Heidelberg Opens VLF Assembly Hall

WIESLOCH-WALLDORF, GERMANY—Bernhard Schreier, CEO of press manufacturer Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, officially opened assembly Hall 11 here on September 15. The hall measures 375,000 square feet (equivalent to almost five soccer fields) and will be used to assemble a new generation of large-format presses, the Speedmaster XL 145 and Speedmaster XL 162. Heidelberg invested around 45 million Euro in the building, making it the largest input of funds into the Wiesloch-Walldorf site in the last 10 years.

The building’s foundation stone was laid May 15, 2006, and construction was completed in about 14 months. Assembly of the new large-format presses, which support sheets twice the format of existing Heidelberg presses and can produce up to 40 A4 pages on the front/back of a single sheet, began in the hall late last month. The company plans to unveil the new format classes at Drupa 2008 in Düsseldorf.

The architecture of Hall 11 is designed like a press, with paper feeder, printing units and paper delivery. The hall opening also marks the company’s 50th anniversary of the Wiesloch-Walldorf site.

To commemorate the occasion, Heidelberg invited staff, relatives and friends to a family day. Some 40,000 visitors were welcomed to the nine million-square-foot area over the two-day event.

GRAFIX GmbH, a German manufacturer of anti-offset spraying systems, has acquired ConTemp GmbH, a fellow German manufacturer of chilling and fountain solution systems. Chicago-based GRAFIX LP will now be able to offer chilling and fountain solution systems to its product line, which currently consists of powder extraction and drying systems, including UV, IR and hot air.

Multiple Press Listing Service, a new online exchange for the graphic arts, was launched at Graph Expo last month. Through the Website, potential buyers and equipment owners can interact directly. Buyers can place bids on equipment directly on the Website. A variety of support services are also being offered, including rigging/removal, trucking, installation, plant relocation, storage, service and financing.

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