A sheetfed offset press is a high-tech device consisting of up to 100,000 parts and components. The work that takes place along the production chain has to be accurate to within a thousandth of a millimeter and error-free. The end product, which consists of up to 50 tons of cast iron and electronics, has to function with greater precision than a Swiss watch.
In various sections, the text describes the different steps from the customer inquiry to the assembled and ready-to-use press. It details the core areas of expertise, commitment to innovation, and the quality system in the world’s largest offset printing press factory.
Heidelberg develops data for production planning from customer requirements and business deals. Components with Heidelberg know-how such as side frames, cylinders, gears, rollers, and electronics are manufactured in the company’s own production network at sites in Amstetten, Brandenburg, and Wiesloch-Walldorf.
Some 60 per cent of the components are obtained from development partners and approved suppliers or as standard parts from the market. One factory at three German sites: In the Heidelberg production network, comprising around 8500 specialists, approximately 65 printing units are produced each day for customers in 170 countries worldwide.
The Wiesloch-Walldorf site is the world’s largest printing press factory.
With the exception of one small- and medium-format series of presses produced for the Chinese market in Qingpu near Shanghai, Heidelberg assembles all of its presses at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site to meet worldwide demand.
At the plant, each press is constructed, test-printed, and subjected to thorough tests. The press system cannot begin its journey to the customer until it has fulfilled strict print quality criteria.
"Our mission is to be the best press manufacturer worldwide," says Stephan Plenz, head of the Heidelberg production network, outlining his aims. The interview contained in the basic press text focuses on employee know-how and the Heidelberg Production System (HPS) with its continuous improvement process.
Significant coverage is given to issues such as training, quality, and technology development. Readers will find detailed information on topics such as the very large format, which is a new press series from Heidelberg, the production site in Asia, products for the postpress sector, and the World Logistics Center (WLC).
Finally, the basic press text charts the 50-year history of the Wiesloch-Walldorf plant and sets out the basic principles of offset printing.