Heidelberg pre-owned presses cited as most productive in the industry by Smithers Pira

Smithers Pira’s newest report – Real Production Capability of Pre-Owned Sheetfed Litho Presses – analyzes the impression count of almost 450 pre-owned sheetfed litho presses under 10 years old from five major press manufacturers. Averaged across all platform sizes, the report revealed that Heidelberg presses are 24.1% more productive than all other manufacturers’ machines when comparing the overall impression count of all machines in all formats.

In the case of the Speedmaster XL 105/106, the press is 66% more productive than all the competitive machines. Smithers Pira’s costing model showed 11% lower production costs per 1,000 sheets. Smithers Pira is a worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and printing industry supply chains. The company provides expertise and market intelligence, and offers a range of testing services supported by comprehensive facilities in the U.S. and the UK. With over 80 years’ technical and scientific experience, the firm help clients worldwide with their business and testing requirements.

Andy Rae.
Andy Rae.

“When we studied the data available online for the used equipment market, we started to truly understand the reality of how much more productive Heidelberg equipment is, versus our competitors,” said Heidelberg Global Head of Marketing Andy Rae. “But to have the data verified by a respected organization such as Smithers Pira, it now shows the entire industry the astounding proof of Heidelberg productivity.”

Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106.
Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106.

Lowest cost per sheet

The study analyzed the output of B1, B2, and B3 machines, with a primary focus on the two larger format sizes. For all B2 (29”) presses, Heidelberg’s average annual impression count was 68.5% higher than the machines from the other four manufacturers. Across all B1 (40-41”) formats, Heidelberg presses (Speedmaster CD 102 and Speedmaster XL 105/106) were an average of 36% more productive. When comparing the average production costs of Heidelberg B1 presses to competitive equipment, both the XL 105/106 and CD 102 formats were more cost-effective in producing 1,000 sheets. Heidelberg’s entry level B1 press, the Speedmaster CD 102, even outperformed the “highest specification” competitive model in terms of lower production costs.

Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-X
Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-X.

“What this study proves is that buying a new press from another manufacturer, regardless of purchase price, means that you’ll be paying a higher cost per sheet,” Rae added. “Even with a 25% purchase price premium, Heidelberg machines only need to produce 8.75% more to justify the price difference versus our competitors’ machines.”

Smithers Pira added that this additional productivity provides a significant competitive advantage to Heidelberg machines, and that the analysis shows that the profit opportunity for Heidelberg machines is significantly higher than for the competitive models.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.