Heidelberg starts printed & organic production at Wiesloch-Walldorf

Heidelberg in billion Euro market for printed & organic electronics

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Heidelberg starts printed & organic production at Wiesloch-Walldorf
Producing printed sensors and electronics for health care in hygeinic conditions on a Heidelberg-Gallus narrow web flexo press at the Waldorf-Wiesloch plant Photo Heidelberg

Heidelberg has diversified and set up a dedicated business unit for the industrial development, manufacture, and sale of printed and organic electronics. The company has also started production at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site, investing some five million Euros in a complete production line for printed sensors.

Sensors developed at the InnovationLab (iL) in Heidelberg for use in dental technology are set to be printed first. These innovative printed sensors make it possible, for the first time, to record the distribution of masticatory pressure during occlusion digitally, that is to say, when the upper and lower jaws come together. The 3D visualization on a tablet and data archiving enables malocclusions to be identified and subsequently corrected.

A hand-held reader can dynamically record masticatory pressure distribution thanks to innovative printed sensors Photo Heidelberg
A hand-held reader can dynamically record masticatory pressure distribution thanks to innovative printed sensors Photo Heidelberg

Looking further ahead, Heidelberg is to use state-of-the-art printing technology at its high-tech campus to produce sensors for other digital applications – in particular in healthcare and logistics and also in the retail and automotive sectors. “Embarking on the development and industrial production of printed and organic electronics represents a milestone for Heidelberg and Germany as an industrial player. As we see it, our involvement in this production of high-tech sensors opens up the potential for growth in the two- to three-digit million Euro range,” said Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.

Heidelberg is investing in the production of printed and organic electronics, which offers billion euro market potential. Photo Heidelberg
Heidelberg is investing in the production of printed and organic electronics, which offers billion euro market potential. Printed electronics shown on a Heidelberg Gallus narrow web flexo press Photo Heidelberg

The future industrial printing of organic electronics and the associated software and hardware development represents a first for the German mechanical engineering company. It will take digitization forward in leaps and bounds. The new sensor printing technology makes Germany’s high-tech industry, a world leader in this area of development. In operational terms, its introduction offers Heidelberg a whole host of development opportunities, printing sensors mile after mile on an industrial scale in a cleanroom environment. The technology and the sheer scale of output in this form are currently unrivaled anywhere in the world.

Our view

Great news for the industry. It is good to see this innovative response from Heidelberg to the overall crisis gripping the offset press manufacturing industry. Everyone talks about printed electronics, and what was needed was someone to invest in making it happen and blazing a trail to show how it can be done. This diversification will be a great inspiration to Heidelberg customers. When speaking with Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer, one gets the feeling that he is never thinking just about sheetfed offset or web flexo presses. Earlier, he got Heidelberg to make charging connecting connectors for electric automobiles. This diversification is even more exciting because it uses printing to create not documents or packaging but electronic sensors for healthcare and logistics. Finally, some excitement in print!

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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