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Confidence Marks Heidelberg Open House

August 30, 2013
KENNESAW, GA—There is no sugar coating the challenging economic climate that exists in the printing industry, and Marcel Kiessling is well aware of it. Kiessling, a member of the management board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG who also heads up the sales and service segments, doesn't think that is cause for taking a negative outlook, however, and it's not a case of pollyanna hopefulness.

"Let's be confident about the future of the printing industry, in total," Kiessling said during a break at Heidelberg's Discover HEI Open House on Aug. 27. "Certainly it is undergoing changes and we have to adapt, but it can be profitable.

"Too many people are waiting for the good old days to come back. But the question you have to ask yourself is, do I believe in the future of the printing industry, and if yes, then I can't sit on the sidelines."

More than 200 companies from the United States, Canada and Mexico were represented, making it a truly North American event. After a welcoming reception dinner on Aug. 26, visitors to the North American Print & Packaging Technology Center were treated to a day of bow-to-stern Heidelberg and friends technologies, led on the iron side by a trio of Speedmaster presses (XL 106, CX 102 and SX 74).

The well-orchestrated event included a sampling of prepress and workflow technologies, including the Prinect suite (Business Manager, Web-to-Print Manager, Prepress Manager). Postpress gear on display was highlighted by the Stahlfolder line (KH 82, TX 82, TH 56), the Eurobind 600 perfect binder and the Stitchmaster ST 500 saddle stitcher. Digital equipment included samples from partnership corporations Ricoh (C751 and C901+) and EFI (wide-format H652, VUTEk GS3250 LX Pro).

Kiessling's theme was constant throughout the demonstrations: It takes the latest in technologies to be efficient on the production end, reducing running costs, doing more with fewer resources. Otherwise, "you're leaving money on the table." While Heidelberg has endured financial challenges the past few years, it is heartened by the 21 percent growth in U.S. sales during the past year, primarily fueled by the 40˝ format.

"I think the consolidation we've seen over the past couple of years shows that the survivors are good companies that will be dominating in the future. That's a good sign," Kiessling added.

Chris McDevitt, prepress manager for Great Atlantic Graphics of Malvern, PA, notes his company's pressroom is fueled by a pair of Speedmaster XL 105s. Among the technology he was most impressed by was the automation offered by the Polar cutter and related equipment.
 

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