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

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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