Heidelberg's move into this new business area is being pursued with energy. Approximately 1,500 former Kodak employees are now employed by Heidelberg Digital at facilities in Rochester, NY; Tijuana, Mexico; and Mühlhausen, Germany. There are an additional 300 NexPress staff that will be integrated into the Heidelberg Digital group.
It was also announced that Heidelberg Prepress has been able to notch some excellent sales on a worldwide basis. There are now 1,000 Tango drum scanners and 5,000 Topaz flatbed scanners operating at customer sites worldwide.
For conventional offset printing, Mehdorn added that the "heavy metal" market has been robust. "The United States, Great Britain and Germany account for 57 percent of sheetfed sales," he revealed. Sheetfed machinery still accounts for the majority of Heidelberg's revenues. Web offset and prepress offerings account for 30 percent of sales, and digital printing is expected to gain a growing share in the sheetfed market.
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.