PRINTING United Exhibitor Spotlight: Q&A with Clarence Penge, Heidelberg's Executive VP of Product Management
1. What will be some of the highlights of your PRINTING United booth?
Heidelberg will present the Smart Print Shop concept, which can be incorporated in both the packaging or the commercial segment of the market. The approach is both scalable and modular, meaning a Smart Print Shop is built and designed to fit both small and large plants. Of course, the individual components will vary based on the segment and application. The Smart Print Shop is about processes, or in other words, a seamless integration in the workflow along the complete value chain of manufacturing. A Smart Print Shop enables a bidirectional approach of data through digitization of the equipment and software. For example, on press we use artificial intelligence to simplify tasks and eliminate touchpoints during makeready, but all task and production data is delivered back upstream for MIS or production quality reports. This also allows for tracking of job status. At PRINTING United, the whole value chain will be connected to gain efficiency, and we’ll bring MIS, workflow, digital, press, and postpress.
2. What are you most looking forward to about attending one of the first printing/packaging industry events since the pandemic?
I think it’s fair to say the whole world wants to get out and have a sense of normalcy, and people want to see and experience what they’ve missed. PRINTING United is a great way to catch up individually, while learning about new solutions in person, not on video or ZOOM calls. It’s personal interaction with our customers that I believe will help all of us in the industry. Heidelberg has continued to develop our technology through the COVID phase and being able to show it in person is extremely exciting as see immediate reaction and excitement from our customers.
3. What are some of your expectations for the packaging industry in the coming year?
2020 and 2021 had a strong growth in the segment, and I see this trend continuing. Packaging is always evolving to the market needs and in many cases driving the change needed. The challenges for our customer will only get more complex as we live in an ‘on demand world’ with extreme price pressure, and a labor force that’s hard to come by. That said, investment in automation will continue.
4. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Heidelberg has a broad portfolio of products for all segments of the industry and it is impossible to bring everything in one location, but we have multiple demonstration and training sites around the world for additional customer discussions. In fact, before the calendar year end you will see additional events for customers to participate in, such as Innovations Days a live streaming event, and even an in person open house in Atlanta. The future is bright, and we are helping our customers take their business to the next level.