12 October 2014 Analogue Print

Heidelberg expects further reform as new Linoprints arrive

Stagnation in sheetfed offset markets points to further cuts for Heidelberg, while digital expands.

Heidelberg may need to shed up to a further 500 jobs in order to be profitable at the current market levels, CEO Gerold Linzbach has told employees according to reports in the German press.

The company is in the process of moving its headquarters from central Heidelberg to the factory at Wiesloch as part of cost saving measures but more action will be necessary because the market for sheetfed presses remains stagnant. The company needs to position itself to be profitable at equipment sales of €1 billion, and to ensure the sustainability of its recovery.

“The market has almost halved, but the numbers of employed has not. There is still excess capacity,” Linzbach is reported to have told employees. This will mean a further 15% reduction in capacity in order to bring profitability to the manufacturing operations.

The longer term future for the company rests on growing its consumables and service business and expanding its digital operations. It has shown the first fruits of a partnership with Fujifilm, adding inkjet heads to a Gallus label press and is working on a sheetfed press with the Japanese company with Drupa 2016 as the launch target.

It has also confirmed that it will be selling Ricoh’s new cut sheet digital presses as the Linoprint CV, the five-colour press, and the Linoprint CP as the 130ppm machine. Both will have a Heidelberg DFE, comprising its Prinect colour management and workflow and a Rip adapted from that driving its platesetter. The new models will be available from 2015 and will replace the Linoprint C751 and Linoprint C901. It has sold around 500 units worldwide of these machines.

The speed and other specifications are the same as with Ricoh, but the changes at the front end mark a distinctly tighter integration with Heidelberg workflows and software. Within a printshop, all jobs whether digital or offset can be managed through the same workflow with process steps logged and stored for recall.

Jason Oliver, head of digital at Heidelberg says: “The newly developed Digital Front End generates decisive added value for users. Indeed, besides getting better quality and productivity from digital printing systems, print shops also want to be able to control and manage as many applications as possible via a central workflow. That is precisely where the strengths of the Prinect Digital Front End come into play.”

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Heidelberg: still over capacity in manufacturing

Heidelberg: still over capacity in manufacturing

Jason Oliver, head of digital at Heidelberg says: “The newly developed Digital Front End generates decisive added value for users. Indeed, besides getting better quality and productivity from digital printing systems, print shops also want to be able to control and manage as many applications as possible via a central workflow.

That is precisely where the strengths of the Prinect Digital Front End come into play.”

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