Heidelberg moves further into the Industry 4.0 space

By Max Goldbart, Tuesday 06 June 2017

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Heidelberg has taken the next step of its digital strategy by acquiring Germany-based software developer Docufy.

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Docufy is the first of a number of 'potential acquisitions' the new Heidelberg CEO has in his sights

The deal completed on 1 May for an undisclosed sum.

Heidelberg’s chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer, appointed last November, announced earlier this year that he was to initiate a revamp of the manufacturer’s organisational structure to align it with “the digital future” and also that he had a number of potential acquisitions in his sights, with Docufy now being the first. 

Based in Bamberg, northern Bavaria, Docufy, which last year had sales of €6.5m (£5.7m) will retain its name and branding for the time being and all 80 staff will be kept on. Docufy founder Uwe Reißenweber will continue to head the business. 

Heidelberg will now have access to Docufy’s software for its own customers along with having access to Docufy’s customer base and in turn Docufy will be able to take advantage of Heidelberg’s newly-developed View2Connect collaboration tool. Heidelberg said Docufy counts “well-known industrial companies” among its customers.

Founded almost 20 years ago, Docufy, which has 20 companies in its partner network, has developed specialist, multi-level technical documentation software.

Its flagship product, TopicPilot, allows company-wide access to specific content, all in one place. It is a cloud solution that consists of server software, a web application, and native apps that run on various mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android.

Joseph Schell, who is responsible for the Heidelberg Digital Platforms division, said the acquisition represented a boost to Heidelberg's Industry 4.0 offer.

“Our idea is to create new business models, new customers in IT solutions, so the portfolio products of Docufy helps us to build up our portfolio within these digital platforms,” said Schell.

“In this case with the technical documentation software solution we gain in the Industry 4.0 sector. So more know-how about technologies of Industry 4.0, this is a milestone in that business.” 

Docufy also offers its Cosima Enterprise Component Content Management System (CCMS) software, which configures customer-specific information models while migrating existing data models across to the new CCMS, and its Cosima Go! CCMS, which creates compliant technical documentation.

Schell was quiet on the subject of the next Heidelberg digital acquisition but didn’t rule out the possibility of another in the near future. 

“We are always watching the market but as far as news we will inform the market when it happens. We look at the technologies closely so if it makes sense to enlarge the portfolio within Industry 4.0 we will do it.”

From 1 April 2017, the Heidelberg digital revamp saw it establish two new segments, Heidelberg Digital Technology (HDT) and Heidelberg Digital Business & Services (HDB).

HDT combines sheetfed offset, label printing and post-press while HDB manages Heidelberg’s operations related to services, consumables, remarketed equipment and digital printing technology, with the Heidelberg Digital Platforms division falling under HDB. 

Last month, Heidelberg announced sustained profit improvement after seeing its best Q4 performance for nine years. 

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