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Digital

03/22/2001


The Digital Division of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) brings together the company's prepress and digital print offerings.

It was founded in the 1999/2000 fiscal year. On April 1, 1999, Heidelberg took over the Office Imaging/Black/White Digital Printing Division of Eastman Kodak Company. Heidelberg and Eastman Kodak Company formed a joint venture known as Nexpress for developing digital color presses.

The Digital Division has production sites in the USA (Rochester, New York), Mexico (Tijuana), the UK (Kirkby) and Germany (Kiel and Mühlhausen). It achieved sales in the 1999/2000 fiscal year of 659 million Euro and had a workforce of 4,169 (excluding employees of the Nexpress joint venture).

Digital printing
Unlike conventional printing processes, digital printing does not require extensive preparation time. Digital data can be used to produce direct, high-quality printing. Digital printing is currently particularly suitable for small runs. Heidelberg does not see digital printing as a replacement for offset printing, but rather as complementing it. Digital printing provides customers with new, highly promising areas of operation, particularly in the highly attractive field of customer-specific personalized print products (Print on Demand).

Digital black/white printing - opening up new market segments
The Heidelberg Digimaster 9110 offers the best print quality in its class, superior paper transport, an open system architecture and an end-to-end workflow. It has therefore quickly become a top of the line product in its market segment. The company aims to achieve a market share of around 20 percent in this product segment within five years. 2,000 systems have already been shipped worldwide within just 20 months.

The Digimaster covers four different customer segments - the print media industry, in-plant print shops, quick-print copyshops and IT centers. To be able to penetrate each of these segments effectively, Heidelberg has developed a multi-channel sales strategy. Heidelberg supplies the digital print solution through its own sales organization and also works with various sales partners such as IBM, Canon and Danka, each of which has their own specific knowledge of the market.

Digital color printing - launched successfully at drupa 2000
The Nexpress 2100 digital color press has set about capturing the market for high-quality personalized print products. Following an enthusiastic reception from members of the graphic arts industry, Heidelberg is now preparing the product for series production. The competitive advantages include lower service costs and higher machine availability, since the Nexpress 2100 can be maintained by operating personnel themselves.

Prepress - innovative products
The Digital Division has introduced a number of pioneering product innovations in the prepress sector. In addition to a digital camera back, Heidelberg has also enjoyed great success with the Nexscan and Linoscan series of innovative flatbed scanners. The Nexscan has already become one of the world's most successful high-end scanners, over 1,000 units having already been sold within 12 months. New filmsetters and platesetters have also been launched successfully onto the market. Color fidelity software and comprehensive process management solutions complete with databases round off the Digital Division's portfolio.

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