Success story of Speedmaster CX 104 from Heidelberg

RCDRUCK invests in package solution

The Speedmaster CX 104 is the new universal press from Heidelberg for virtually all commercial and packaging printing requirements.

The new Speedmaster CX 104 from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is becoming an attractive investment for a growing number of customers. Since the market launch of this universal press, Heidelberg has sold well over 1,000 printing units to customers worldwide – confirmation of the continuing market recovery in the company’s core business. “The Speedmaster CX 104 is exactly what the market has been looking for and is proving equally popular with customers from the packaging and commercial printing sectors,” says Heidelberg, chief executive officer, Rainer Hundsdörfer. “The press was unveiled to the public in summer 2021, and virtually all users are reporting big improvements in their overall efficiency,” he adds.

RCDRUCK gets fit for the future and invests in package solution

Based in Albstadt in Germany, RCDRUCK GmbH KG is one user. The print shop was founded in 1931 and had a trusting partnership with Heidelberg that stretches back decades. RCDRUCK currently has around 50 employees and operates several offset presses from Heidelberg, mostly in the 70 x 100 format, generating seven million euros annual sales. The company serves commercial and packaging printing customers located both locally and nationwide. Before the official market launch, it considered investing in the new Speedmaster CX 104 universal press. Having viewed a pilot press at the Heidelberg site in Wiesloch-Walldorf, RCDRUCK decided to buy one of the first Speedmaster CX 104 systems in Germany. “The combination of the new coating unit, larger sheet format, high level of automation, and excellent flexibility of the Speedmaster CX 104 won us over,” says Markus Conzelmann, managing director and owner of RCDRUCK. “Given that we were about to invest in a replacement for our Speedmaster CD 102, we, therefore, opted for a comprehensive package solution to ensure the print shop’s long-term competitiveness,” he reveals.

Markus Conzelmann, managing director and owner of RCDRUCK, “So far, we are highly satisfied with our decision to invest in the Speedmaster CX 104.”

Besides the Speedmaster CX 104-4+L already installed in summer 2021, this package for the print service provider also includes two Suprasetter 106 platesetters and the Stahlfolder KH 82-P postpress system with FX feeder and shingle folding technology. What’s more, these equipment investments are complemented by a long-term Print Site Contract for machine servicing and maintenance.

Much improved overall equipment efficiency (OEE)

More than six months after the Speedmaster CX 104 was commissioned, Conzelmann can report a significant improvement in the pressroom’s overall equipment efficiency. “Because the CX 104 is highly automated, we were able to switch from three-shift operation to a two-shift model and thus benefit from far lower operating costs. Since the new press includes the Prinect Inpress Control inline color measuring system, paper waste is also around 50% lower than the old Speedmaster CD 102. That means we’ve slashed our paper costs, which is particularly important given the high prices right now,” he explains. In addition, Autoplate Pro makes it possible to achieve up to 60% shorter makeready times for some print jobs. The benefits of the new coating unit – especially its high coating quality and extremely quick and easy screen roller changing, which one person can do – are set to pave the way for RCDRUCK’s further growth in the packaging printing sector.

“So far, we are delighted with our investment decision. The quality of the entire system is perfect, and the Heidelberg service team is always on hand if we happen to need help,” concludes Conzelmann.

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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