28 October 2018 Analogue Printing Technologies

Heidelberg declares pay to print model is effective

Feedback from one of the first printers to sign a pay to use deal demonstrates the benefits of the packaged approach, says Heidelberg.

Nine months after announcing its subscription model, Heidelberg has provided details to show that the new way of using a press is working.

The company is on course to sign up 30 pay to print users before the end of the financial year in March, with a further 100 to be signed up in the subsequent 12 months. To date, none have been UK printers. When first announced, Heidelberg UK explained that the appeal would be limited in this country because most printers were pushing the productivity of the press. In Heidelberg's concept, the company would help optimise workflows and increase the efficiency of pay per use customers. For the UK this meant limiting the service to users of the CS92 and SM74 press models.

This may be changing. A spokesman says: “Heidelberg UK is continuing to discuss the subscription model with printers and it is generating a lot of interest.” And not surprising, given the published results to date.

One of the first to sign up was Lensing Druck in Dortmund. It agreed a five-year deal to introduce an XL106. It pays Heidelberg according to the number of sheets printed, using consumables proved by Heidelberg.Lensing managing director Robert Dembinski says: “After four months of experience with the subscription model, we can say that our decision was a good one. We have been able to significantly increase the overall efficiency of our machines even after this short time, and our production volume is already more than 20% above the target contractually agreed with Heidelberg.”

The company is a lot more competent at handling shorter print runs needing a fast turnround, with an increase in the number of jobs processed.

Key to the arrangement is Heidelberg Assistant which records all activity on the press, and measures improvements in productivity that the press supplier promises as part of the contract. This includes tracking consumption of consumables and being able to log directly into Heidelberg to replenish consumables as necessary.

This is now being extended to cover the supply of consumables for presses from other manufacturers, coming in at the same cost per sheet as for the Heidelberg supplied machine. And it can also cover payments for the Printout Production Manager. On top of a monthly fee, the user will pay according to the volume of Tiff files (for platemaking) that is produced. Subscribing users of the software will pay no extra for software updates, helping Heidelberg as all users will be on the same level of software.

Canadian printer Burke Group is another to hail the benefits of the subscription strategy. It has taken on an eight-unit XL 106 LE UV, Stahlfolder TH 82 and Polar N 137. It joins two B3 Heidelbergs, replacing an older B1 machine. Burke aims to double sheet count from 18 million a year to 35-40 million, lifting OEE from 13% to 26%. It is this that makes the subscription strategy attractive for Heidelberg. This will lead to increased orders for Saphira consumables

Gareth Ward

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Robert Dembinski

Robert Dembinski

Lensing Druck has proved the ideal early adopter of Heidelberg's subscription model. It has reported even greater productivity gains than had been expected when signing up. Now Heidelberg is expanding the pay as you go model to its Prinect prepress software, according the area of plate exposed.

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Heidelberg's pay to print subscription model will take on another 30 users before the end of the financial year in March. In the UK, the service has so far been limited to users of the CS92 and SM74 press models.

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