Heidelberg brings China plans out of the closet

Heidelberg India leverages CS 92 presses from Shanghai

The new Masterwork 268 acre site in Tianjin where the highly automated joint venture Heidelberg Masterwork production plant is being built Screenshot IPP
The new Masterwork 268 acre site in Tianjin where the highly automated joint venture Heidelberg Masterwork production plant is being built Screenshot IPP

Heidelberg and Heidelberg India are no longer shying away from talking about their Chinese manufacturing plant near Shanghai. Probably the best investment by the company in the last 16 years, it is crucial for the cost-effective manufacture and sales of presses for the world’s biggest offset press market, China. It also works well for many of the workhorse multicolor presses needed by Asian printers, including Japan. Indian printers frequently visit China and take part in trips to the factory an hour’s drive from the center of Shanghai.

The Shanghai plant itself is word-class and uses core German manufacturing techniques, component testing, assembly, and testing for increasingly longer and more automated presses. Heidelberg Shanghai is also where the new smaller than B1 in-between format CS 92 press was manufactured with an eye on the Asian market and to compete with similar sizes produced by Komori and RMGT. The new press has led to considerable savings in firmware costs and consumables for commercial printers and has typically made its way into their migration to monocarton printing. Not surprisingly, the CS92 has also made its way to printers beyond Asia.

In its CEO Rainer Hundsdorfer’s relentless pursuit of viability and restructuring, Heidelberg has embraced the Shanghai plant openly. Recently it has even more closely aligned itself with its Chinese minority anchor shareholder Masterwork. And whose die-cutters, foil stamping, and folder gluer equipment are now part of its packaging solutions.

Heidelberg & Materwork jointly to construct an automated intelligent printing equipment production line

In early December 2020, Heidelberg revealed its plans to strengthen the partnership with Masterwork. Expanding their strategic cooperation, the two companies are jointly constructing a new automated intelligent printing equipment production line at Masterwork’s 328-acre site in Tianjin.

Almost 400 customers from Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region attended Heidelberg Commercial Day at the Heidelberg Print Media Center in Shanghai.
Almost 400 customers from Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region attended Heidelberg Commercial Day at the Heidelberg Print Media Center in Shanghai a couple of years ago. Photo Heidelberg

The CS92, only manufactured in Shanghai, is built on the solid Speedmaster CD 102 platform, with a maximum speed of 15,000 sheets an hour. Integrated with Heidelberg’s Prinect workflow for intuitive and straightforward operation, the Speedmaster CS 92 is popular with commercial and packaging printers in Asia and India.

The sheet format, plate size, and other features serve the needs of a printing market in which print runs are getting smaller and job changes more frequent. Printers are keen to increase productivity and reduce capital investment, overheads, and consumable costs. The company has sold and installed 63 printing units of this series in recent times.

The Speedmaster CS 92 4-color presses can print on paper from 0.3 millimeters to 0.6-millimeter thick board. The 63 CS92 press units sold across India include several repeat purchases such as Rahul Print O Pack and Replika Press. There are other takers for a press that helps commercial printers who are looking to monocarton printing and converting for survival and growth.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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