• Print Innovation Asia

Heidelberg focuses on packaging market growth strongest in China

Heidelberg highlighted its focus on the high market potential in China. The company is ideally positioned in the growing field of folding carton printing on board worldwide and in China in particular.

Asia was the biggest market in 2018 for packaging growth, accounting for around 40% of global packaging consumption. China is the world’s biggest packaging consumer, at over $200 billion. It is also forecast to have the fastest growth in packaging consumption over the five-year period from 2019 to 2024, with a rate of almost 5%. This is due to the rising real take-home pay, an expanding middle class, a growing population, the increasing urbanization, and further expansion of E-commerce.

“The Chinese market, which is so important for us, is the one where demand has returned fastest and closest to that of the previous year during the pandemic,” confirmed CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “The long-term prospects look good too. China is still the fastest-growing market in the world. Our market share of almost 50 percent puts us out in front here, and we want to consolidate our strong position even further. Therefore we will further expand our production capacities in Shanghai and increase our competitiveness there with a higher share of value added. As well as local production, Heidelberg China will also provide assistance with a strong sales and service team. We have our sights firmly set on the successful packaging printing companies above all.”

Packaging Day in PMC Shanghai with over 108,000 views online

At the end of September, Heidelberg held a combined in-person and online event, Packaging Day.

On site in the Print Media Center (PMC) Shanghai, 65 customers got to see four different applications being produced with more than ten live demonstrations on a Speedmaster CD-102 nine-colour press. Highlights here were the high-speed job changes and the sophisticated finishings that add a lot of value to packagings. These premium packagings are especially popular in China.

In parallel, Heidelberg reported over 108,000 views online, where live demonstrations and customer reports were being presented on two live streaming platforms. The event got almost 70,000 likes.

“In the Greater China market we will invest more in new concepts, platforms, and applications as well as in regional events in order to guarantee more direct communication with the customer,” confirmed Benny Huang, CEO of Heidelberg Greater China. “The Packaging Day enabled us to present our innovations effectively online and offline, and communicate instantly with our customers. We couldn’t be happier with the positive result: nearly 20 opportunities about sheetfed presses with a total value of almost 12 million euros, three of these opportunities came over the online platforms.”

Leading Chinese packaging printers trust in Heidelberg solutions

Meanwhile, Heidelberg announced new installs by Chinese packaging printers.

In 2020, Sichuan Kuanzhai Printing Co. Ltd. (Kuanzhai), one of the leading Chinese tobacco packaging printers, expanded its print capacity with the construction of a new factory in Suining. As part of this, the company placed an order with Heidelberg China for two Speedmaster CX 102 presses with a total of 23 printing units. The first of these is set to be installed this year still, in December. With the new install, Kuanzhai can produce over one million cartons annually in its Suining factory. The company mainly prints premium tobacco packagings.

The Shenzhen Jinjia Group (Jinjia) installed two Speedmaster CD 102-6+L presses, specifically used for the development of new printed products and colour proofs in Jinjia’s development center. Jinjia is a packaging printing company that services the high-end market with prestigious brands in the tobacco, liqueur, spirits, and cosmetics segments. All printing presses at the headquarters in Shenzhen and in the other branches are customized long Speedmaster CX 102 and CD 102 machines, designed together with Jinjia and tailored to the needs of the end customers.

Shenzen’s Xian Jun Long took delivery this year of a new Speedmaster CD 102-9+L featuring the 9,999th printing unit produced by the Heidelberg Shanghai site. Xian Jun Long specializes in packagings for spirits, cigarettes, and luxury goods. Xian Jun Long is set to take delivery of two further Speedmaster CD 102-8+L presses this year.

Speedmaster is a bestseller in China

The Heidelberg Shanghai production site now encompasses a production area of around 45,000 square meters, making it one of the biggest printing press factories in Asia based on square footage. The factory is operating to full capacity and the production figures for the last quarter of 2020 are actually higher than last year. The export quota for this year is also higher than last year, with a high rate of exports to Japan, for example. This includes the first Speedmaster CD 102 eight-color press with coating unit outside of China.

The bestseller is the Speedmaster CD 102. Around 60 to 70% of these are used for packaging printing. The long coating unit presses are particularly well received in the Chinese market.

“We’ve ramped up here from year to year – we started in 2018 with the delivery of the first Speedmaster CD 102-7+L, this was followed a year later by the Speedmaster CD 102-8+L, and this year by the Speedmaster CD 102-9+L, which was delivered to the printing company Xian Jun Long in Shenzhen. From 2018 to today, over 80 of these long packaging presses from the Speedmaster CD 102 series have been produced and sold,” said Achim Mergenthaler.

Heidelberg partners with Masterwork, Tianjin, (MK) for the postpress machines in the packaging segment. The relationship was further strengthened in 2019, with MK Masterwork becoming a long-term, strategic anchor shareholder in Heidelberg with a shareholding of around 8.5%. This will enable Heidelberg to further expand its position in the growing packaging printing market with MK. Heidelberg recently announced a joint venture with Masterwork, to further strengthen its position in the growth market of China.

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