Print Industry in Times of COVID-19 – Heidelberg Presents Print Media Industry Climate Report

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is presenting its Print Media Industry Climate Report to the public for the first time. The company provides weekly updates on the development of print volumes in the packaging and label printing and commercial printing market segments. The representative basis of the anonymized data is formed by around 5,000 selected offset presses of all format classes at customers worldwide who are connected to the Heidelberg Cloud. The current data for around 50 countries per segment is determined from this and displayed on a world map. The colors shown on the country map are indicators of how the estimated current production in print shops is compared to the previous year. The scale ranges from 1 (serious impact of COVID-19 on production) to 8 (production above last year’s level), with 7 representing production at last year’s level.

“With the Print Media Industry Climate Report we have our finger on the pulse of our customers,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “The weekly climate in the print industry was developed to support print shops during the Corona pandemic in particular. It is important for all participants in the printing industry to understand which market segments and countries are currently most affected. The basis for this added value is the extensive data pool of our cloud, to which almost all newly delivered presses are connected. We publish this information without access restrictions in order to set an example for the industry and are happy to exchange information with printing associations and partners worldwide. Together we are mastering this crisis”.

Heidelberg’s estimates provide a timely representative picture of the current state of the print media industry and indicate where priorities and efforts are needed to support those involved in the industry.

The most important findings of the past four weeks were:

  • During the corona pandemic, print production in China fell by up to 80 percent compared to normal volumes, but recovered as the infection curve fell and is now back to last year’s levels in both the commercial and the packaging/label segments.
  • The packaging and the label segment is very stable in the corona period, mainly due to the increasing demand for food and pharmaceutical packaging. Nevertheless, local supply problems such as the discontinuation of paper production in India are having a negative impact on this segment in some countries.
  • While print production in all other countries was stable until mid-March 2020 and was above the level of previous years, the outbreak of the corona pandemic and the shutdown in the countries has led to a significant reduction in print volume worldwide, especially in the commercial market.

With the PMI Climate Report, the Heidelberg Digital Unit, which was founded in 2018, is making its data science capabilities available. Heidelberg customers can monitor the productivity of their presses in the Heidelberg Assistant. The new Heidelberg Performance Benchmark presented at the drupa press conference provides Heidelberg customers with detailed insights into the position of their presses.

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