Smithers Pira has ignited a debate about press productivity with the publication of a white paper on the performance of pre-owned presses that comes down heavily in Heidelberg’s favour.
The report, Real Production Capability of Pre-owned Sheetfed Litho Presses, involved analysis of hundreds of used presses for sale through 16 dealers around the world.
Heidelberg has trumpeted the results as proof that its presses are the most productive in the industry, while also producing the lowest cost per sheet. “Heidelberg delivers on average 26-52% more productivity than competitive equipment across three size platforms,” the manufacturer stated.
Presses included in the study needed to be under ten years old, and have information available detailing age and impression count. Smithers Pira looked at a total of 444 litho presses ranging from B3 to B1 format for the report.
The research organisation said that VLF presses were excluded as the sample size of 17 was too small.
It analysed presses manufactured by Heidelberg, Koenig & Bauer, Komori, Manroland Sheetfed, and Ryobi MHI (RMHI).
The report’s conclusion was stark. It stated: “The analysis shows that Heidelberg presses produce higher volumes of print annually than competitor machines on average… The analysis shows that the profit opportunity for Heidelberg machines is significantly higher than for competitive models.”
Andy Rae, newly-appointed global head of marketing at Heidelberg, said: “When we studied the data available online for the used equipment market, we started truly understanding the reality of how much more productive Heidelberg equipment is versus our competitors.
“But to have the data verified by a respected organisation such as Smithers Pira, it now shows the whole industry the astounding proof of Heidelberg productivity.”
The report also singles out the latest-generation of Heidelberg XL and KBA Rapida 106 B1 presses for comparison, and describes Heidelberg presses as “considerably ahead”, delivering an average of 66.5% more impressions a year than the KBA alternative.
Koenig & Bauer, Komori and Manroland Sheetfed have not yet responded to the findings of the study, after Heidelberg issued a press release about it this morning (19 October).
Murray Lock, managing director at M Partners, told PrintWeek: “We measure customers based on machine costs, performance, service costs, spares costs, and downtime costs. We’d be amazed on that basis on Heidelberg’s claim.
“We are happy to compare like-for-like with any manufacturer, and as it happens we are just conducting an analysis of service contracts across Europe, because service cost is a really hot topic.”
M Partners is the European Technical Service Centre for Ryobi MHI’s B1 press range.
It’s not clear whether the survey was commissioned by a press manufacturer or not, and that information was unavailable from Smithers Pira at the time of writing.
The full report is available for download from the Smithers Pira site.