Heidelberg: Digital Printing Portfolio on the Rise
Around the world, a growing number of customers are finding out just how easy it is to make the move to the digital printing portfolio based around the Linoprint CV/CP systems from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). For most, the deciding factor when evaluating investment options is the full package of machinery in combination with affordable services and consumables. In addition, the possible integration into existing print shop workflows sets the difference in the market. Since Heidelberg and Ricoh started working together in 2011, more than 600 users have acquired a Linoprint digital printing system for the cost-effective and flexible production of short runs including variable data print.
Linoprint CV/CP systems now come with the new Prinect digital front end
On request, Heidelberg now supplies all Linoprint CV/CP systems with the Prinect digital front end, which was first announced to the media at the end of 2014 and delivers greater automation and improved reliability for the production process. The Prinect digital front end newly developed by Heidelberg supports the seamless integration of the Linoprint CV/CP digital printing systems into the overall print shop workflow. This means that all print jobs can be centrally managed in one workflow system, irrespective of the production process selected. Furthermore, the Linoprint systems can also be controlled and operated on a standalone basis using the new Prinect digital front end, thereby offering print shops running this configuration a state-of-the-art control console and a high degree of automation for producing their digital print jobs.
To ensure repeat jobs can be carried out with greater certainty and reliability, all work processes such as job creation, preflight checking, color management and impositioning can be saved as linked sequences. This certainty in production also extends to the printing of personalized data. Furthermore, the Prinect digital front end also supports the finishing options of the Linoprint systems, thereby enabling several print jobs to be produced ready for sale in a single operation.
"The newly developed Prinect digital front end from Heidelberg is a straightforward solution that generates decisive-added value for users," said Jason Oliver, head of Business Area Digital at Heidelberg. "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."
Linoprint customers impressed by print quality, productivity and service portfolio
Recently, Oregon-based U.S. print shop Rick’s Custom Printing started running the 600th Linoprint from Heidelberg—a Linoprint CV. The print shop decided to invest in the machine because of its print quality and the possibility to print a fifth color. Also, the high print speed of 90-pages-per-minute, large variety of substrates and comprehensive range of services, were important reasons for the investment. The company also uses offset systems and postpress equipment from Heidelberg and appreciates the fact that Heidelberg can supply all of its needs.
“Digital printers want to keep things really simple," explained Oliver. "They want to get everything from the same place and have just one point of contact. They will also opt for the most cost-effective solution that best fits their business model. That is why, whenever a potential customer is deciding whether or not to invest, the foremost goal for our sales specialists is to set out clearly and concisely just how they specifically will benefit."
The favorable price-performance proposition of the Linoprint CP is also attracting the attention of customers who traditionally bought Performance level cut sheet equipment in a much higher price segment.
Digital printing is also on the rise in China and the MEA region
During the two spring trade shows Print China and Gulf Print & Pack in Dubai, where Heidelberg was exhibiting, the company’s digital printing portfolio attracted a great deal of interest from visitors. At both events, Heidelberg exhibited the new Linoprint CV digital printing system to local companies for the first time. These two markets are delivering stronger growth for print products than any other region in the world. This trend is also due in part to the growing demand for shorter and variable runs from the commercial sector.
Heidelberg and Ricoh reinforce their long-term partnership
Stephan Plenz, member of the management board at Heidelberg, and Tadashi Furushima, corporate vice president Production Printing Business division at Ricoh, recently confirmed that both companies would carry forward their strategic partnership on a long-term basis: “We will continue to expand our portfolio of integrated digital printing systems and the associated services and consumables as quickly as possible, so that our customers and we ourselves can benefit from this growth segment. Partnerships with the best in the industry are the key to success and that is why we are planning to continue our collaboration with Ricoh over the long term,” concluded Plenz.
Furushima also concluded, "Heidelberg and Ricoh are a natural fit, as innovation leaders in our respective technology fields. Our partnership continues to ensure that Heidelberg's customers have direct access to the best of both offset and digital solutions available on the market today."