According to Klaus Nielsen, managing director at Heidelberg India, the survey used 450 used presses of different brands and format size coming to market for sales on a worldwide basis to assess the annual number of impressions they produce. “Our customers sell printed sheets, to make their margins so it’s a great indicator of real-life productivity.”
The report was commissioned by Heidelberg, as the company wanted an independent third party to verify the findings, it had done. The company tracked data for last two years which verifies the findings of Smithers Pira.
The report used the total impression the presses had and divided that by the age to get the number of impressions/year. However, there are at least two important variables the report does not mention: shifts, and run-length.
Nielsen explained, “Of course one can argue there are many factors influencing the impression count of a printing press, but if the surveyed population is sufficient, the statistical variances will be averaged out.”
He added, “The fact remains that the difference in output of printed sheet found in the Pira study between Heidelberg and other brands is so significant it can only be explained by the differences in technology. Printing machines are no different from most other products, where there is also a very clear link between price and performance and this study is just a confirmation of what we have been telling our customers for years.”
Press manufacturers generally talk about increased productivity, but its profit that matters. The survey showed that the CD 102 outperforms all of the competition, and therefore provides the lowest cost per sheet in the capacity requirement segment of 30 million sheets per year.
Nielsen said, “Two things here, if you buy a machine buy the one that best fits the capacity need you have, and ensure it has the lowest production cost per sheet, as that’s what a printer add their margin to, to make a profit. It also shows that, on paper, machines are made to look equal, but they perform very differently in a real production environment, and that the real production capability is what you are paying for.”
But does buying a close to ten-year-old Heidelberg press with the kind of productivity it has, make sense? What about the wear and tear? “No,” said Nielsen. “It suggests that the capability to keep performing at a high output level comes down to the base build quality and the software that drives it. Based on the findings the second best option to a new Heidelberg is a used one as it will still outperform a new competitive machine. Obviously, if well maintained it will continue to perform.”
Heidelberg said, it has hundreds of pre-owned machines in India, and with key print companies in India, but did not reveal the name.
Heidelberg most recent high-end new machine installation was at Edelmann, which installed India’s first 12-unit Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102.