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Heidelberg's Dunn Talks GRAPH EXPO, Digital Future

March 19, 2010
Printing Impressions Editor-in-Chief Mark Michelson recently spoke with Jim Dunn, president of Heidelberg Americas, to discuss topics ranging from Heidelberg's future trade show participation to its role as the distributor of a digital press offering, to the current state of sheetfed offset press sales and the ability of printers to secure capital equipment financing.

PI: We understand that Marcel Kiessling, former president of Heidelberg Americas, has taken a new assignment in Germany. Has this impacted or broadened any of your job responsibilities?

DUNN: Marcel has returned to Germany to take a position on the Management Board of the group in which he will head up our Services Division. This change is very significant in that it formalizes all we have been working on for the past six years; achieving and maintaining that highest level of equipment performance is not only a function of design, engineering and manufacturing, but equally dependent on training, maintenance, consumable selection, workflow and performance monitoring. 

As for more myself, I have the oversight responsibility for the Canadian and Mexican markets in addition to the U.S. business.  Both of these countries have substantial differences to the U.S. market, but we are fortunate to have experienced and stable organizations in both markets led by Richard Armstrong in Canada and Harald Weimer in Mexico.

PI: Heidelberg USA made headlines recently when the company confirmed it was not planning to exhibit at this year's GRAPH EXPO show in Chicago, but is planning to participate in GRAPH EXPO 2011. What prompted this difficult decision?

DUNN: In reality, this decision was not taken recently. As I'm speaking with you, I am looking at an internal document from April 2005 in which we had concluded that our future participation in trade shows (around the world) would change. It would be focused on two actions: 1) we would focus on the four year rotation of the major trade shows: drupa, PRINT, Ipex and IGAS and 2) we would concentrate our efforts towards enhancing our existing Technology Centers to becoming the center for learning and development of equipment, system and processes. 

We had decided to delay deploying this approach until after PRINT 09 and have communicated this plan to the Graphic Arts Show Company. Having said this, we are re-evaluating participation in the annual GRAPH EXPO show and may participate every other year.  However, we would envision that our GRAPH EXPO presents would be more focused on systems and services rather than just equipment.  But, we have quite some time before GRAPH EXPO 11 to make a final decision.
 

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