Over the past half year, the digital printing partnership between Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) and Ricoh has been launched with great success. While sales units in Germany and the UK have been actively marketing the Ricoh "C901 Graphic Arts Edition" digital printing solution since the start of April, Heidelberg has been expanding the strategic partnership with local Ricoh teams to implement the global sales agreement in other countries. Sales have been launched according to plan in Thailand, Malaysia, and France and the collaboration is also being rolled out in North and South America this September. The official announcement about the start of digital printing solutions in the U.S. was made at the beginning on the occasion of the GraphExpo show, which took place in Chicago from September 11 to 14. As of September, Heidelberg is now also offering Ricoh systems in Mexico and Brazil. Switzerland and Poland will also begin selling combined solutions that enable offset and digital printing to run side by side. All other countries are to follow suit by drupa in May 2012.
"The collaboration with Ricoh is running smoothly and developing very successfully. Customers are showing a great deal of interest in integrated offset and digital printing solutions," says Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment.
"Recently, there has been a shift from supplying just print to supplying broader marketing oriented services such as cross media. The Ricoh and Heidelberg partnership is helping printing businesses to achieve these goals through its extensive offerings, range of services and support," says Yasuhiko Hosoe, Associate Director of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Company Ltd.
First sales successes - global demo center up and running
Several customers from the UK, Germany, and Asia have already purchased Ricoh digital printing systems through. All countries are also reporting high levels of interest from customers and anticipate additional orders in the near future.
"Combining the two technologies will enable our customers to offer variable data printing and very short runs in addition to tried-and-tested, cost-efficient, and high-quality offset printing. As a result, we've already been able to conclude a large volume of sales in countries where we offer the Ricoh systems," says Dr. Christian Compera, head of digital printing at Heidelberg.
Sales support for the digital sector is also in full swing at the Print Media Center in Heidelberg. A Ricoh Pro C901 has been available for product demonstrations since the end of May. These demonstrations give prospective customers the opportunity to see HEI Flexibility - the solutions portfolio that Heidelberg offers for short-run color and variable data printing - live in action for themselves. Preparations at other demonstration centers are also well underway - both the Print Media Academy locations in Atlanta (U.S.), Sao Paulo (Brazil), and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and the showroom in Brentford (UK) already have the equipment needed to demonstrate digital printing.
Heidelberg expands the portfolio and launches sales of the new Ricoh Pro C651ex/C751ex and Pro C751 digital printing systems
The collaboration with Ricoh is intended to offer customers solutions that provide added value and a long-term boost in profitability. Heidelberg is expanding its portfolio of Ricoh digital printing systems and will also distribute the recently launched Ricoh Pro C751 digital printing line in all the countries included in the roll-out plan. This system is geared specifically to the needs of print service providers and digital and commercial print shops that handle low print volumes and variable data. Thanks to a series of innovative developments, it provides exceptional image quality while also offering a cost-effective option for companies that want to expand their portfolio for short runs and variable data. It features a new laser beam technology, called 'VCSEL' (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) that delivers best-in-class output and registration of 4800 dpi for precise reproduction and production speeds of up to 75 A4 pages per minute.
Heidelberg will be exhibiting its integrated offset and digital printing portfolio at the following trade shows and events taking place over the coming months:
Heidelberg Open House
Sao Paulo, Brazil
September 29 - October 1, 2011
Heidelberg Open House
October 12 - 13, 2011
October 12 - 15, 2011
Heidelberg Open House
October 20 - 22, 2011
Bernhard Schreier, CEO Heidelberg (2nd from left) and Shiro Kondo, President & CEO, Ricoh Company, Ltd. (2nd from right) on the occasion of the Ricoh and Heidelberg digital print solutions launch at GraphExpo, which took place in Chicago from September 11 to 14, 2011.
For further information about the company and image material, please visit the Press Lounge of the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG atwww.heidelberg.com.