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Heidelberg Advances

May 1999

On the same front, the first 12-unit Speedmaster 102 printing and perfecting machine was unveiled (also new is the Speedmaster LYYL(X) for coating and special effects, off-line converting with printing on a separate machine.) For the digital sheetfed market, the first of the new Speedmaster 74 DI presses—which debuted at IPEX last year—are now shipping.

For the web market, it was announced that the new MainStream 80—a gapless blanket cylinder newspaper press—is now being tested and will be shown to North American printers later this year. It is suitable for shorter runs and is said to weigh less than conventional newspaper presses.

Also on the new product front, two German printing operations were visited by the group to illustrate Heidelberg's new Speedmaster 102 CP 2000 Control Console with touchscreen color display. This technology enables customers to further streamline, automate and boost production.

At Kuthal Druck, in Mainaschaff, one eight-unit and two 10-unit Speedmaster 102s and two Speedmaster 54s are in operation. The printer concentrates on color promotional printing and reportedly is one of the first German printers to have set up a warehouse to handle distribution and fulfillment for customers.

Kuthal Druck's RMD distribution company collates printed and other materials for promotional mailings (not direct mail).

Sommer Druck, a full-service printer in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, operates two Speedmaster 102s, a Speedmaster 52 and a Printmaster 52, as well as a Quickmaster DI 46-4 and a Xeikon DCP 50/D.

Also in operation are a Creo Trendsetter, Topaz scanner and an eight-page Signasetter Pro imagesetter.

Heidelberg recently entered the preowned, customer-ready machinery markets, as well. Selling presses that include a "factory guarantee," the headquarters has been established in Slough, England, with engineering workshops in Moscow, Russia; Detroit; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.

Mehdorn revealed that overall print markets continue to grow 3 percent to 5 percent per year. Flexo also shows good prospects and Heidelberg is successfully entering the packaging sector.

The Heidelberg group has no plans to enter the gravure market, Mehdorn insisted.

Furthermore, he stressed that there is just "one Heidelberg," with various business units devoting themselves to specific market segments. "We want world markets," Mehdorn concluded.


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