“The digitization of the graphic arts industry is progressing at top speed and we are actively driving this process with our ‘Heidelberg goes Digital’ strategy, so our new Innovation Center plays a key role in safeguarding the future of Heidelberg and the entire industry in a number of ways. The IVC’s proximity to our production operations also encourages an agile, multidisciplinary development process,” said Stephan Plenz, member of the Heidelberg Management Board responsible for Digital Technology. “The Innovation Center is the new hub of our company and the future high-tech campus we are gradually creating at our Wiesloch-Walldorf site.”
The newly opened IVC is a leading competence center in the printing industry, which has a global annual turnover of more than €400 billion.
“Innovations for the future are now being developed where highly skilled staff used to produce medium-format presses,” added Plenz. Heidelberg spends approximately 5% of sales – currently around €135 million– on development activities. The numerous development projects focus on expanding the industrial digital printing portfolio and, in the area of offset printing, on further developing the Push to Stop technology for autonomous printing that only requires human intervention in processes if the system is unable to deal with these itself.
In addition, various teams of developers are working on the Smart Print Shop – where all print shop processes are digitized – and on the further expansion of digital business models – such as Heidelberg Subscription – under which customers are increasingly paying for the benefits a system offers them.
“Our customers are channeling all their energy into digitization, including the possibilities for producing customized digital printing applications in the three traditional areas of commercial, packaging, and label printing on an industrial scale that optimizes costs,” said Frank Kropp, head of R&D at Heidelberg.