18 November 2019 Digital Printing Technologies

Heidelberg dissolves silos between digital and litho

Prinect can become the universal workflow, communicating with MIS and managing digital and litho workflows in a seamless process. At an open house, it showed how.

Heidelberg UK staged its first open house since Ryan Miles took over as managing director in Brentford last week. And by focusing on how litho and digital can come under a single Prinect workflow, the theme demonstrated the customer-focused direction that Heidelberg, as a whole, is taking.

The event attracted more than 80 visitors for presentations on automating these workflows in order to cope with an exponential rise in the number of jobs that may flow in through a web portal and which need to be sorted into digital or to litho jobs.

The demonstration threw 200 different jobs at the Prinect server, some to ganged on a larger litho sheet, some to pass to the queues for either the Versafire EP or Versafire EV digital presses. The four colour EP press leapt into action without operator intervention; the EV ran one four colour plus white sheet and stopped for an operator to pass the job.

“This takes the decision making process away from prepress and so reduces the risks of errors occurring,” says Chris Matthews, head of digital print at Heidelberg UK. “Currently most printers that have digital, run it as a separate area to their business, possibly because other systems cannot guarantee a 100% colour match between litho and digital. Within Prinect we can get very very close.”

Breakout sessions supported the main presentation, delving further into colour management, automation and the flexibility enabled by the software, all listened to attentively.

While no customer has yet implemented the full capabilities of this kind of integration, “some customers are starting to get it,” says Matthews.”It makes a lot of sense to go down this route. And at the heart is the digital front end from Heidelberg.”

The company is now in early stage planning for further open house events next year, to make full use of the Brentford facility, says Miles. There will be a shift around in coming months. The Speedmaster CS92 machine is due to leave the showroom before the end of the year while the XL75 at the other end of the area will make way for a Drupa specification machine in due course.

The process is about listening to customers and being able to create solutions for their business, whether litho or digital. “It’s new way of thinking from Heidelberg,” says Miles, putting the emphasis on partnership.

By Gareth Ward

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The Brentford showroom staged the Power Your Digital Output open house last week to demonstrate the effectiveness of Prinect at managing an integrated workflow across litho and digital output devices.

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