Mar 2, 2016
In the early 2000 years Heidelberg was a force in digital print to be reckoned with. The company led the market in direct imaging offset and was a major player in digital colour and BW production printing. However Heidelberg lost the appetite in digital and sold off the activities in toner printing to Kodak in 2004, while the DI business dwindled away.
From 2011 Heidelberg stepped up again and became active in several fields of digital printing. Not all were a resounding success – for example activities in label printing bought from CSAT in 2011 were sold off again in 2014. The Heidelberg-branded Ricoh reseller business fared better and according to Heidelberg about 1,000 units of the cut-sheet colour toner printers were sold so far. With the Gallus Labelfire 340 (former Gallus DCS 340 covered in an earlier blog) and the Omnifire 250 (former Jetmaster Dimension), both launched last year, the digital portfolio expanded rapidly. The latest addition is a B1 digital colour press for the industrial production of digital applications, the Primefire 106.
With so many digital activities under one roof Heidelberg decided to rebrand the portfolio of digital printing solutions under the “fire” moniker – which is a catchy name and surely going to be the source of many puns. The products in detail are:
- Heidelberg Versafire CV/CP – The Ricoh reseller products, formerly sold as Linoprint CV/CP
- Gallus Labelfire – Launched as Gallus DCS 340, as a sole product in that application area so far
- Heidelberg Omnifire – Originally Jetmaster Dimension, now to become part of a range of solutions
- Heidelberg Primefire 106 – Latest introduction, tops the portfolio as the first industrial cut-sheet inkjet product develop in cooperation with Fujifilm
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Sep 23, 2015
Label Expo, the premier tradeshow for the label industry, will take place September 29 to October 2 in Brussels. Now decades old, this is the show that never seems to fade, and also one where the role of digital printing technologies always seems to grow. InfoTrends will attend and make a detailed report about it to clients but for now we offer a quick preview of what we expect to see:
A huge HP booth: The stand’s core equipment will be HP Indigo WS6800 (labels and other applications) and 20000 (a 30” web, for flexible packaging and for labels also), but there will be many other products. Ones particular to HP Indigo presses will include a white ink specifically for shrink sleeves and new yellow and magenta inks with enhanced lightfastness, also software upgrades, including a VDP tool for Adobe Illustrator, within HP SmartStream Designer prepress. Some exhibits will be from partners to HP Indigo (finishing Read more »
Oct 1, 2014
Heidelberg and Canon/Ocè both reemphasized their push into the digital packaging printing market at their customer events last week. Each company gave a detailed update on the progress it has made.
As promised back in April at a digital sneak peek event, Heidelberg showed their first digital label printer at the Gallus “Innovation Days” from the 23rd to 25 of September in St Gallen, Switzerland. The event, which is not to be confused with the Hunkeler innovationdays) served well as a platform to reemphasize the changes in the ownership structure; this summer Gallus became part of the Heidelberger group, the upshot of a share swap that increased Heidelberg’s ownership of Gallus from 30% to 100% and with the former owner of Gallus becoming the biggest individual shareholder in Heidelberg.
Center stage, however, was the digital label press with the somewhat less catchy name of Gallus DCS 340. The press, which comes with in-line finishing, is the result of development cooperation between Gallus, Heidelberg and Fujifilm. The press base is supplied by Gallus and is derived from the well-established ECS 340 label press, hence the web width is set at 340 mm (13.4”) and a range of flexo, screen and offset modules can be added. The press has a solid granite base and is equipped with an unwind and a die cutting/stripping module. Only the speed of the DCS had be limited to 50 m/min (150 ft/min) compared to 165 m/min (492 ft/min) of the conventional press. The integrated finishing is somewhat misleadingly named “ digital converting system”, since the ECS C finishing part contains no digital components at all. Its core is a semi-rotary die cutter, which is at least format variable, but still requires a conventional die.
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Jun 18, 2014
The announcement of annual results is always a good opportunity to provide an update on company strategy or present a new organisational alignment. The latest Heidelberger Druckmaschinen annual press conference, however, had far deeper implications than that.
A main message to investors, debtors, and the whole graphic arts community was that Heidelberg delivered on its promise of returning to profitability. Although the net revenue of â‚¬4 million was not particularly impressive, it is nevertheless an encouraging sign because it implies a turnaround. In the last five years Heidelberg has accrued a net loss of almost one billion Euros. While financial analysis will certainly have a feast on the numbers, the announced strategic reorganisation and several other organisational moves have important implications for the future of the company.
In the last year Heidelberg has conducted an in-depth analysis of the business areas the company is active in. They have been clustered into four strategic fields of action:
– Digital printing
– Service and consumables
– Sheet-fed Offset
– Weak margin operations Read more »
Apr 4, 2014
Heidelberg is the undisputed heavyweight champion of offset press manufacturing. Yet even a market leader has to acknowledge that offset press revenues are declining. Naturally, companies look for growing or new markets where they can create additional revenue streams, which is one big reason why all offset press manufacturers are exploring the possibilities of digital print.
On the 2nd of April, Heidelberg invited trade press and analysts to a “Digital Sneak Peek” event to talk about strategy and upcoming products for the newly constituted “Business Area Digital.” A new digital approach for Heidelberg is significant, since it echoes earlier Heidelberg initiatives such as Quickmaster DI, NexPress, and (most recently) Linoprint L, which was sold to Markem Imaje.
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Aug 10, 2011
Press manufacturer Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) announced on July 29 that it acquired CSAT GmbH, based near Karlsruhe, Germany, for an undisclosed price. Heidelberg is one of the world’s top makers of conventional presses; it is also a supplier of related technology such as workflow software and, through its young Linoprint subsidiary, drop on demand color inkjet presses for label printing. CSAT is a much smaller company, and one that manufactures both electrophotographic and inkjet presses for labels and packaging, mainly for use in the pharmaceuticals industry. Read more »