Jürgen Rautert — The View from ‘Hei’ Above
Rautert: To be successful in today’s print media industry, printers not only need the right equipment, but also must react quickly and smartly, continuously improving their operations, while adapting business practices to customers’ ever changing needs. Heidelberg’s worldwide consulting team is made up of about 30 employees dedicated to helping our customers by creating customized, sustainable solutions for everyday business problems. For example, Heidelberg Business Consulting helps customers optimize their production practices and incorporate lean manufacturing techniques. Our consulting team also assists customers with their sales and marketing activities, in some cases we've even helped customers to develop an effective business strategy.
Heidelberg USA has its own consultancy department dedicated to consulting printing companies on equipment efficiency and printing process optimization, benchmarking comparisons, investment planning decisions and numerous other specialized projects. The team is currently offering a new product to improve the knowledge of printers: a competency analysis and subsequent training programs for print operators.
PI: What is the status of Heidelberg’s Linoprint/LinoProtect inkjet technology?
Rautert: Linoprotect is an exciting new project in the area of brand protection. It launched in 2008. We are currently in discussion with several well-known brands and ad agencies to develop a global go-to-market implementation.
We launched Linoprint in 2008 as a one-color solution to be installed in existing or new packaging lines. Right now we are further expanding the product range to meet requirements like variable imprints, flexible batch sizes and short term-promotions. We plan to launch the first four-color printing systems in mid-2009 for the European market.
The Linoprint system offers modular systems under the name “DriveLine,” which will function as a standalone solution that can be employed independent of existing packaging lines, e.g. for web printing with various substrates. DriveLine systems can print on labels, films and board with a high degree of variability and quality. The maximum resolution of 720 dpi makes it possible to print web widths of up to 340mm. The maximum print speed is 60 meters per minute. First customer installations of a pilot series of DriveLine printing systems for four-color printing were taken into operation already.