Heidelberg is giving customers the opportunity to run both offset and digital technologies using a user-friendly and integrated process. The company is collaborating with prestigious partners including Ricoh and Fujifilm as part of this growth.

Furthermore, almost a third of the company’s research and development resources are focused on digital. The company is responding to the factors that are critical for the printing industry’s success, such as the use of new business models, maximum versatility, and end-to-end workflow integration with innovative technologies.

Heidelberg CEO, Gerold Linzbach said, ‘Offering integrated offset and digital solutions for a range of market segments is unique in the industry. This reflects our drive to remain the partner of choice in this sector. As part of our expansion in the digital sector, we are investing in technologies such as digital inkjet printing. We are also exploring printing on three-dimensional objects and breaking into market segments that are entirely new to Heidelberg. Overall, we estimate that the digital sector offers us sales potential of more than R2.8 billion (EUR 200 million) per year in the medium term.’

To ensure that Heidelberg can also rapidly establish itself as a global player in the digital market, the company is expanding its collaborations. In terms of digital solutions for the printing industry, Heidelberg is widening its range of offerings with cooperation partners Ricoh and Fujifilm, to meet customer requirements with added efficiency and speed.

The same applies to existing and future partnerships that will enable Heidelberg to break into new market segments. In pursuing this strategy, the company is bolstering its own expertise with that of its partners to develop an integrated system. One example of this is the printing of three-dimensional objects.

Heidelberg has announced the first concrete steps in its collaboration with Fujifilm. In fall this year, Heidelberg and Gallus are presenting a new digital printing system for the label market that incorporates Fujifilm technology. This solution is designed to meet the growing demand for a cost-effective means of producing short runs and customised labels.

In parallel with this development, Heidelberg and Fujifilm have initiated a joint project to develop a new highly productive industrialised inkjet-based digital printing system for use in commercial and packaging printing.

With more than 400 Linoprint C digital printing systems already sold worldwide, Heidelberg has highlighted its expertise as the only manufacturer in the industry to successfully market integrated digital and offset applications.

The company is working closely with its Japanese partner Ricoh to broaden its offerings for this sector. More and more customers want to be able to run highly productive offset printing solutions in parallel with versatile digital technologies. Heidelberg meets these demands with the comprehensive software portfolio of its Prinect print shop workflow.

Prinect integrates all the management and production processes in a print shop into one standardised workflow to ensure they are managed efficiently. The company wants to expand this sector with new products, for example in web to print, and multi-channel publishing.

The Jetmaster Dimension from Heidelberg is an inkjet-based digital press for printing on three-dimensional objects. The very first application for this system is being implemented at one of Europe’s leading online print shops – flyeralarm, where standard sports balls are to be embellished with personalised printing, based on customer requirements.

The next step is to move into industrial applications in the automotive or aerospace industries, for example. Inkjet technology could be used to print customised full-colour motifs on the cars, trucks, and even airplanes, thereby increasing flexibility, and dramatically reducing costly labor-intensive processes used today.

The overall market volume for printing on objects in the consumer goods and industrial sectors is estimated at several hundred million euros in the medium and long term.