Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) draws a positive balance of the drupa 2012 trade show that has come to a close today. As expected, the show delivered a significant stimulus to investment in the print media industry. "The level of incoming orders during the show indicates that confidence within the industry in returning. The investment backlog is continuing to unwind in many parts of the world. We have received almost 2,000 orders from over 80 countries, including some 550 for sheetfed offset presses alone. The volume of orders at the show is therefore equivalent to around half of the production of printing units over the past financial year," stated Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg CEO.
Willingness to invest increases worldwide
All in all, drupa 2012 showed a greater willingness worldwide to invest in the print media industry. Alongside Germany, investment volumes in the Asian markets, in particular Japan and China, remained high or recorded significant growth. The other countries in this region also exhibited pleasing levels of investment in Heidelberg solutions. The emerging markets of South America, especially Brazil, also followed on from the incoming orders of recent quarters. Developments in the U.S. were also very satisfactory, with incoming orders ranking third among the individual markets. France, Russia, and the Middle East also recorded increases in order volumes.
Germany and China ranked first and second among the top markets, followed by the United States, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
"Particularly the development in countries such as the U.S. and Japan fills us with optimism and exceeds our expectations. Many print shops have used drupa to thoroughly renew their machine park so as to be able to meet the requirements of the market," said Schreier.
Innovations drive investments
With some 60 innovations for the commercial and packaging printing sectors on show at drupa 2012, Heidelberg has underscored its position as the preferred solution provider in the print media industry and successfully positioned itself as market leader, innovator, and integrator for technologies and processes. Customers have preferably invested in solution packages across the entire Heidelberg portfolio. Over a third of all printing unit orders related to trade show innovations. The new Speedmaster SX machine platform presented at drupa fared particularly well, with almost 500 printing units being sold. The concept of transferring high-end technologies from the peak segment of the Speedmaster XL class to the proven machine platform of the Speedmaster SM class has hit the mark in meeting the market's needs. These technologies are now accessible to a broad range of users.
Trend towards greater productivity intensifies
The investments made by customers reaffirm the trend towards greater productivity and networking through software. The new flagship press in the 70x100 cm format, the Speedmaster XL 106, turned out to be a bestseller and the most sold machine at the show. The long perfectors for commercial printing and models with UV technology for the growing packaging market were in particular demand. Customers from Germany, the United Kingdom, North America, and Japan were the primary investors in the cutting-edge technology of the Speedmaster XL 106. Heidelberg also concluded sizeable contracts for the large-format Speedmaster XL 145 and Speedmaster XL 162 presses, which proved particularly popular with customers in packaging printing and web-to-print companies. Its cutting-edge technology also convinced well-known customers previously with Heidelberg competitors to switch supplier.