Drupa 2024: Heidelberg ventures into industrial digital printing with Jetfire

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is expanding its digital printing portfolio and presenting the new Jetfire family for the growing industrial digital commercial printing market. The systems are based on leading inkjet technology from cooperation partner Canon.

28 May 2024 | By Noel D'Cunha

Jetfire 50 from Heidelberg: Productive and reliable in B3 sheet format now available

The new Jetfire family will be integrated into the Heidelberg ecosystem via the Heidelberg Prinect workflow. The company, thus, offers end-to-end solutions that support both offset and digital printing from a single system, ensuring maximum flexibility and cost-effectiveness, particularly in the commercial sector. Heidelberg is thus pooling its expertise in offset and digital printing to provide print shops with a hybrid production environment for cost-effective printing in the future.

“Our aim is to offer our customers who want to operate offset and digital presses simultaneously an attractive and integrated service and product portfolio," said Dr David Schmedding, head of sales at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and chief sales and service Officer from July 1. 

Heidelberg and Canon see growth potential in the expansion of inkjet printing and want to jointly establish this technology in the printing industry for industrial production. With this step, Heidelberg is also adding sheetfed inkjet solutions to its portfolio alongside toner-based Versafire systems and sheetfed offset presses.

As a first step, Heidelberg will be offering an existing B3 digital printing system from Canon with corresponding integration into the Prinect workflow, its own service and consumables under the name Jetfire 50 from Drupa 2024 in Düsseldorf. It is planned to deliver the machine to customers in the first quarter of 2025. 

In a further phase, Heidelberg is expected to offer an inkjet digital printing press in B2 format for commercial printing from mid-2025, with first shipments planned for early 2026. This machine will use state-of-the-art inkjet technology to take industrial digital printing to a new level and will be offered as the Jetfire 75 from Heidelberg. The new digital printing systems are intended to also be operated fully automatically in an integrated system, together with offset presses using Prinect Touch Free via the Prinect workflow from Heidelberg.

“Heidelberg is the partner for printing companies that can supply and integrate all modern technologies in a technology-neutral and demand-oriented manner," continued Schmedding. "We offer the entire spectrum from toner to inkjet, from offset printing to flexo printing - controlled from a common Prinect workflow."

With the Gallus Labelfire and the Gallus One for label printing, Heidelberg has already proven that it can offer successful inkjet solutions in an industrial environment. In addition, the company has already established more than 3,000 Versafire toner-based digital printing installations and over 1,500 integration projects with digital printing machines from other manufacturers in the market.

According to market estimates, the addressable digital printing market for Heidelberg, including service and consumables, will grow from around Euros 5-billion today to Euros 8-billion by 2028. The company aims to significantly increase its turnover with digital printing solutions in the medium term.

The Jetfire 50 is the new digital production solution for industrial print service providers looking for alternative production methods. In B3 sheetfed format, the system combines all the flexibility benefits of digital printing with the stability of inkjet for commercial printing. With a productivity of 9,120 SRA3 sheets per hour, the machine offers great performance combined with high flexibility and reliability. The press is scheduled to be delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2025.

Technical highlights 

Jetfire 50 productivity of 9,120 SRA3 sheets per hour (equivalent to around 18,000 A4 pages/hour)

Up to 2.5 million SRA3 duplex sheets per month

Sustainable water-based inkjet with 1,200x1,200-dpi

Grammage: 60 to 350-gsm

Integrated in Heidelberg Prinect Workflow