Heidelberg aims to strengthen its competitive position in China

Production joint venture agreed with Masterwork

46
Heidelberg
Heidelberg aims to strengthen its competitive position in China

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (Heidelberg) aims to further strengthen its competitive position in the growth market of China and has therefore set up a production joint venture with its long-standing partner and strategic anchor shareholder Masterwork Group. Heidelberg will benefit from the closer cooperation in the value-added chain between the two companies, particularly at its production site near Shanghai. The two companies also expect the expansion of their strategic cooperation through joint parts production by the joint venture at Masterwork’s site in Tianjin to open up substantial opportunities for boosting efficiency.

“The manufacturing joint venture with Masterwork is a further milestone in the successful cooperation between the two companies and opens up additional opportunities for Heidelberg in China,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer of Heidelberg. “With a sales volume of around EUR 300 million (approximately Rs 2665 crore), China is Heidelberg’s most important single market in the graphic arts industry. We have increasingly strengthened our leading market position by expanding our range of products at our production site near Shanghai. The increasing purchase of locally manufactured parts will significantly increase our competitiveness in this growth market.

Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, the joint venture will take over some of the machine parts previously manufactured by Heidelberg. The main customers are Heidelberg Graphics Equipment (Shanghai) as the local Group company in China, and Masterwork and its affiliated companies. Production is scheduled to start at Masterwork’s new and innovative site in Tianjin at the beginning of 2021.

The joint venture between MK and Heidelberg is a very important step in the strategic development of both sides. Our common goal is to provide high-quality, cost-effective, and intelligent products for the market to better meet and service customer needs,” says Masterwork president Li Li. “Through this cooperation, the joint venture will introduce the most advanced management, production, and manufacturing technologies, all of which are based on Industry 4.0. In addition, various processing centers representing the world’s most advanced level will also be put into use in the joint venture to ensure the best performance and maintain the same high-quality standards as Heidelberg. We firmly believe that the joint venture will live up to the expectations, especially the quality requirements. Finally, we are very happy with this cooperation. By learning from Heidelberg, Masterwork will surely upgrade to a new and higher level of manufacturing and production skills worldwide.”

A total of around 900 Heidelberg employees work in China, around 450 of them in sales and service. This puts Heidelberg in a good position to take advantage of growth opportunities in China and Asia in the future and to further develop and secure these markets for Heidelberg. Two branches in Beijing and Hong Kong and three offices in Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen ensure comprehensive customer support on-site. Together with Masterwork, China’s largest manufacturer of die cutters and hot foil embossing presses and a long-standing sales partner, Heidelberg also aims to significantly expand its market position in the growing packaging printing sector.

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

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here