Heidelberg Digital Unit Wins Capital Digital Lab Award 2020
For the second time in succession, the Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is being honored with the Capital Award in the “core-business-related innovation” category as one of Germany’s top digital labs. The Print Media Industry Climate Report published by Heidelberg at the end of April 2020 was a key factor in this success. In particular, the award recognized the company’s ability to continue developing innovative projects, even during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Its Print Media Industry Climate Report provides a weekly update on printing volumes for the market segments of packaging & label printing and commercial printing based on global, objective real-time IIoT data. Some 5,000 selected offset presses in all format classes operated by customers worldwide that are connected by the Heidelberg Cloud, which has access to more than 13,000 machines, create a representative basis for the anonymized data. This random sample corresponds to around 20 percent of global industrial sheetfed offset production, which makes it highly significant. Capital’s panel of judges commented as follows: “Not only is the company helping to tackle the crisis with this tool. It can also make a name for itself outside this otherwise rather unremarkable sector.” No other company reports on developments in its industry in a comparable form based on IIoT data.
“The Heidelberg Digital Unit is making a key contribution to our digitization strategy. By winning the Capital Award 2020, it has once again highlighted the possibilities of data and the practical customer benefits of digitization solutions in our core business, especially in time of crisis,” underlines Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “In addition to giving our customers and the company itself a better idea of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the results of our Climate Report also provide sales and service units with a starting point for overcoming it,” he adds.
The latest Climate Report evaluation shows how COVID-19 is affecting the sector around the globe. There was a positive start to 2020, with print volumes significantly exceeding production in the previous year. The extent to which print shops’ production volumes have been hit correlates closely with the country-specific infection rates and lockdown measures. While commercial printers work at a much reduced capacity at the peak of the infection, packaging and labels are in above-average demand during this period. We are seeing that as the economic situation begins to return to normal, the printing industry is also starting to recover. Commercial printing is picking up again, while the considerable increase in the production of packaging and labels is coming to an end.
This is the fourth time experts from German management consultancy firm Infront Consulting and Germany’s Capital business magazine have investigated the successes companies are achieving with digital labs. This year’s focus was on innovations that have also been successfully commercialized, with a particular spotlight on two areas – “core-business-related innovation” in a company’s specific area of competence, which expands existing business models on established markets, and “non-core-business-related innovation” outside a company’s specific area of competence, which replaces existing business models and unlocks new markets. Based on the evaluation of an online questionnaire, the analysis also used one-on-one interviews with corporate customers (such as CEOs, CDOs, and CSOs) and the operations managers of digital innovation units.