Tuck Tucker, President of Tucker Castleberry

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Heidelberg presses largest market is China

Press Release from Heidelberg 5/29/13:

With over 180,000 visitors, the China Print trade show, held from May 14 to 18, 2013, in Beijing, has firmly established itself as Asia’s biggest event for the print media industry. In addition to healthy interest from Chinese companies, the number of visitors from outside China rose significantly. China Print welcomed above all, print shops from other countries in Asia, such as Taiwan, the Philippines, and India, but also visitors from Central and South America and Russia. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) presented its products and services, including a large number of innovations, on the growing Asian market, under the banner Discover HEI. “We were very pleased with the outcome of the trade show,” said Marcel Kiessling, member of the Heidelberg Management Board responsible for Sales and Services. “Customers showed great interest in our new products and services. We are confident that we’ll continue to profit from the potential offered by this region in the future.”

The Heidelberg trade show stand was dedicated to aspects of particular interest to customers in China and other countries in Asia – high productivity through lean production processes (HEI Productivity), coating and special effects in packaging printing (HEI Emotions and HEI End), web-to-print (HEI Integration), and green printing (HEI Eco). Visitors were given an insight into a complete print shop workflow for packaging printing. Heidelberg also demonstrated the entire production process for commercial printing with a particular focus on lean production and integration of web-to-print. Products and services for green printing were covered in all segments.

Premiere of the Speedmaster SX platform on the Chinese market

The new SX press platform made its debut on the Chinese market in the form of the Speedmaster SX 102 eight-color perfecting press. This platform has been optimized for the commercial print segment in particular and is aimed primarily at print shops that are expanding and therefore need to increase their productivity further still.

High demand for machines produced locally in Qingpu
The standard Speedmaster SM 52 and SM 74 four-color presses made at the Chinese production facility in Qingpu near Shanghai were also on display in Beijing. In addition, visitors had the opportunity to see the Speedmaster CD 102 five-color press, which was added to the Qingpu production program in spring last year. Heidelberg is the only European press manufacturer to have its own factory in China. Since it opened in 2005, the factory has produced over 900 presses of various formats and more than 770 Stahlfolder KH 66/78 folding machines for sale in China and other countries. Customers were impressed with the quality of the locally produced machines. Around half of the printing units order at the show were for standard machines made in Qingpu.

Service portfolio with service contracts and Saphira consumables

In response to the demands of the Asian market for seamless machine operation, Heidelberg presented its portfolio for services and consumables. This takes the form of made-to-measure service agreements for the various print shop business models. Heidelberg has further developed its Remote Service concept and now also offers the Remote Monitoring function. With this function, the status of the machine is monitored continuously during operation so that any faults or problems can be identified at an early stage. Saphira consumables from Heidelberg combined with the comprehensive service portfolio enable Chinese print shops to get the most out of their equipment while also protecting the environment.

Chinese customers at the show were also very interested in finding suitable financing concepts. Heidelberg Financial Services offered a comprehensive range of financing solutions in cooperation with local external financing partners. In this market, Heidelberg makes around two-thirds of its machine sales in active cooperation with its partners.

China remains the most important single market for Heidelberg

Heidelberg generates around 16 percent of its total sales in China, thus making it the biggest single market for the company. And market growth is expected to continue in the future. Heidelberg has structured its market organization in China accordingly. With a workforce of over 1,000 employees, it boasts the most extensive organization of any foreign press manufacturer. Its workforce includes over 600 sales and service staff and around 450 employees working in production.

QR Codes in Mercedes-Benz cars

Who said QR codes are starting to fizzle?  Wrong…those codes link to a lot of information through one snapshot — and Mercedes-Benz may just use that efficiency to save lives. The automaker is putting the symbols on vehicles so that emergency crews just need a phone camera scan for easy access to rescue sheets, which are schematics that show where to cut into a wrecked car when recovering trapped passengers. With such immediate knowledge, rescuers don’t have to wait for a model confirmation or else risk cutting wires and fuel lines. While we’ll initially see the QR codes only in Mercedes-Benz cars made this year and beyond (placed inside the fuel door and on the opposite side B-pillar), the company isn’t being selfish: it’s refusing to patent its method in the hope that every vehicle manufacturer will quickly embrace the technology.

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DSCOOP7 in D.C.

I have just returned from the DSCOOP7 conference in Washington, D.C. sponsored by HP Indigo.  I have to say it may have been the BEST conference I have ever attended. Other than 7 or 8 seminars each day, there was a huge showroom full of 100+ companies demonstrating their wares in the digital print world. It was all very impressive. There were answers to every digital need from software for storefronts, web design, cross-media campaign marketing technology, substrates for digital printing, finishing equipment for the digital press, software solutions for variable data printing, web-to-print solutions, personalized email marketing, etc., etc., etc.  It was the entire digital universe packed into one hotel for 3 days.  There were companies there from around the world…close to 2,500 participants. The incredible amount of sharing information between companies was most impressive.  It seemed like the HP Indigo users (of which 90% of attendees were operating their presses) were a peer group of 2,000+ with one common goal…TO HELP EACH OTHER BE SUCCESSFUL AND PROSPER. The atmosphere was electric and exciting.  I know I will never miss another.

ManRoland Press update

UK investor buys entire Manroland sheetfed arm

3 Feb 2012 |  Jo Francis   |   Comment now

UK-based engineering group Langley Holdings has bought Manroland’s sheetfed production facility as well as more than 40 international sales operations – but not ANZ.The Langley bid does not include Manroland Australasia, which has been taken over as part of Possehl Group’s acquisition of Manroland’s web arm.

However, Manroland Australasia will represent the new sheetfed company in Australia and New Zealand.

Steve Dunwell, managing director of Manroland Australasia, said the deal boded well for local customers.

“We are very excited that both the web and sheetfed divisions of Manroland have been purchased by such successful industrial enterprises for the long-term future of the companies. Our customers’ investments in the Manroland technologies of presses is secure,” he said.

Langley chairman and chief executive Tony Langley said: “We foresee very good economic prospects for Manroland sheetfed following the recent restructuring.

“This is a world-class business with an excellent reputation and its production and research and development facilities are superb; everything one expects of the very best of German engineering.”

The family-owned company Langley was founded in 1975 and is made up of four divisions primarily based in the UK, Germany, France and the US. It employs around 2,300 staff worldwide. In its most recent accounts it filed sales of €494.7 million ($607 million) with a pre-tax profit of €76.3 million.

Manroland administrator Werner Schneider said: “Tony Langley, sole shareholder of the Langley Group, is well known as a long-term investor who acts strategically. We are convinced that a lasting perspective has been found for Manroland’s sheetfed printing business.”

The sale, the value of which is undisclosed, is subject to the approval of the German cartel office, which is expected within the next weeks. According to Schneider, the jobs of 824 staff in Offenbach will be secured by the deal, with the remaining 947 posts eliminated.

Meanwhile, Augsburg’s sale to Possehl – also just confirmed – has saved 1,510 jobs, with 741 redundancies. In addition, 348 jobs have been cut at Manroland’s Plauen site, which is still being run by the administrator, with 320 people retained.

Schneider said that this remaining facility may also be sold to Possehl, although this was only one possibility. Possehl chief executive Uwe Lüders said: “We have not had time to consider it sufficiently, but we will look at it soon.”

The surprise deal for the sheetfed arm was unveiled as the sale of Manroland’s Augsburg plant to the €2 billion ($2.5 billion) turnover Possehl Group was confirmed.

At a press conference held in Augsburg, administrator Werner Schneider confirmed that the Manroland name will continue at the two separate sides of the business.

The Augsburg web offset business acquired by Possehl will become Manroland Web Systems, while the sheetfed operation acquired by Langley will become Manroland Sheetfed.

Schneider decline to reveal details of the sale price for either deal, but did say that it was “significantly higher” than €100 million in total. Both of the new companies expect to be profitable going forward, having been “right-sized” for the needs of the market.

This article originally appeared at printweek.com

Kodak files Chapter 11

January 20, 2012 – Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for chapter 11 business reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The business reorganization is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011.

Kodak has obtained a fully-committed, $950 million debtor-in-possession credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital. The credit facility is subject to Court approval and other conditions precedent. The Company believes that it has sufficient liquidity to operate its business during chapter 11, and to continue the flow of goods and services to its customers in the ordinary course.

Kodak expects to pay employee wages and benefits and continue customer programs. Subsidiaries outside of the U.S. are not subject to proceedings and will honor all obligations to suppliers, whenever incurred. Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries will honor all post-petition obligations to suppliers in the ordinary course.

Paper vs Electronic

If you prefer to read from paper instead of an electronic screen, you’re not alone.  According to a recent survey commissioned by Two Sides, the fast-growing non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper, 70 percent of Americans, including 69 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, say they prefer to read print and paper communications than reading off a screen.  Most of those surveyed also believe that paper records are more sustainable than electronic record storage (68 percent) and that paper is more pleasant to handle and touch than other media (67 percent).

Samuel Gompers once said…

Samuel Gompers, founder of The American Federation of Labor once said… “The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.” —

And he also said,  “Time is the most valuable thing on earth: time to think, time to act, time to extend our fraternal relations, time to become better men, time to become better women, time to become better and more independent citizens.”

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