Heidelberg
Team Heidelberg at the pre-drupa media conference (Image:IPP)

Heidelberg will unveil the new-generation Speedmaster XL 106 press during drupa 2024, set to be held from 28 May to 6 June in Dusseldorf, Germany. The press boasts a higher print speed of up to 21,000 sheets per hour, AI-supported assistance systems, and enhanced Push to Stop functions.

With the latest generation Speedmaster XL 106, autonomous printing is now viable in packaging production, thanks to the enhanced Push to Stop concept. This advancement allows for complete automation of complex production parameters in packaging and label printing.

We anticipate that a high-volume packaging producer or wet-glue label manufacturer will very soon achieve a benchmark of 100 million sheets per year. This figure represents a 20% increase on the 85 million sheets currently being produced by today’s industry leaders,” Markus Leichtle, senior manager of industrial packaging at Heidelberg, said at the pre-drupa media conference in Dusseldorf from March 25-27.

The new peak performance Speedmaster XL 106 cuts print production costs significantly, which makes our customers in the commercial, packaging, and label printing sectors more competitive,” Ludwin Monz, CEO of Heidelberg, said. “Compared to the previous generation, we expect users who produce packaging in the 70 x 100 cm format to achieve an increase in overall productivity of up to 20%.”

Global trends in printing

During the session, Monz delved into the global trends that have significantly shaped and influenced the printing sector over the past two decades. He highlighted the pivotal role of digitalization, the shortage of skilled labor, the urgent need to address global warming, and the impact of inflation and market consolidation on industry dynamics.

Just the last couple of years, we have seen a significant increase in all kinds of costs, including labor, energy, but also in raw materials. And as a result, there’s a market consolidation going on in the printing industry,” Monz said.

He said that customers now expect solutions that help them to increase productivity, which results in a reduction of their cost per printed sheet. Secondly, they want to relieve operators by using automation. “So, automation is the answer to the shortage of skilled workers, and that applies to the entire print value chain,” Monz added.

And lastly, Monz said, customers expect solution providers to help them save resources, which also helps reduce costs.

Heidelberg says its unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive solutions designed to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and champion sustainability across the entire print value chain was underscored.

The Heidelberg dual-track strategy

Acknowledging the formidable challenges faced by print shops worldwide, Heidelberg articulated its unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive solutions designed to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and champion sustainability across the entire print value chain. The company said it continues to evolve its printing business and explore new business areas.

It is trying to shape the printing market by addressing growing packaging printing, and volume also in new markets – productive workflows are key. It is focusing on digital printing in the commercial segment and expanding the share of recurring revenues, including lifecycle business.

At the same time, Heidelberg is exploring new adjacent business areas such as the EV-charging business, as the first step in this segment, benefiting from technology synergies to the core business. New business fields must address megatrends, have a critical market size, and fit the capabilities of Heidelberg, Monz said.

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