Heidelberg and Fujifilm have teamed up in a fresh digital printing alliance focused on inkjet printing. In a surprise move the two companies announced a partnership deal, at the same time as Heidelberg announced its half-year results.

Described as “a broad alliance aimed at strengthening existing business,” the manufacturers highlighted the commercial and packaging print markets as key target areas. Heidelberg chief executive Gerold Linzbach said he envisaged Heidelberg’s digital business overall (including its existing equipment) generating sales of more than €200m within three years. The two suppliers will also aim to exploit synergies in each company’s global network of customers, and sales and support operations. As well as next-generation inkjet printing products, they will share their know-how in pre-press. Shigetaka Komori, chairman & CEO of Fujifilm said, “With Heidelberg’s global market presence, we can introduce our products to new customer groups.” Fujifilm acquired inkjet head manufacturer Dimatix in 2006. It first showed its sheetfed B2 inkjet colour press, the Jet Press 720, in 2008 and subsequently launched a colour inkjet web.
This is Heidelberg’s third major alliance for digital printing. It teamed up with Kodak to develop the NexPress, which launched at Drupa 2000, but the joint venture came to an end in 2004 when Heidelberg sold its stake for just $1 and Kodak took sole ownership.