Heidelberg Touts HEI Flexibility

As GRAPH EXPO 2011 opened Sunday morning, Heidelberg celebrated its return to the show by hosting a press conference at its booth (#1200). Jim Dunn, outgoing President of Heidelberg USA, explained that the firm’s HEI Flexibility theme means the intelligent combination of offset and digital printing. In the process, Dunn highlighted new partners Ricoh and EFI VUTEk, whose equipment is featured in the Heidelberg exhibit. He also announced the first two show sales: a Ricoh Pro C901 digital press sold to Winchester Printers, Winchester, VA, and aVUTEk GS3200 wide-format printer sold to Quad Express Printing, Hayward, CA. Also in attendance were representatives from Got Print, Dallas, TX, where the first large-format Speedmaster XL 145 model “is being delivered as we speak.”
Following Dunn to the podium was Bernhard Schreier, Chairman of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG in Germany, who remains very bullish on print. Our industry is smaller yet stronger, Schreier said. Acknowledging that commercial print is down some 20%, he asked, “Will it recover? I don’t care.” What he does care about is the 80% remaining. “$40 billion to $50 billion is still printed in the U.S. on offset presses. He advises printers to “ignore the output technology for a second and first ask what still will be printed in the future. Where is there growth opportunity? Do I make money with what I do?” He added a warning that being unaware of cost structure will lead to ROI failure.
Connectivity is a critical component, Schreier concluded. “There’s no way around automated workflow in the future,” he said. Printers need to connect everything.