busy stand. Based in the imperial city of Kyoto it has successfully reinvented itself as the market for its emblematic platemaking technology dwindled and almost died. But Screen is one of the few in the world still manufacturing CTP machines and lo and behold, there’s a new version released at this IGAS. A stripped-down unit aimed at the replacement market in developing countries, the PlateRite 8600NII can be upgraded with all the latest technology. As with much of Screen’s well-regarded technology, it’s widely rebadged and OEM’d.

    If you think a new CTP verges on the anachronistic, I was astounded to see a new proofing press on the stand, the Proof Jet F780 Mark ll. Who’d have thought sections of the Japanese media and advertising industry still insist on a proof from a proofing press? I mean, what’s the point, when it’s not going to be printed on the proofing press? Still, that’s what they want and Screen is happy to provide it.

    However, don’t let me give you the impression that Screen is caught in a weird time warp. Most of its stand was a model display of high-powered digital printing with two versions of the high-speed Truepress Jet, one for direct marketing production, the other for graphic arts; very impressive results. No sign yet of a cut sheet version.

    Fascinated to see the developments of Screen’s label press, with a new version out for the show, the TruePress L350UV+LM. The LM stands for low-migration; an ink set aiming to avoid any challenges to its suitability for labels on food products. Next to it was an Italian laser die cutter, a Cartes GE361L producing the best results from the technology I’ve seen. The label roll is split as it enters the machine with the printed layer being laser cut from the rear before being reunited with the liner. Clever solution that solves most of the angle cut problems from using lasers.


    Nothing to see here again, I’m afraid.

    One of the disappointments of IGAS was the no show of the Canon Voyager, the much-hyped flagship graphic arts digital press. I saw it at last drupa, but it wasn’t operating. The samples on display were tremendous. Same at IGAS. Lots of fabulous samples behind glass, lots of banners promoting the model, but no actual press. There were no English speaking staff, insofar as I could find, so I’m no wiser as to what’s happening with the Voyager. Perhaps it’s not for the Japanese market.

    There was an Océ Colorado there, promoted as a Canon product.


    David Currie, Australian IGAS-san and still a formidable printing equipment salesman.

    After a couple of days of missed calls, I managed to get in front of David Currie, executive chairman Currie Group, on the Saturday morning. I was keen to meet in Tokyo because David, if anyone, is the Australian IGAS-san. He tells me he’s being coming to the show for 31 years, ever since he hooked up with long-term friend and partner Hori-san, founder and owner of Horizon. (Hori-san… Horizon. Geddit?)

    We forget that at that time in the 1980s there was a sense, much promoted by competitors, that ‘Made in Japan’ was somehow dodgy and inferior. Certainly the trail David Currie blazed at the time was the road less travelled. Of course, nowadays, Japanese technology is the benchmark of quality and innovation.

    Such is the case with the vast range of equipment on the Horizon stand, the largest at IGAS, and not only on the Horizon stand but on others too, such as Ricoh and HP. In fact almost all the digital press manufacturers are using Horizon finishing kit.

    We tried to track Hori-san for a celebratory photo, but he wasn’t to be found. Then true to form, David Currie transformed into a younger version of himself as a Horizon equipment product manager and gave me a pretty comprehensive tour of the stand. Sure, he’s got people to do that for him, but once a printing equipment salesman …


    Anniversary celebrations for Richard Timson, whose 30 years with Heidelberg, man and boy, was commemorated with a gift of saki from Shuya Mizyno, president of Heidelberg Japan and Thomas Frank, head of sales Asia Pacific, who is also a 30-year Heidelberg veteran.

    Saturday afternoon with the typhoon closing in it was time to taxi to the Heidelberg showroom in Shinagawa. (Travel tip: never trust the driver over Google maps.) The German press manufacturer, represented by the redoubtable Thomas Frank, was showing off its Smart Print Shop concept while virtually promoting the new digital Primefire. There was no actual showing of the inkjet (at the Heidelberg IGAS stand visitors donned goggle-style glasses for a virtual tour) but there was a mighty Speedmaster XL 106, which proceeded to print 12 jobs of 150 sheets each (20 waste sheets per job) in 30 minutes, without operator intervention.

    While the printing was underway, the plates changing automatically and the press autonomously adjusting the settings, we were taken on a tour of the full print process, including the Versafire, which produced 26 digital jobs at the same time, again without operator input.

    Heidelberg promotes the concept as digitally controlled printing. Hugely productive to meet the challenge of the digital world, Frank also mentioned the ‘r’ word as in ‘rent a press’ with all the consumables supplied. This is the reality of the ‘subscription printing’ scheme being promoted by the company to drive new sales. It’s attempting to change the concept of how you go about owning productive print. Richard Timson, managing director ANZ says he’s close to getting the first Australian customer signed on.


    Determined to win: Tomomitsu Harada, is new managing director of the Australian company.

    Monday morning saw me heading west out of Tokyo to Tomi, halfway across the main island to visit the Mimaki plant. The aggressive and competitive wide format brand makes no bones about its drive to win market share in Australia and New Zealand. Tomomitsu Harada, the new managing director of the Australian company, unabashedly takes pride in his determined sales drive. At 31 it’s his first overseas managing director’s role and he’s determined to make the most of it. Bringing his family here in September, he’s settling in Chatswood, where else?

    Mimaki has one of the largest ranges of wide format equipment in the sector. With a company goal to double its revenue to $US1 billion within five years it’s the very model of a ‘win at all costs’ Japanese company. Fascinating to hear Harada quote the ‘beat sheet’ used by his salespeople; equipment that’s half the investment cost of rivals, ink that’s always cheaper, service that is aiming to be 100% performed by the company with a few years.

    There’s no doubting the engineering quality of Mimaki, but what makes it stand out for me is its sheer sales drive to win. It’s only been going direct in the local market for four years but expect to hear a lot more from the full-on Harada. He’ll be here in time for Visual Impact in Sydney where he promises to unveil a few surprises.


    The Epson stand, where I missed my walk through with Alastair Bourne, was packed with good gear such as the Surepress L-6034VW. It also provided my first sight of the LX-10000F, the Workforce engine that’s bringing PrecisionCore inkjet technology into the office and small production sectors.

    And that’s it from me in Japan. It was a great show. I messed up with a couple of appointments, notably with Epson on Monday (my apologies Alastair – see photo above). Check out the next issue of Print21 magazine for full IGAS report.

    Now I’m off to Haneda airport for an overnighter to Sydney. See you at the Yaffa LIVE Forum on Friday.

    Sayonara.

  • Memjet powers new Gallus label press

    The Gallus Smartfire is unveiled at the company’s Innovation Day in St Gallen, Switzerland.

    Gallus has unveiled a new low-cost digital label press using Memjet ink head technology. The Gallus Smartfire will complement the Heidelberg subsidiary’s existing Labelfire press.

    The Smartfire, launched at the Gallus Innovation Day held at the company’s HQ in St Gallen, is an entry-level inkjet label press which allows converters to get into the digital space without needing to invest in the high-end Labelfire. According to Michael Ring, head of digital solutions at Gallus, the Smartfire is easy to use and an ideal ‘starter model’ for digital labels. “With the Gallus Smartfire, we are focusing on new target groups who are looking for a smart entry into digital label printing. The Memjet technology allows us to offer an inkjet printing press that produces labels with a quality of 1600×1600 dpi while still keeping the investment costs at a low level,” he said.

    The press prints in CMYK with food-safe water-based ink, and, like Gallus’ other presses, also includes an in-line finishing unit with lamination, integrated cutting plotter, and semi-rotary die cutter. It has a compact footprint and a low power requirement, needing only a standard outlet, and its water-based ink means no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted during operation, removing the need for an exhaust system.

    The Innovation Day event also featured existing Gallus kit. As well as the Labelfire, Gallus’ conventional presses were on show: the high-powered Labelmaster Advanced, the benchmark RCS 430, and the popular ECS 340.

  • Finsbury Green goes with the PrintFlow

    David Schoemaker (L) and Robbie D’Angelo at the colour-bar measuring station where Techkon SpectroDrive measures and sends data to PrintSpec.

    Adelaide printer Finsbury Green has upgraded its multi-colour Heidelberg presses using PrintFlow closed-loop colour control, Techkon colour measuring and Mellow Colour PrintSpec reporting – all implemented by Colour Graphic Services.

    Finsbury Green was established in 1973 by the late Ernie Orel, and his sons Mark and Peter have earned the business a reputation as one of Australia’s most respected and environmentally pro-active medium-to-large scale printers. The company is a textbook example of environmental management in the printing industry. Ninety-seven percent of all inks and varnishes used are vegetable-based. Isopropyl alcohol has all but been eliminated from production; electricity is astutely managed using advanced voltage optimisation and Power Factor Correction, with zero waste sent to landfill. 

    The project to implement closed-loop colour control involved Finsbury Green’s two B1 presses – a Heidelberg CD 102 six colour and CD 102 five colour, purchased in the early 2000s. According to Robbie D’Angelo, national manufacturing manager, Colour Graphics Services came up with the best solution:

    “Around the time of the GFC, we started looking at our presses and whether we should upgrade, but the high capex and uncertainty of the times made us ask, ‘What can we do with or existing presses?’ It was around this time that we made contact with Colour Graphics Services and David Crowther.”

    Printer Vinod Prasad (L) with Robbie D’Angelo and David Schoemaker and the six-colour Heidelberg CD 102.

    The project began with both Finsbury Green’s Adelaide and Melbourne production sites achieving Mellow Colour ISO 12647-2 Proficient Printer certification, reducing waste and getting the best ISO standard colour out of existing presses.

    “As the six-monthly ISO audits took place, measurable continuous improvement took place across prepress, proofing, plate making and on presses,” says David Crowther.

    “Viewing conditions were standardized to ISO 3664 and ISO 12647-2 reporting using Mellow Colour’s PrintSpec application ensured that procedures, colour measurement, training and records were gathered and collated.”

    Top of the class! A 100% in-spec colour report on a job for the Adelaide Festival, thanks to Printflow, Techkon and Mellow Colour.

    While at drupa 2016, director Mark Orel visited the stand of PrintFlow, a Bratislava, Slovak Republic company with a good record of modernizing printing presses using closed-loop colour control and CIP3 based ink pre-setting. Orel saw the potential to breathe new life into his existing fleet, rather than spending millions on new presses.

    ‘Make-ready times were cut by half’: David Crowther, Colour Graphics Services

    With Crowther’s Colour Graphic Services as the local dealer, a trial of Printflow on the CD 102-6c commenced. “When the trial period ended, Finsbury Green’s make-ready times were cut by half and colour consistency improved for all short, medium and long run jobs,” says Crowther. “Being very happy with the results, Finsbury Green ordered two Printflow systems, with the second one completed on the CD 102-5c by early 2018. The overall project has delivered tangible benefits to the business and we have also implemented the latest ISO 12647-2:2013 colour standard.”

    The installation includes two Techkon SpectroDrive scanning press-side spectrophotometers for total accuracy in measuring colour bars, Mellow Colour Flatline modules for PrintSpec to enable the press-side data generated by the Techkon SpectroDrives to be input to PrintSpec for ISO 12647-2:2013 reporting and the Printflow DC software interfaces for each press.

    Finsbury Green’s print supervisor, David Schoemaker says: “The whole Printflow – PrintSpec-Techkon upgrading has revolutionized the way we do colour control. Before, there were always variables as we measured production sheets with hand-held spectrophotometers and densitometers. Today, we have added a layer of automation that basically renders colour issues a thing of the past.”

    D’Angelo says: “Now we are able to be more responsive, accept even shorter runs because of less make-ready time, reduce waste even further and guarantee our customers get predictable, consistent colour. The remarkable thing is, we have achieved all this – with David’s guidance of course – on our existing presses with our legacy workflow – Prinergy 8.1 and with minimal disruption to the running of the business.”

     

  • Workflow and inkjet star in latest ‘Xtraordinary’ Print21 magazine

    The latest issue of Print21 magazine is out now, featuring Fujifilm’s Onset X-series of flatbed inkjet presses, a deep dive into workflow, a profile of IVE boss Geoff Selig, and more.

    Print21 has hit the ground running at Yaffa Media with an issue packed full of news and features you can’t afford to miss. On the cover, Fujifilm’s powerhouse Onset X3 inkjet press wowed audiences at an open house for its customer Active Display Group with its lightning speed and stunning resolution. “We found print speed at high quality will ultimately enable us to become even more competitive in a challenging market,” said Stuart Gittus, general manager of operations at ADG.

    In a nine-page workflow special, Patrick Howard examines the new PDF 2.0 and XJDF standards, and asks what they mean for printers; the feature also looks at offerings from PrintIQ, Kodak, Ricoh, Esko, EFI, and Tharstern to help automate and streamline your workflow and prepress procedures.

    Carrying on the connectivity theme, Andy McCourt plugs in to how the industry is connecting to the world, socially, culturally and economically. “We are in effect primitives in a new culture,” he writes, and urges printers to seize the opportunities modernity has to offer.

    For this issue’s People in Print profile, Geoff Selig, executive chairman of IVE Group, one of Australia’s largest printers, shares his outline for improving the working lives of IVE employees. “It’s about having an open view and awareness around elements of inclusion,” he said.

    German press giant Heidelberg is taking the hard work out of operators’ hands, gradually moving towards a “push-to-stop” system where manual intervention only happens when it’s absolutely needed, as MD Richard Timson told Patrick Howard. “Most of our presses are completely under-utilised because there’s too much fog in between the processes. You don’t need to run a press seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. If you streamline some of these processes in this way you might be able to run a single shift and make as much money,” said Timson.

    In the packaging world, digital printing is making its mark on labels with a surge in press purchases across inkjet, toner and Indigo. That’s not the only area digital is reshaping, though – the humble corrugated box is receiving a makeover thanks to massive inkjet presses from companies such as EFI and HP. Jake Nelson delves into how the digital world is impacting both sectors, one job at a time.

    All that plus installations, profiles, and important news from the coalface makes this issue of Print21 magazine your vital long-weekend read. Check it out today!

    To subscribe to our print edition, go here or email editor@print21.com.au.

  • Dragon Printing ignites 2nd Labelfire

    Paul McCullum, (centre) pictured with Chiara Prati and James Rodden earlier this year at the Dragon Printing factory.

    A massive remake of the Mascot-based company’s printing hall is transforming the well-known trade label converter ahead of the installation of its new Gallus Labelfire 340 hybrid digital press.

    One of the best kept secrets in the closely-knit label converting industry is out in the open with Dragon Printing owners Paul McCullum and Fareydun Pourshasb revealing they are the buyers of the 2nd Gallus Labelfire 340 press in Australia and the 1st in Sydney. (The initial press went into Rapid Labels in Victoria last year.) Putting an end to months of speculation as to their identity, McCullum laughs about the level of interest and questions he’s fielded in recent times.

    “People were calling me up all the time. I told them it had nothing to do with me. But now that the engineers are actually here installing the press, it’s time to come clean,” he said.

    The installation is the final stage of a major revamp of the company’s production facility, with the entire press hall remade. New water, air and power supplies are now in place in the climate-controlled factory as the Gallus-Heidelberg installation personnel get to it. McCullum expects the new press to be in production by the end of the month.

    “We’ve been looking at digital for a long long time, but I’ve never been happy before about the quality or the speed. We knew we had to move, to make the change to digital sometime,’ said McCullum.

    “There’s always been work we’ve avoided. Short runs and other jobs we’ll be able to do now. Some job preparations are complex and can run into the thousand of dollars. The Labelfire will extend our offering to customers.”

    McCullum is convinced he’s made the right choice with the inkjet hybrid press after travelling extensively to Europe and beyond to observe different digital presses in operation. Quality and speed were main factors in his decision.

    “The output from the LabelFire is just astronomical. I first saw it three or so years ago and I’ve been keeping a close watch on it ever since. I’ve seen it in action at numerous sites in Europe, especially in Strasburg. We’ve waited ‘til they ironed out the bugs. I didn’t want to be the first.”

    The Gallus Labelfire 340 is the digital flagship of Heidelberg in the label sector and is the latest in a long line of Gallus presses for Dragon Printing. Its arrival makes sense of some aspects of the earlier ECS press already in production here.

    “We had the ECS 340 here and there were certain parts of that that didn’t make sense to me. I asked myself, ‘why the hell have they done that?’ Now I know. They’ve been working towards this for a long time.

    “Look, it just fits in with what we do. It’s a hybrid machine and there are finished products coming off the end. I always said we’d never consider digital unless it had inline converting.

    “I believe it’s got higher quality than any other technology on the market. The output is not too bad at 50 metres per minute no matter how many colours you’re running.”

    Once the press is in place, there’ll be some weeks of training from the Swiss instructors to bring Dragon Printing people up to speed. After that, there’s likely to be an Open House for customers.

    McCullum is looking forward to powering up the new press and getting back to business. “It’s a lot of work but we know it’s going to be worth it,” he said.

     

     

     

     

  • Heidelberg launches global Digital Unit

    Heidelberg has set up a 50-strong Digital Unit at its Wiesloch-Walldorf plant to oversee its digital products and services portfolio.

    Offset press giant Heidelberg has stepped up its push into digital with the launch of a 50-strong Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) to coordinate the marketing of its expanding digital products and e-commerce business.

    ‘More direct communication to market’: Richard Timson, MD Heidelberg Australia

    Branches have already been established around the world and Heidelberg Australia MD Richard Timson says the local unit is working closely with the HDU team in Asia.

    “We had a meeting in Bangkok two weeks ago and company representatives were there from Germany to outline the new digital strategy. They’ve set up a complete marketing division to work on more direct communication to market, including using all sorts of different social media platforms, and they’ve pulled some specialist people out of social media companies to drive this increased marketing focus. We’ll feed off the Asia team to help us in our drive to market locally.”

    Heidelberg says it is looking to use the HDU to significantly increase its global e-commerce sales, which currently amount to €100 million.

    The HDU will operate as a subsidiary of Heidelberg at the company’s Wiesloch-Walldorf site. “It takes the form of a digital start-up with a modern workspace in an old factory building and harnesses synergies with the company’s IT and software expertise at this site,” the company said in a statement. Branches have already been established in China, the United States, and Asia.

    “We founded the Heidelberg Digital Unit to create a platform that gives our customers the world’s leading digital ecosystem in the industry,” says Professor Ulrich Hermann, board member and chief digital officer at Heidelberg. “In an initial step, customers can order and pay for all key consumables, services, spares, and wear parts required for print shop operation online on dedicated websites. We’ll gradually be extending the portfolio in the direction of our new digital business models such as the subscription model.”

    Heidelberg’s exclusive partner for the digital initiative is Munich-based IoT (Internet of Things) specialist iQ!, which will provide access to digital and e-commerce expertise.

    The HDU will be headed by Rainer Wiedmann, owner and founder of iQ! and also chief marketing officer at Heidelberg. “We see Heidelberg as being ideally placed to create the print media industry’s number one ecosystem,” he says. “The company’s leading position on the global market and the executive management’s commitment to the digital transformation are key factors in this respect. We’re also contributing our experience from over 20 years of digital marketing, including the creation and operation of e-commerce platforms.”

    Meanwhile, Heidelberg officially launched its Primefire 106 B1 inkjet packaging press.“With this range, Heidelberg cements its position as the leader in packaging printing and provides answers to current and future requirements in the age of digitization,” says CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “The answer to the trend towards declining run lengths and mass customization through personalization and individualization is the seamless integration of digital processes into existing offset landscapes.”

    The Primefire 106 has been undergoing field testing since January 2018 and offers high-quality digital printing in combination with sheet finishing using existing die-cutting tools in 3b format.

  • Ferd. Rüesch confirmed as ‘strategic anchor investor’ in Heidelberg

    The Swiss label press manufacturer is now one of the largest shareholders in Heidelberg as the sale of his Gallus company is finalized.

    Rüesch sold the remaining 20 percent of his business to give Heidelberg full ownership of the company. As part of the transaction Ferd. Rüesch AG was given 23,000,000 new Heidelberg shares at a face value of € 2.70. This equates to nine percent of the total Heidelberg shares. Without taking any other consideration into account it values Gallus at €310 million.

    By issuing the new shares, the share capital of Heidelberg will be increased by € 58,880,000.00 to € 659,040,714.24.

    In a statement Heidelberg said, the complete takeover accelerates the development and usage of digital products from Heidelberg in the growing labels sector.

    The takeover comes as both businesses unveil a new digital printing system for the label market using Fujifilm technology at an international customer event in St. Gallen at the end of September. This label system is designed to meet the growing demand for a cost-effective production of short runs and customized labels.

    It’s part of Heidelberg’s strategy to catch up in the digital space where it has gone through a number of different partners before settling for the time being on Ricoh and Fujifilm. In Australia and New Zealand Heidelberg and Gallus run separate operations with James Rodden as managing director for Gallus and Richard Timson as managing director of Heidelberg.

     

  • The case for more capacity-based pricing in the printing industry – James Cryer

    The story of how Anthony Thirlby’s UK-based printing company, ESP Colour, is revolutionising the workflow, pricing and productivity of the industry – in the April issue of Print21 magazine – prompted James Cryer, industry gadfly and iconoclast, to write an affirmative and positive response.

    Greetings Anthony,

    I was fascinated to read the article on your company in Patrick Howard’s Print21. Being 4th generation in print, I toss the occasional thought bubble into his magazine and online publications on issues that annoy or fascinate me about the printing industry.

    And being self-employed I can afford to be as idiotic, controversial or merely thought provoking as I wish. No one can fire me! I’ve tried everything to fire up a vicious attack –even a mild rebuke, or being told I’m an idiot would be nice ­but so far nothing.

    I can just imagine if I’d written about a hypothetical company that proposed to do what you’re doing and wrote: Now what you’ve got to do to make a buck is to tell your clients they CAN’T have their favourite stock, nor can they have exactly the trim-size their chairman nominated 40 years ago and they may have to WAIT a few extra days  – the fact that the newly-minted purchasing officer who said they needed the job tomorrow when they didn’t really need it for two weeks is irrelevant! – And (I haven’t finished yet!) your client CANNOT see a proof, no, not even if they offer to pay, it’ll bugger-up the entire workflow and cost millions!

    And finally, if they’d even persisted in reading this far without tipping their morning coffee over my words as if to obliterate them forever, I would, tongue in cheek, of course, tell them that if any client even HINTED at wanting to come and do a press-check they’d be fired! And yes, firing clients is actually part of the process of running a profitable print shop.

    As said, if I’d written that as a serious article I’d have to check my letterbox and look under my car even more frequently than I do now. And yet, here it is, in brutal reality, reminding us that truth really IS stranger than fiction – a printing company making money by breaking all the rules!

    Just backtracking slightly, I must say I am a bit of an iconoclast myself when it comes to trying to break down some of the long-held conventions, which have plagued our industry. So, when I first started reading the article I was mildly intrigued and began underlining a few bits that caught my fancy.

    By the time I got to the end, the whole double-page spread was awash with double and triple underlinings, furious exclamation-marks and vigorous marginal scribblings, making it vaguely like one of our grandkids’ works of art.

    Anthems to success

    But seriously, this article, or more correctly, your business model, should be compulsory reading for all intending entrants into the wonderful world of commercial print. You are to be worshipped as the anti-Christ – the messiah, the Great Profit (sorry!) the one who can lead us out of the wilderness and back onto the sunlit uplands – from whence we came(th).

    The bits I thought were the most radical were –

    • “98% of what we print goes on one size”
    • “We … employ the best people [and] pay them 20% above average” (I must say this is music to a recruiter’s ears)
    • “We never schedule by delivery date” (love it!)
    • “There was initial reluctance from clients but we won them over” – and – “clients formed the biggest obstacle”.

    They’re all anthems to success, but arguably the last one is the most telling. Traditionally we’ve all been a bunch of lemmings, reluctant to stand out from the crowd or take a stand. We’re an industry cowed by convention and struggling to climb out from under the yoke of craft, which philosophically is built around perpetuating the status quo.

    If I had written that mythic article proposing we should do what you have done, I’d have been assailed by an avalanche of why it wouldn’t work.  We’re unwitting subscribers to the maxim: The perfect is the enemy of the good – in that we’re quick to see possible faults with ANY new system and so we cling to the proven or the familiar and don’t do anything!

    Plus, we’ve been too quick to seek the ‘magic bullet’ in rushing out to buy the latest Speedmaster (for example).  But if you don’t upgrade the workflow software you may as well just go and buy a second-hand press. Us blokes and we are mainly a masculine industry, are too bedazzled by big iron. We don’t see the bigger picture, which is the point Frank Romano made when he said: ‘Workflow is king’ (or words to that effect).

    Another dimension to this is, I was pleased to read that nowhere are you bleating about ‘quality’. That’s yesterday’s fish-wrapper – ALL print quality is good these days!

    What you’re doing is not unlike what Subway do; offer limited choices  – a few bread choices, a few fillings, a few sauces, etc. The customer thinks he’s getting unlimited choices, but in fact Subway have worked out what – I paraphrase you – 98% of people want to eat! If you want Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning or some such, forget it! Go somewhere else. And we’re not stopping to ask the chef if he’s heard of it. Go away, you’re holding up the queue of paying customers!

    I’m not suggesting that printing companies should employ Serco-style armed guards with machetes and axes to ward off time-waster clients, but … hmmm!

    You want it when?

    One of the causes of this pressure to schedule jobs according to their perceived ‘wanted dates,’ which you have refused to kow-tow to, is the sense that every print job is URGENT! We’ve probably contributed to the problem, collectively over the years by over-promising and under-delivering – or to put it in more technical jargon: we frequently run late.

    So clients hedge their bets by insisting on a delivery date that is sooner than they really need it. And why wouldn’t they? We don’t give them any reason to do otherwise. The pressure this creates leads to a lumpy workflow, where we DON’T group like jobs or adjust the press progressively as you do. The workflow becomes a battleground where ‘special pleading’ trumps efficiency.

    This disruptiveness gets embedded in our collective cost structure and creates a massive arbitrage opportunity for someone to come along, who is not under-cutting but who simply has a smoother workflow.

    How to get the smoother sequencing? If only there was a sorting mechanism to group all the GENUINELY urgent jobs, then the reasonably urgent ones – and finally the non time-critical ones. One idea I’ve had (Anthony, I’d be interested in your thoughts) is to price them differently according to urgency. I’m not suggesting you change your system but there may be scope to introduce a time-sensitive pricing mechanism, if not in your operation, then other printers could explore it, as another way of using price signals to modify customers’ behaviour.

    My proposal is as follows;

    What better or easier way to do that, than to simply quote EVERY job by routinely offering (say) three price options:

    $10/k for urgent delivery (i.e. that falls outside our normal flow);

    $9/k for normal delivery;

    $8/k if you’re in no hurry and allow us to blend it into our workflow at a time that suits us.

    The numbers are arbitrary, of course. But the point is that for 100 years we’ve priced everything on a normal delivery basis, but we cave in and deliver many jobs ahead of schedule, which has a disruptive and largely un-recovered cost impact. Economists love this three-tiered approach as it places a cost on disruption, but it ALSO offers a reward/incentive to those clients who genuinely aren’t in any hurry. Why should they pay as much as the queue-jumper? But that’s what our traditional one size-fits-all pricing philosophy has encouraged over the years: it’s actually ENCOURAGED everyone to seek a rushed delivery benefit for free!

    This idea is not new! Airlines use it, as do hotels, just about every service provider in a competitive market where excess capacity can come and go like the wind, uses it – except the printing industry!

    There is no LOGICAL reason why we shouldn’t adopt a capacity-based pricing model. We can now monitor and predict our workflow pretty well. I think the answer is that our estimators probably went to the same school that estimators in the building game went to where you simply take the cost of a tonne of bricks, add the cement (metaphorically), add the labour component, add the lot together and bingo! there’s the cost of your building.

    I know it’s going to cause aggravation among some quarters, who will struggle to understand why the very same book or brochure could cost $6 one day and $5 another. I’m dying to tell someone, somewhere, someday, the reason is that the latter client didn’t lie about wanting it overnight; he actually gave the printer a few days extra to produce it!

    But getting back to your new approach. The economist would view it as simply stopping one client gaining an unfair advantage –i.e. getting his job earlier than another client, but not paying anything for that benefit. It’s a bit like a crowd at a football match; if one person stands up to gain an unfair advantage everyone else then has to. But nobody is better off. In fact they’re all worse off, because now they’re all standing!

    Your pricing approach, is virtually like saying, if EVERYBODY sits down, we’re ALL going to be better off!

    Everyone in our industry is complaining about margins. Everyone’s complaining about not wanting to lower prices, because in theory it squeezes margins. Everyone talks about trying to get a better i.e. higher, price.  But the paradox is, that the higher the price of ANYTHING, the LESS people will buy. With the advent of the internet and other media, it was never so important that print should be price competitive, not with the bloke down the road, but with other communication options.

    Your approach addresses the margin issue without obsessing about the price issue and where you’re having the best of both worlds; one – by asking everyone to ‘sit down’ your margins go up, and two – by effectively offering a generally more competitive price, more people will buy from you.

    Sometimes the simplest solutions seem to elude us.

    I’d be interested to know what you think of the above – a lot of it is simply stating the bleeding obvious – but sometimes even that has to be spelled out.

    Yours is arguably the single most dramatic break-through in memory, in our march towards greater efficiency.

    Regards,

    James Cryer, BA, MBA

    JDA Print Recruitment

    Visit and LIKE our Facebook page to see how JDA is promoting print.

     

     

  • Heidelberg SX 74 drives labels productivity for Garsu

    Lithuanian labels and packaging printer Garsu Pasaulis has boosted its productivity of metallised label paper by 70 per cent with a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74.

    The Baltic company produces a large number of metallised label papers in grammages ranging from 65 to 80 gsm. They invested in a Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74 with a chambered-blade coating unit in order to meet the requirements of the beverage industry and boost productivity.

    Vytautas Vainikonis, co-owner, Garus Pasaulis said, “The new Speedmaster SX 74 is the best possible press for us. It enables us to meet our customers’ stringent quality requirements and increase our productivity in the label segment.” 

    The Speedmaster SX 74 is being run throughout the day, seven days a week enabling Garsu Pasaulis to produce more than a million sheets a month. Its down time during production has dropped to virtually zero since the installation.

    “The stability of sheet travel, the dampening and inking system, and ease of use are particularly outstanding features of this press. The Speedmaster SX 74 has surpassed our expectations in productivity. We simply couldn’t achieve that with our previous press. It is also easy to use thanks to the Prinect Press Centre. Now the entire machine can be run from a central control station,” said Joans Jonaitis, technical director at Garsu Pasaulis.

    According to Jürgen Grimm, head of the sheetfed business at Heidelberg, the machines are proving to be popular in both the commercial and packaging printing sectors.

     

  • Madman Printing unwraps new Polar

    Madman Printing celebrates ten years in the industry with the installation of a new Heidelberg Polar 66 guillotine to manage the company’s digital work.

    The new Heidelberg Polar 66 guillotine is the perfect anniversary present, according to Dustin Pullin, managing director. “We’ve just turned ten and that’s good news for everyone especially in a market where all we hear is doom and gloom. We’re producing great work, have a sound base of clients and are constantly looking at ways to work more efficiently.

    “We had an older model guillotine that was a bit of a toy in all honesty and didn’t have the capacity to manage an increased volume of digital jobs. So we decided to get another Polar – we put in our first last year, the big brother to this one. The boys love it. It’s fast and highly accurate.”  

    He continues. “We signed up for the new Polar and within a week it was installed and operational. That pretty much sums up the relationship we have with Heidelberg – they’ve been with us from the start. They respond quickly, and support us whether we are buying new or secondhand, a big ticket item or a small cutter”.

    In the spirit of the company’s name, Pullin was pictured last year in a straight jacket to promote the purchase of the company’s Heidelberg CD 74 six-colour press with coater and InPress Control.

    An increase in work prompted Madman Printing to move from Collingwood to Heidelberg West.  Shane Hanlon, head of product management and remarketed equipment at Heidelberg congratulated the Madman crew on the milestone.

    “This is a lean, efficiently run business with its eye on service and a can do attitude. They also know how to have fun and they’ve created a great culture within the business that’s reflected in their success,” said Hanlon.

    “We are always prepared to pull one out of the box so we can deliver on any request. Whatever it takes to make a job happen we’ll do it. I genuinely like helping people out, that’s where I get my job satisfaction,” concludes Pullin.

  • $54,000 for Ricky Bannister fundraiser

    Ricky Bannister, who worked with Heidelberg for 18 years, suffered a major spinal injury in April after a horse-riding accident. On Tuesday 20 August the print and graphic media industry rallied around Ricky in a great show of support raising more than $54,000 to assist Ricky and his family at the Heidelberg Benefit lunch.

    90 guests attended the Benefit including Ricky’s brother Jordan Bannister, an AFL umpire and former Carlton and Essendon player. The AFL 360 Team from Fox Sports – Mark “Robbo” Robinson, Gerard Whateley and Mark Maclure – joined Jordan. And David “Kingy” King, a former North Melbourne champion and Fox Footy commentator, was the MC.

    Richard Timson (L), Heidelberg managing director and Jordan Bannister.

    Richard Timson, Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand managing director, said: “The turnout to support Ricky was fantastic. This industry is great at supporting its own and we were incredibly pleased with the result. I know that Ricky and his family are very thankful for the kindness and generosity shown to them in this time of need”.

    Special thanks are extended to the Full Colour Trust in New Zealand for their incredibly generous donation of $5,000. Full Colour Trust provides financial and emotional support for those working in the printing, advertising and related industries who are faced with urgent, short-term need. (To find out more about the Trust visit www.fullcolour.org.nz)

    Another auction item has also become available – a unique, one-off artwork created by Neville Smith, a compositor by trade and the owner of one of New Zealand’s largest collections of wooden type. Smith is an award-winning collage artist and he has generously donated an amazing piece of work that features wood type dating back to the mid-19th century. The collage contains 120 pieces in total and features elements used in letterpress printing, brass, lead, and wood with a copper electrode. This one-off collage is valued at $5,000 (please refer to the attached document for more details).

    If you would like to propose an offer for the Neville Smith Collage, or make a donation to the Ricky Bannister Benefit please contact Elizabeth Harper at Heidelberg on 03 9263 3341 or email elizabeth.harper@heidelberg.com

  • Pressprint claims Auckland first with Heidelberg kit

    Pressprint is the first company in Auckland to buy a new Heidelberg XL75 five colour press, with coater, featuring Heidelberg’s InPress Control and Autoplate XL. This press is also the first ordered in New Zealand through Heidelberg’s Carbon Neutral Manufacturing Program, which offsets the carbon used to manufacture the press.

    Established in 1972, Pressprint is a family owned company that employs a skilled team of 40. Pressprint predominantly produces a wide range of general commercial print jobs for its creative client base of advertising agencies and graphic designers who represent some of the best-known companies and brands in New Zealand. It also does a percentage of work for print brokers.

    Jason Pressley (pictured), the company’s sales manager, and son of owners Barry and Karena Pressley, says: “The primary motivation for the purchase was to replace one of our existing A2 presses, which was a bit tired. We felt it was time to update and move to the latest technology. We’ve been a Heidelberg house for 30 years and while we were keen to stay with Heidelberg because of our past experience, we also looked at other options including the digital B2 machines to be certain of our decision.

    “When you compare the digital B2 presses with the Heidelberg XL75 it quickly becomes clear that the Heidelberg offset option is the standout solution,” he says. “What cemented us in buying offset and not going to B2 digital was the fact that the XL75 will do five minute make ready and run consistently at 15000sph where the B2 digital machines are barely doing a 1000 double sided sheets an hour. The investment is similar, but the production statistics on digital don’t add up.”

    According to Pressley, the click rate that is a feature with some of the digital presses and the cost of consumables can turn out to be very expensive.

    “We believe A2 digital technology is not quite there yet and the cost of click charges means a lot of money that ordinarily would be going into our pockets is not,” he says. “With Heidelberg we are paying a similar amount of money for a press that will be vastly more productive and give us greater options in terms of the jobs we can push through. And the profitability of each job directly goes to our bottom line, not in click charges.”

    The Pressley’s didn’t only look at the digital options in the class, but also other offset machines. But Jason says the combination of the Heidelberg XL75 five colour press, along with Heidelberg’s proprietary InPress Control, for fully automatic colour management and registration and the XL Autoplate that enables fully simultaneous plate change, proved unbeatable.

    “When we were considering the XL75 we set up a demonstration of the press independent of Heidelberg, visiting another print company where we were able to see the press in action. We were very impressed and the press’ performance exceeded our expectations. We saw true five minute make ready and the running speed of the press was fantastic,” says Pressley.

    Pressprint’s XL75 also comes with Heidelberg’s Wallscreen, which displays the print sheet in a 1:1 depiction. And the press also features the newly introduced energy meter, Prinect Energy Reporting, which calculates energy consumption on the press and enables the measurement of energy used for each job.

    “With the XL75 we have future-proofed our business for at least five years and we are extremely confident that we have made a very sound investment,” says Pressley.

  • Heidelberg’s Richard Timson calls on industry to support Ricky Bannister

    Richard Timson, Heidleberg Australia and New Zealand managing director is calling on the local printing industry to come together in support of Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister, who suffered a major spinal injury in April.

    In a message sent to the local industry on 5 August, Timson said:

    “At Heidelberg, we are like family and when one of us hurts we all do. Recently one of our dear friends, Ricky Bannister, who worked with Heidelberg and was part of the Printing Industry for 18 years, had a terrible fall from a show horse which has resulted in his breaking his neck; he now finds himself a quadriplegic.

    Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister (L) with Emily, his wife.

    “To help Ricky and his family Heidelberg is hosting a fundraising luncheon on 20 August and I am hoping you may be able to support our effort by way of attendance, donation or through the provision of items that we can auction on the day to raise funds. Auction items can be anything from physical goods such as entertainment items, wine packs, computer equipment or software/consumables, gift vouchers or anything that has a monetary value. Whatever you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    “Ricky is well known and liked throughout the industry and we are keen to do anything we can to support him and his family in this incredibly difficult time. Ricky suffered severe trauma to his spine and the current prognosis is that we will be a quadriplegic. Ricky and his wife Emily are expecting their first child in September.”

    To attend be involved in the fundraiser, contact Liz Harper on 03 92633341 or email: elizabeth.harper@heidelberg.com to arrange for your donation or auction item to be included in the fundraising pool.

    All companies supporting the fundraiser will be acknowledged at the event, which is being held at Sette Bello Restaurant in Melbourne on 20 August.

    David “Kingy” King, former North Melbourne champion and Fox Footy commentator, will MC the event, Jordan Bannister – AFL umpire, former Carlton and Essendon player and Ricky’s brother, will be a special guest for the event.

    Fundraiser for Ricky Bannister:

    Sette Bello Restaurant

    540 Springvale Road

    Glen Waverley

    Tuesday 20th August

    12:15pm for 12:30pm start

    Concludes 2.30pm

    2 course lunch, beer and wine $175 per head

    Click here for more details in the Print21 Calendar.

  • TC Printing ramps up production with new Heidelberg

    Melbourne print house, TC Printing, is set to ramp up its speed and capacity after placing an order for a new Heidelberg XL 106 10-colour perfecting press to replace its older Speedmaster 74.

    The new press will run in tandem with the Scoresby-based company’s Speedmaster 102 8 colour press. For Shant Cullu (pictured), TC Printing general manager, the desire for efficiency prompted the decision to invest in the new press, along with a strong belief in the continued importance of print in the modern marketing and communications mix.

    “The main motivation for the purchase of the XL106 was to increase our efficiency, while being able to respond promptly to client demand,” says Cullu. “We chose the XL106 because we believe it’s the best in its class and suited for our medium to long run work. It will speed up our workflow and deliver greater productivity. Its design and features are highly evolved from other presses, and we have the best operators on deck to master it.

    “In today’s market there is a lot of hype about online,” he says. “However, the fact is that print has remained the most effective marketing channel. It’s proven with higher response rates, and is viewed as a more trustworthy source. End users generally spend more time reading a postcard or letters than they do an email, for example.

    “The only issue is cost. Those companies that have sufficient marketing budgets to allow for the cost of print should not cut back on this form of advertising as it has now become more unique than ever. There’s the old expression, ‘would you destroy a clock to save a little time?’ Heavily investing in new technology like the XL106 is testament to proven sales resulting from print,” he says.

    Cullu believes that the new press will allow TC Priting, which employ 30 full-time staff producing work for both packaging and commercial customers across a number of industry sectors, to not only meet its current workload commitments with greater speed and efficiency, but also to pick up new work and customers.

    “This high performance press will also enable us to attract more high quality work for corporate clients that need their brands and products represented with the ultimate perfection,” says Cullu.

    For Cullu and TC Printing, the outlay for the new press is far outweighed by the opportunities for increased services it offers the family business.

    “Business is what you make it. We have great relationships with our clients and we make sure we deliver what we promise. We always sell on service, which is the most important factor, especially with high quality and time critical projects. This press is a big investment, but we did our homework and are confident that this is the right machine to meet our clients’ expectations and to allow us to continue to grow,” he says.

  • New compact Stitchmaster from Heidelberg

    Heidelberg has developed a new compact saddle stitcher, the Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact, designed for print shops that are switching to in-house postpress operations to ensure fast and flexible delivery for their customers. 

    The new machine enables cost-efficient and professional production of stitched brochures with a final format of up to A3 and operates at a speed of up to 11,000 cycles per hour. It can be equipped with up to four double feeders and a cover folder feeder. In addition to these feeders, all the other components – such as stitching unit and trimmer – also benefit from fully automatic synchronization via separate servo drives.

    This enables precise fine adjustments on the fly and very short makeready times. A new makeready assistant takes operators step by step through the setup process, which also cuts makeready times and improves setup reliability.

    Like the Stitchmaster ST 500, the Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact can also be used as a gathering machine for adhesive binding. As a result, it is not restricted to wire-stitching, which increases the level of utilization of the investment. With optional automation components, the machine can be customized as necessary.

    What’s more, end-to-end servo technology means it can be adapted to changed requirements in the future. The Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact can be integrated into the print shop workflow using Prinect Postpress Manager for production data acquisition. The machine’s production data is transferred online and the user can, for example, automatically evaluate actual job costing.

    The ideal saddlestitcher for every need

    The Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact will be available in serial-production from September 2013 and is a low-cost entry-level addition to the existing portfolio of saddlestitchers from Heidelberg. It was at drupa 2012 that the company first showcased a highly flexible saddlestitcher with a production speed of up to 13,000 cycles per hour – the Stitchmaster ST 500.

    Michael Brütting (right), who is in charge of production planning and job management at Novaconcept and Adolf Rinofner, head of postpress operation, can now plan – and keep to – industrial production in postpress that is flexible in terms of jobs and delivery times with the Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact.

    The Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact is based on the same platform and can also process end formats as large as 330 x 500 millimeters (12.99 x 19.69 inches). Other things the two machines have in common are their end-to-end servo drive technology for fast makeready, their possible use as a gathering machine for manual adhesive binders, and their straightforward operation thanks to the makeready assistant.

    For the range up to A4+ format, Heidelberg offers bookbinders and print shops the Stitchmaster ST 100, which operates at a maximum of 9,000 cycles per hour. The fastest Heidelberg saddlestitcher, with a speed of up to 14,000 cycles per hour, is the Stitchmaster ST 450.

    First user impressed by short makeready times, high flexibility, and premium quality

    Novaconcept Schorsch, in Kulmbach, Germany, was the first company to field test the new Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact. The full-service print shop, which offers both sheetfed offset and digital printing, is so happy with the machine that it is now fully integrated into the company’s day-to-day production operations.

    “We previously outsourced most of our saddlestitching work. But the distance to our suppliers continued to grow and we were unable to ensure the necessary flexibility, so we decided it was time to act,” explains Michael Brütting, who is in charge of production planning and job management at Novaconcept. The qualified bookbinder soon spotted the potential of the Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact. “The saddlestitcher is mostly used in single-shift operation, which is where the lower investment cost compared to other A3 machines comes into play.

    The run lengths on our Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact range from 1,000 to 100,000 copies, which makes this versatile and flexible saddlestitcher the perfect solution for us. The Stitchmaster ST 500 would be too large and the Stitchmaster ST 100 too small,” he adds. In addition to the new saddlestitcher, the company has also invested in a Stahlfolder TH 66 folding machine to strengthen its folding section.

    Novaconcept’s customers are delighted with the greater flexibility it offers for job processing and the improved quality of end products. This further boosts the competitiveness of the print shop with its 82-strong workforce and a customer base that includes well-known industrial and business clients both inside and outside Germany.

    “Unlike other saddlestitchers in this segment, the Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact covers a broad format spectrum – from the smallest format of 120 x 105 millimeters (4.72 x 4.13 inches) and A4 oblong right through to A3. It also supports some ‘exotic’ formats, which we need in particular for customers in other countries. Added value lies in postpress operations – and in the flexibility that comes from being able to switch quickly between all manner of different jobs and formats,” says Brütting.

    Novaconcept obtains a large number of jobs through various online customer portals that it developed itself. “Something that is almost more important than setting up a new job fast is being able to interrupt a job that is already under way to fit in an urgent order. With electronic servo control, we can halt the job currently being processed and save all the finely tuned settings. When we subsequently resume this job, virtually no makeready steps are needed. This is the only way we can plan – and keep to – industrial production in postpress that is flexible in terms of jobs and delivery times,” stresses Brütting.

    He sums up by saying: “Our experiences with Heidelberg during the field test were extremely positive, as the company catered precisely to our requirements. The Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact is a comparatively low-cost saddlestitcher but makes no compromises in terms of either product quality or the range of applications it supports. In my opinion, it’s a true technical innovation. Heidelberg offers extremely practical assistance and its service experts were right on our wavelength.”

  • Cornerstone Press claims first Heidelberg CX102 5-colour press in Queensland

    Cornerstone Press is claiming the first Heidelberg CX102 five-colour press (CX102-5) in Queensland, after signing a deal with Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand, with the new press to be installed in its Northgate facility, on the edge of the Brisbane CBD later this year.

    A high-end quality printer in the commercial and government sectors, Cornerstone is a family owned and operated company, which was established in 1995. Robbie Conomos (pictured), the company’s general manager says he is enthusiastic about the purchase of the new CX102-5, which will enable the company to move firmly into the A1 segment.

    “In the last three years we’ve gone from strength to strength and our high level of service and our passion for the craft have seen us continue to attract new business,” says Conomos. “Our clients have been pushing us to do more A1 work for them. We’ve been outsourcing this work, but the increased volume has given us the opportunity to bring this service in house. With the CX102 we will be able to tackle longer runs and take on catalogue work also.”

    Conomos says Cornerstone, which is a Heidelberg house, chose to stay with Heidelberg not only because of the technology behind the CX102, but also because of the confidence that Heidelberg instills in being able to support its product.

    “The press manufacturers have been going through a tough time,” he says. “One of the big questions for us was who is still going to be here in five years to look after us? We didn’t want to buy a machine and then have the supplier disappear. While there were similar technologies on offer in the same class, the combination of the CX102 and Heidelberg’s strength and leadership is what led to our decision.

    “We know the managing director at Heidelberg, Richard Timson and he has done some great things for the business,” he says. “There’s a real commitment to a high level of service within Heidelberg, and that’s very comforting as well. Plus Heidelberg has the biggest presence in Queensland. Everyone else is jumping on a plane to see us, and that’s a concern when you are busy and you need help.

    “There’s some great advantages with the CX102 including the speed of the machine and its versatility. There are so many automated features on this press that make production faster, cleaner, more efficient and more environmentally friendly,” he says.

    In preparation for the arrival of the new press, Robbie says the company is, “rearranging the factory. New slabs go down in October, with the press to be installed in November. We are pulling out one A3 machine, and keeping our Heidelberg CD74 six-colour machine, which is a great workhorse and can manage the A3 and A2 work with ease.

    “We believe the industry will settle to a sustainable level and that print will be here to stay so we are putting our money where our mouth is. The whole company and our clients are keen to get the new press up and running. You know it is engineered almost to perfection. It’s going to be a great asset,” he says.