Heidelberg Invests in Cloud-Based Solutions

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is using the solutions of U.S. cloud technology supplier PTC to further expand its portfolio for the growth segment of services. The two companies are successfully working together with a broad focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). As a result, Heidelberg can continue adding further Web-based services to its already successful portfolio.

“PTC technologies provide the basis for us to take digitization of the Heidelberg portfolio to the next level,” explains CEO Gerold Linzbach. “The key challenge in the future will be providing our customers with the information they need from the masses of machine data available — to profitable effect. This means turning big data into smart data to make our customers more competitive. The digital age also requires us to make this smart data available via a state-of-the-art customer portal and, with this in mind, we will be presenting our Heidelberg Assistant concept study at drupa 2016.”

PTC’s president and CEO Jim Heppelmann adds, “A long-established reference customer, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen demonstrates how PTC solutions can successfully be utilized for new business models relating to smart services. The use of the PTC Machine Cloud in Europe significantly increased efficiency and enabled the connection of more than 25,000 machines and software modules. Further collaboration will specifically open the path for real-time connection and big data for cutting-edge IoT applications.”

Heidelberg is a pioneer in Web-based machine connection. It unveiled an initial solution based on PTC technologies back at drupa 2004. In recent years, however, the requirements relating to data and data processing have grown exponentially. One reason for this is the ever greater number of machines with big data connections. Over 90% of the units delivered by Heidelberg are now connected to the cloud when they are first installed. The Heidelberg cloud already links over 10,000 machines and a further 15,000 software products to the Heidelberg service portfolio.

Another reason is the gradual addition of further services to the original remote maintenance offering that make the process even faster. One example is the automatic failure notification system eCall. And thanks to this connectivity and the transfer of machine data generated by numerous sensors, Heidelberg goes one step further. Its Predictive Monitoring service product enables the company to analyze data and identify signs of malfunction and irregularities before they lead to failures. A machine specifically equipped for this type of data transmission transfers over 1,000 times more data than when the platform started out in 2004.

As Harald Weimer, member of the management board responsible for Heidelberg Services, explains, “The collaboration between PTC and Heidelberg is based on a trusting relationship. The PTC Machine Cloud provides us with an excellent platform for supporting the continuous growth we have seen in the area of smart services in recent years.”

Smart Data at drupa 2016
Both companies are expecting data volumes for big data applications to redouble in ever shorter periods — a trend that has led Heidelberg to invest in the scalable PTC Machine Cloud platform. PTC, the market leader in IoT technology, provides the basis for state-of-the-art press services such as Predictive Monitoring and Performance Plus — a consulting service to boost productivity. Both these service products have moved beyond the pilot phase and are being showcased as series products at drupa 2016. This makes the trade show a significant collaboration milestone.

The overall aim of Smart Services — the name Heidelberg has given to its services based on the IoT and big data at drupa 2016 — is to further improve press availability and make print shops’ production processes more productive. The large number of machines in the network is key to the quality of the individual service products and productivity recommendations.

The ongoing further development of PTC’s technical solution platform offers Heidelberg an effective starting point for developing further products for its customers based on big data. drupa 2016 gives the company the opportunity to present its current portfolio of IoT services to its customers and provide a taster of new cloud-based services.

PTC Machine Cloud
Heidelberg currently uses the European PTC Machine Cloud from the data center in Frankfurt to monitor over 25,000 customer machines and software modules and respond quickly in the event of a malfunction, or even completely avoid downtime when a potential failure is predicted. The cloud data center is ISO 27001 and TRUSTe Privacy certified, and its location means it is subject to the EU’s stringent data security directives, which ensures Heidelberg and its customers enjoy a very high level of security.

KBA and Xerox Target Folding Carton Market with a 40″ Industrial Digital Sheetfed Press

KBA‑Sheetfed Solutions, a business unit of the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA), and Xerox today announced a partnership to develop an industrial digital sheetfed press for the folding carton market. Wide-format cartons, for items like cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical products, until now, have relied on traditional analog offset production printing.

The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox integrates Xerox Impika inkjet technology into the KBA Rapida 106 press platform. The press, in the final stages of development, will print 4,500 B1 750×1,060 millimeters (29.5×41.7″) sheets per hour. Its modular concept enables the combination of digital inkjet printing with optional in-line capabilities such as coating, cold foil application, rotary diecutting, creasing and perforating.

Digitally printed packaging worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 16% between 2015 and 2020. Within that, digitally printed folding cartons will see a CAGR of 40% (1). The KBA VariJET 106 Press brings the benefits of digital printing such as running multiple versions of the same carton, as well as customize cartons, opening up new business opportunities for industrial production printers.

“As a leader in package printing, our customers are confirming that this is exactly the product they need for the market opportunity that exists,” says Ralf Sammeck, CEO of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions. “Xerox’s inkjet technology coupled with our packaging expertise, combines proven technologies to bring the right product to market at the right time.”

Robert Stabler, general manager, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox, also adds, “By combining digital capabilities like cross media marketing, digital storefronts, and automated workflows with those of classic offset printing, our customers will be able to offer new products not seen in the traditional packaging market to their customers. “The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox will have the flexibility, format and speed to help print providers capture this growing market opportunity.”