Heidelberg’s Dunn Talks GRAPH EXPO, Digital Future

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.

PI: Heidelberg will, however, take a large stand at Ipex in England this May. Among the products to be shown there are the Speedmaster SM 52 Anicolor press with a new coating unit and UV printing capabilities. Do you still see Anicolor technology as a viable alternative for short-run digital printing?

DUNN: Absolutely! We have seen great success with the Anicolor print systems around the world, and we see this platform more as a complement to digital rather than an alternative. The digital printing engines clearly fit the bill for variable printing and ultra-short-run static (under 200 sheets) jobs. However, we also see that many high-end digital devices (+95 ppm) are running non-variable, medium-run jobs. This is an expensive and inefficient method, where the Anicolor technology is a gold mine.

PI: There have been ongoing rumors that Heidelberg plans to get back into the digital press arena, either through acquisition or through some form of distribution agreement. Although I realize you cannot comment directly on rumors or any ongoing discussions that may be taking place, would this make good business sense for both Heidelberg and its customer base?

DUNN: We believe it does. As I said before, there is a strong market demand for print platforms suitable for variable and ultra-short-run jobs. There are many good systems on the market, both in the high- and mid-range production segments. Therefore, I do not see Heidelberg developing another new platform.

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