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Folding box printing goes online!
Heidelberg and Weig implement a new business model

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  5. Folding box printing goes online !: Heidelberg and Weig implement new business model
© Photo: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen
Weig Packaging opts for the Heidelberg subscription model.
“We want to develop our Emskirchen location into a pioneering folding box company in terms of availability and flexibility. We are therefore entering into a partnership with Heidelberg in which our strategic and economic interests are aligned. With the implementation of the new business model, Heidelberg will no longer earn money from the delivery of the machine components, but only from the achievement of agreed productivity and growth targets, ”Toni Steffens, commercial director of Weig Packaging, explains the decision. With the subscription model, Heidelberg is banking on a growing trend for pay per use in mechanical engineering and thus wants to become less dependent on growth through the sale and installation of printing capacity alone.

In the new digital business model, customers pay for usage

In this model from Heidelberg, the customer pays exclusively for a productive industrial service, i.e. for the number of sheets printed. In the classic business model, the customer buys the printing presses and pays separately for consumables or services. In the new digital business model, the sheet price to be billed includes all equipment, all necessary consumables such as printing plates, inks, varnishes, detergents, rubber blankets and a comprehensive range of services geared towards availability. This differs significantly from the click charge model already introduced by digital printing press providers. Although they also charge per sheet, they are primarily based on their own costs and not on the customer's business model.

"With the Heidelberg subscription model, the economic responsibility for the highest technical availability, increased productivity and maximum use of the installed equipment no longer rests solely with the customer, but for the first time also with the provider," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Member of the Management Board and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberg. “After all, a customer only enters into a long-term contract with us if he has permanent benefits from it. We guarantee him this with our operator model. It is also a future-oriented solution if customers want to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by digitization in the overall system, ”continues Hermann.

New approach offers increased availability and new possibilities for the user

As part of the agreement, two new Speedmaster XL 106s of the Drupa 2016 generation with push-to-stop and multicolor technology will be installed at the Emskirchen folding box plant. The overall model also includes all service components, spare and wear parts, all consumables required to operate the machines and a range of training and consulting services aimed at increasing availability. Weig also uses the new “Heidelberg Assistant” digitization solution, which went into series production at the end of 2017.

The Heidelberg Assistant is being expanded into a central control panel. In practice, a big step has already been taken in the direction of Industry 4.0 for the entire industry, where machines and components communicate with each other independently. Wear and maintenance are identified at an early stage and enable joint and forward-looking service planning. This results in a significantly increased availability of the machines. The benefit for Weig: greater flexibility with regard to customers and scheduling with the aim of just-in-time production.

“The establishment of pay-per-use models in industrial offset printing is the result of the ongoing digital transformation of our company as well as its software and data expertise. Heidelberg offers the customer the “smart” overall system consisting of the machine, services, consumables and software solutions, ”says Hermann. “The stable management of such an overall system is unthinkable without big data applications, for example in predictive maintenance, and our push-to-stop approach to autonomous printing. Not only our customers, but also our investors appreciate the advantages of long-term, sustainable business relationships aimed at the digitization of the industry ”.