Intelligent service concepts from Heidelberg even in COVID-19

Maintenance and installations despite challenging times

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COVID-19
Despite the lockdown, Heidelberg Thailand, for example, offers professional service and support - even remotely - in full

The Covid-19 pandemic poses enormous challenges for the world and, of course, for the entire print media industry. As a reliable partner, Heidelberg wants to master the situation together with its customers and with intelligent or digitized service concepts and offerings. As part of the #We4You campaign, Heidelberg is underlining how this is happening with examples from around the world.

Heidelberg recently presented its extended range of contracts, known as Print Site Contracts. The aim of this offer is to ensure that the potential of Heidelberg’s equipment solutions is actually exploited in practical operation. The fact that concluding a service contract pays off is demonstrated by the application at W. Kohlhammer Druckerei in Stuttgart. Thanks to good capacity utilization, the company was only able to allow time for servicing the three Speedmaster XL 106 eight-color presses from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. Within three weekends, three maintenance sessions, a press check, and overhauls of individual components were carried out under challenging conditions in order to maintain the presses’ full production capacity. W. Kohlhammer Druckerei is one of the leading printing and publishing houses in the German-speaking world and offers a wide range of books, magazines and forms for all scientific fields.

When the installation plan for the new Speedmaster XL 106 ten-color perfecting press for B&K Offsetdruck was scheduled to take four weeks, nobody could have imagined how much the Corona pandemic would affect business and private life. The press is one of three that will be supplied by a local consignment warehouse through a subscription contract. So it was not only necessary to install the machine on time despite the difficult conditions, but also to create the conditions for supplier-controlled inventory management and to train the customer’s team accordingly. The challenge was mastered in a cooperative partnership with the customer and the machines in Ottersweier continue to run at full speed.

In spite of the lockdown, Heidelberg Thailand provides full professional service and support. Health and safety is a top priority, the team pro-actively develops new procedures and adapts existing ones to meet all local regulations and customer safety requirements while ensuring the best possible support. This has enabled the team to perform installations, carry out maintenance work and solve problems remotely, even remotely.

In Malaysia, the lockdown began on 18 March. Thanks to the digital connection of the machines to the Heidelberg cloud, the teams were able to support customers with various issues. Where on-site visits were not possible or feasible, the Heidelberg teams worked directly with customers in the Service Center to analyze and resolve problems remotely. Among many others, they were able to bring machines back into production where errors occurred in the pile delivery or in the positioning of the delivery grippers.

Heidelberg employees in Indonesia are working hard to solve even the most critical problems during the lockdown. The Heidelberg support teams Indonesia carries out the service on site and follows all government regulations and protocols related to Covid-19: for example, wearing Face masks, gloves, use of hand disinfectants and keeping the required distance. Some of the engineers are on standby at home to contact customers remotely if they need assistance.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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