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Heidelberg restructures its digital printing portfolio

As of drupa 2016, Heidelberg will be repeating its approach with the Speedmaster series by presenting its entire digital printing offering under a standardized family name, the “Fire” product line. While the Speedmaster range predominantly stands for maintaining the competitiveness of a print shop’s core business (operational excellence), the digital printing portfolio is aimed at particularly innovative business models and pioneering printing applications (business innovation). With this rename, Heidelberg intends to increase both the clarity of the entire offering and the recognition value of the brand for customers.

“The name “Fire” for our digital printing portfolio stands for performance, dynamism and growth – and also for digitally “transmitting” data and ink onto different surfaces. We want to send a clear message to our customers that we have one of the highest performance digital printing offerings in our industry,” said Jason Oliver, head of the digital division at Heidelberg.

The Heidelberg digital printing offering will therefore have the following structure:

Heidelberg Primefire 106: The new digital inkjet printing system for the industrial production of digital and innovative printing applications in the B1 format.

Heidelberg Versafire CP/CV is the new name for the existing Linoprint CP/CV digital printing systems. The Heidelberg Versafire is an all-round system for the economic production of short and personalized runs in combination with a large choice of substrates. Heidelberg launched the system in cooperation with its partner Ricoh in 2011.

Gallus Labelfire 340 is the new product name for the former Gallus DCS 340 for the growth market of digital label printing. The machine is distributed by Gallus, the Swiss subsidiary of Heidelberg.

Heidelberg Omnifire 250/1000 is the new name for Heidelberg’s 4D printing systems, replacing the former name Heidelberg Jetmaster Dimension 250/1000. Heidelberg uses the term 4D printing to describe the personalized and flexible printing on various three-dimensional objects such as balls, drinking bottles, and other mass-produced items, especially from the consumer goods industry. In addition, Heidelberg is working on the development of systems also suitable for industrial applications, for example in the automotive industry. The launch of the Heidelberg Omnifire 1000 is planned for the end of 2016.

The entire digital printing portfolio can be integrated into the overall workflow of a print shop together with the Heidelberg offset systems via the new Prinect Digital Front End (DFE). Web-to-print applications as well as multi-channel publishing business models are also supported. According to Heidelberg, the Smart Print Shop is now a reality, with a solution where users can largely automate their offset and digital printing processes as well as manage them in a uniform and transparent way.

World premiere of the Heidelberg Primefire 106 at drupa

A strategic partnership formed between Fujifilm and Heidelberg in late 2013 for the development of a new industrial digital inkjet-printing machine has resulted in the B1 format Heidelberg Primefire 106.

“In record time, Fujifilm and Heidelberg have jointly developed the world’s first B1 truly industrial inkjet digital printing press,” said Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberg. “Our original partnership was based on a joint evaluation of Fujifilm’s core inkjet technology, and after two years of co-development, we remain convinced Fujifilm is the best partner. Thanks to our close cooperation, we can now present the new digital printing system on our drupa booth, fully integrated into our ‘Smart Print Shop’ demonstrations.”

“Thanks to our strategic partnership with Heidelberg, the major provider and partner for the global printing industry, we are now confident that we can meet the expanding needs of the industrial packaging market,” said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and chief executive officer of Fujifilm Corporation. “The new B1 machine enhances the range and application of Fujifilm inkjet technology from our proven Jet Press 720 series in the B2 space. Fujifilm will continue to innovate and deliver value to the growing digital printing industry by expanding our core inkjet technologies which is the cornerstone of this new B1 machine.”

The new print engine design will incorporate Samba state-of-the-art MEMS printhead technology from Fujifilm Dimatix Inc. Fujifilm’s water-based pigment ink with Rapic technology for high-definition imaging will meet food packaging safety regulations. Fujifilm’s inkjet technology will work together with Heidelberg’s world-class developments in press manufacturing and system integration capabilities to achieve quality output comparable to offset with superior consistency and reliability. The new machine will be driven by the Heidelberg Prinect Digital Front End (DFE) to optimize workflow and quality.

The system design will enable printers to develop new applications from a fully digital-based system for customization, variable data printing, and targeted marketing applications. Fujifilm’s newly developed 7-color inks (CMYK, orange, green, and violet) and Heidelberg’s varnish will improve the range of digital applications through a wide color space and accessibility to various commercial substrates.

“With the world premiere of the Heidelberg Primefire 106 we have reached another milestone in our digital strategy: achieving success in working with partners to bring systems to the market within the shortest time. This will help our customers to address the increased market challenges in a digitized world in the future also. Now we are the first provider to enable the industrial and integrated production of digital printed products in the Smart Print Shop.

At the same time, in doing so we are also opening up opportunities for the future growth of Heidelberg”, said Stephan Plenz, member of the management board and responsible for Heidelberg Equipment, during an advance presentation of the new system.

Heidelberg will showcase the machine and the end-to-end benefits of the new configuration during the upcoming drupa exhibition. As a strategic partner, Fujifilm will exhibit their wide range of OEM capabilities with various inkjet products, including the Samba printhead with unique and highly sophisticated ink recirculation design, driving differentiation of the world-class innovative printing device. Commercialization for the new platform is planned in the latter part of 2017. The first machine installation for field-testing is planned after the drupa exhibition.

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