Achim Mergenthaler (47) will be taking over as manager of the Chinese production site Heidelberg Graphic Equipment (Shanghai) Co. (HGES) of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) in Qingpu on August 1, 2012. He succeeds Stefan Hasenzahl (49), who will assume a leading cross-site management role within the Heidelberg Group.
Mergenthaler studied at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. After graduating, he supervised several planning projects for Heidelberg at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site from 1991 onwards. Following several management roles in the company's assembly operations, in 1999 he took charge of Printmaster GTO 52 assembly, followed by "CtP assembly integration" in 2003. From mid-2003, he was responsible for long parts production at the Heidelberg site in Brandenburg.
Mergenthaler has been involved in developing the Heidelberg production site in Qingpu, China, since the project had been launched in 2005. As project manager, he was initially based in Wiesloch-Walldorf and was responsible for developing assembly of small-format sheetfed offset presses at the new site, before heading up assembly and logistics at the Qingpu site itself in 2006. In 2011, he was put in charge of the Technology unit in Qingpu and was made deputy managing director at the plant.
Stefan Hasenzahl has been working at Heidelberg since graduating in engineering in 1988. Following several management roles for the company in Germany and other countries, he was tasked with developing and managing HGES in Qingpu in January 2005. He was significantly involved in the successful development of the production site in China.
Following the start of construction in 2005, the first Heidelberg production site in Asia was taken into operation in spring 2006. Located in the Qingpu industrial zone, the site was built to state-of-the-art standards and now features a production area of around 45,000 square meters (approx. 484,000 square feet), making it one of the largest printing press production facilities in Asia. Heidelberg has been producing standard presses and folding machines at Qingpu, primarily for the local market, since 2006. Production started with folding machines in 2005, followed by the Speedmaster SM 52 and, from 2007, the Speedmaster SM 74. Production of the Speedmaster CD 102 began in 2009.
Every third machine sold by Heidelberg in China now comes from its production facilities there. Since exports began in 2010, Speedmaster SM 74-4 and SM 52-4 presses have been shipped to Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.
The Qingpu site near Shanghai, employing a workforce of around 500, is fully integrated into the Heidelberg production network, which also includes the German sites in Wiesloch-Walldorf, Amstetten, and Brandenburg and Nové Mesto in Slovakia.