Wilco to install 11 high-tech Heidelberg presses in new Amersfoort plant

European publishing printer buys 11 Heidelberg XL 106 presses

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Wilco Heidelberg Amersfoort
From left to right –Erik Lukassen, Finance manager at Wilco, Rene Reinsma, Account manager at Heidelberg BeNeLux, Frank van Zijl chief executive officer of Wilco, Dr David Schmedding, head of the Central Europe Cluster at Heidelberg, Robert Jan de Rooij chief Commercial officer at Wilco, and Ammar Allaoui, managing director of Allaoui Graphic Machinery Photo Heidelberg

Heidelberger is experiencing steady investment growth in key market segments and regions. The company recently achieved a major sales success in the publishing sector, which constitutes one of the largest cultural industries in Europe with an estimated total market value of Euro 36-38 billion (approximately Rs 240,000 crore). With over 500,000 works published each year, Europe’s book industry is also exceptionally diverse and has performed amazingly well in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The positive trend is bringing about a more favorable investment climate in publishing print shops. It was against this backdrop that one of Europe’s leading publishing and book printers, Wilco located in the Netherlands, decided to replace the majority of its printing presses with a total of eleven 2020-generation Speedmaster XL 106 presses. This is a part of the company’s site consolidation plan and the associated construction work for a new production center in Amersfoort. These offset printing systems featuring the enhanced Push to Stop technology have various configurations, including four Speedmaster XL 106 8-color perfectors, some with LED UV technology.

61 latest-generation print units with Push to Stop tec

Just last year, Heidelberg installed 18 new XL 106 printing units at the Wilco site in Amersfoort. After ordering another eight Speedmaster XL 106 presses with a total of 43 more printing units, Wilco has now become one of the biggest users of the latest Speedmaster XL 106 generation. Wilco has concluded an additional Print Site contract for the continuous supply of consumables, which ensures materials required for smooth operation, including ink, are delivered as and when required based on actual consumption.

“If, like us at Wilco, a company wants to be able to supply a whole range of products – from books, annual reports, and magazines all the way to direct marketing materials and flyers – in the shortest possible time, in the best quality, and on a sustainably competitive basis, it needs a motivated team, maximum efficiency, and state-of-the-art technologies,” says Robert Jan de Rooij, founder and chief Commercial Officer of Wilco. “When it comes to cutting-edge technology, the portfolio and services offered by Heidelberg completely won us over. We see our investment decision as a groundbreaking move for boosting productivity and tightening our focus on the customer.”

Allaoui Graphic Machinery – strategic partner for Heidelberg

Construction work in Amersfoort is due to be completed this September, by which point all the presses will have been installed at the new Wilco site. Wilco is thus replacing eleven existing presses – all of which have been bought by the Aachen-based family-run company Allaoui Graphic Machinery (AGM). Owing to its data-based market intelligence and innovative machine-matching expertise, AGM is a strategic and reliable partner for Heidelberg and its approach goes hand in hand with the data-driven, customer-focused sales approaches at Heidelberg.

“We are seeing investments steadily rise in markets and regions that are important for us. The Smart Print Shop of the future offers our customers the opportunity to reposition themselves and invest, even in challenging times,” says Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “This deal is one of the biggest combined equipment sales in our company’s history. Our sales and service organization and our product management team have worked closely and very professionally with Allaoui Graphic Machinery on this project.”

From left to right –Erik Lukassen, Finance manager at Wilco, Rene Reinsma, Account manager at Heidelberg BeNeLux, Frank van Zijl chief executive officer of Wilco, Dr David Schmedding, head of the Central Europe Cluster at Heidelberg, Robert Jan de Rooij chief Commercial officer at Wilco, and Ammar Allaoui, managing director of Allaoui Graphic Machinery

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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