Robyn Frampton says the company's investment in a new advanced national printing headquarters underlines Heidelberg's commitment to the local printing industryHe who's who of Melbourne printing joined Heidelberg luminaries present and past to celebrate the official opening of Heidelberg's impressive new national headquarters at Notting Hill in Melbourne's south east, an area nicknamed by many as the country's own special printing zone, due to the sheer number of printers and suppliers in the vicinity.
VIPs - and CEOs - were thick on the ground at the opening, joining customers, Heidelberg personnel past and present, including the Hon John Brumby, Premier of Victoria, who wielded the ceremonial scissors with Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, who came to Australia from Germany especially for the event. Joining them on the official platform were Bent Mortensen, Head of Heidelberg Asia Pacific based in Singapore. and Andy Vels Jensen, MD of Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand. Good friend of Heidelberg, Michael Neugart, one-time Heidelberg Australia and Heidelberg NZ staffer and now GM of Polar-Mohr, also flew in from Germany for the event.
The new facility brings the company's national sales and service operation, Victorian office, national showroom and demonstration facility under one roof, and sees the company's renowned Print Media Academy relocated from Sydney to Melbourne.
Vels Jensen said the decision to headquarter the company in Melbourne was 'an easy choice' when all factors were considered - a vote of confidence with which Premier Brumby was clearly delighted.
Spruiking the State Brumbny said, “Melbourne leads all the State capitals, in population growth, jobs growth and new building approvals. We welcome investment by companies like Heidelberg and I am delighted the market leader has chosen Melbourne as the home for this extremely impressive facility.”
Brumby, who said he was familiar with Heidelberg as a market leader from meeting with Herr Schreier at the government's bi-annual business gatherings in Frankfurt, said the new facility built on a strong historical foundation.
“Heidelberg started its life in this country as Schnellpressenfabrik which, if I'm correct, means 'fast printing' or something similar,” Brumby said, to nods of approval from the German contingent.
“This press over here,” he said, indicating the impressive Speedmaster XL105 already on the showroom floor, “does just that. It represents the best, the newest and, I might add, the most environmentally sound technology of its kind available today. It is this kind of technology that drives productivity and allows us to compete on the world stage.”
Certainly, the new premises look world class.
Ideally located, in the heartland of Melbourne's graphic arts community and just off the Monash Freeway which links to the city, airport and major arterial roads, it will give customers easy access to what are undeniably excellent demonstration and training facilities.
In terms of style, anyone who visited the company's Richmond premises will have something of a sense of déja-vû. Designed in conjunction with the building owner, the Goodman Group, and Heidelberg's own consulting architect, it was built by Melbourne firm Qanstruct who also completed the company's previous facility.
The main difference, of course, is scale. With the luxury of space delivered by the suburban location, this building has a much larger footprint than its predecessor with an overall size of some 4000 square metres - 2400sqm of office space, 1000sqm of showroom and another 600sqm for warehousing.
The vast, two-storey showroom within the Print Media Academy is the centerpiece of the facility. Serviced by its own café and overlooked by the spacious boardroom and library facilities, it runs across the full frontage of the building.
Adjacent to the showroom on one side is a spacious pre-press facility which will showcase full CTP and the complete Heidelberg Prinect workflow, while the other side houses training rooms with fully integrated audio visual facilities. Relocating the Print Media Academy meant finding a new person to run it, a role given to Mary Drivas promoted from a service adminstration position to oversee operations.
The facilities have been finished just in time to play their first major role, as the centre for pre drupa training and new equipment demonstrations following the expo next year.
Almost all Heidelberg's drupa releases - plus some from Polar - are planned for display here during 2008 including the new Speedmaster XLP and new prepress releases including the eagerly anticipated new scheduling model for Prinect.
For Schreier, the investment is a sign of his company's ongoing commitment to the market in this part of the world, and its determination to remain the leading supplier to the industry here.
“Heidelberg has been in Australia for more than 80 years, and we look forward to being here for at least another 80,” he said.
“We consider it of great value that you - our customers, staff and friends - are here today to help us inaugurate this new building, which delivers customers in Australia and New Zealand outstanding facilities, in particular the Print Media Acadamy, which will be a centre of excellence for training and learning.
“It is our wish that the new facilities provide a valuable resource not only for Heidelberg and its customers, but for the industry as a whole.”