Heidelberg Ramping Up for Debut of VLF Presses
SCHREIER: We appreciate loyal customers, whether they are loyal to us or to our competition. The question becomes: what kind of product will fulfill the requirements of the customer? When I talk to customers about their requirements, some of them say they need more capacity. Others just need a larger press format for work that cannot be produced on a 40˝ press. They think that our VLF presses might be an option for them. I believe the market demand for very-large-format presses will become a big business for Heidelberg.
Customers who might not have been satisfied in the past with the availability and productivity needs of competing products might also consider what we offer to be their best solution. So, I am not afraid of the competition. There will be sales opportunities for everybody in this environment.
PI: Obviously, as a full-service provider, will you then be expanding your product line both on the prepress and postpress sides to handle the larger formats?
SCHREIER: When we present the very-large-format presses to the public at Drupa 2008, there will also be a large-format platesetter available. Polar will produce the proper cutter and we will have the right folding devices. If you don’t have the right folding device, the entire efficiency and productivity increases that you attain on a very-large-format press suddenly stops at the delivery of the press. We want this productivity gain to extend into finishing as well, and this is why you need the right folder.
PI: Will Heidelberg’s systemservice 36plus program also be offered on the new VLF presses?
SCHREIER: All presses come with 36plus service. The sophistication of the new presses also obligates us to connect with remote service. It doesn’t make sense at all have a multimillion-dollar device just sitting there waiting for repair service. If you think about all the sensors, actuators and motors found in a highly modern press, it’s not up to the service technician to come look at whether a motor has a failure or not. You can just check it remotely. Therefore, the standard offering will be to have a remote service connection and to have systemservice 36plus on these presses. Then the printer is secure from a productivity standpoint and can manage the future.