Making a Good First Impression
I am writing from Heidelberg, Germany, where I have started a four-month internship at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. At age 16, I was first introduced to the graphic arts and have been following the company and its innovations ever since.
Heidelberg has never before had a student from the United States intern at its world headquarters and, coincidentally, I have never been to Europe. As a student in the printing industry, an opportunity like this is a dream come true. I can also say that my years of high school German classes are truly getting a run for the money.
The area of print that most interests me is print production workflow. There is something about getting a job through each of the separate processes as fast and efficiently as possible that really intrigues me. Visiting print shops around Europe and the United States to analyze their workflows and evaluate process optimization is one of the projects that I will be working on during my internship. Within Heidelberg, I am working with the Prinect product management group.
For those not familiar with it, Heidelberg offers a print shop workflow that integrates and manages the entire print production process. Prinect covers everything from print shop management, online customer connection, prepress and the digital print workflow to makeready optimization, color, quality and machine operation. This level of integration is the future of print production, and to be working with such an exciting and rapidly progressing product is a thrill.
My desk is in the stunning glass Print Media Academy building located in the heart of the city of Heidelberg. What makes the facility so unique is the spectacular architecture both inside and out.
For example, on the inside are two towers containing meeting rooms that cleverly represent impression cylinders. In the basement, a dome-shaped red auditorium rests in a pool of water, depicting ink and water. On the outside, measuring 13 meters in height and weighing 90 metric tons, is the world’s largest horse sculpture that represents parts of a printing press and the print process.