Jürgen Rautert — The View from ‘Hei’ Above
PI: What role will Anicolor technology play in Heidelberg’s strategy and future success?
Rautert: In the U.S. as well as in Germany and the U.K., we’ve seen strong adoption of our Anicolor press with printers who need to do a lot of low-run, quick-turn, four-color jobs. I have yet to meet a single printer who regrets investing in this new inking technology. It is a very important tool in producing high quality, short-run printing.
We’ve been hosting a series of Anicolor open houses and road shows in the U.S., and printers are excited about the Anicolor technology. They’re impressed with the low cost per job, makeready speed and the color quality.
A migration into bigger formats is certainly possible and will be evaluated.
PI: Heidelberg unveiled its very large-format (VLF) presses at Drupa 2008. Has the pace of installations worldwide met your expectations?
Rautert: Yes, our expectations have been met. Since its introduction at Drupa 2008, Heidelberg has established itself in the VLF marketplace and sold 20 VLF presses worldwide, one of them here in the U.S. at Proteus Packaging. We are glad to see that many customers, some of them who had little contact with us so far, are curious to see and test print the XL 145 or XL 162. Our assembly hall in Germany is well filled and we are confident to become a supplier of choice in that segment.
PI: What lean (and green) manufacturing and productivity improvements has your company made to its own operations? How does Heidelberg involve its customers in these efforts?
Rautert: In the Heidelberg Group we reduced the total energy consumption per metric ton of output from 7,8 MWh/a in the year 2004 to 4,7 MWh/a in the year 2007. This was achieved by implementing several measures designed to optimize the energy efficiency of the production sites, for example, by means of heat recovery, more efficient lighting systems and leaner manufacturing processes. Emissions and water consumption dropped and our waste recycling rate reached 93.8 percent in 2007.