Even as the “Great Resignation” began to sound across the United States in 2021, the printing industry was already losing an alarming number of retired veteran workers and opportunities in other industries. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that print operator positions are declining at a rate of 13% per year, which equates to approximately 20,000 people leaving their jobs over the next 4 years. Given these worrying figures and the scarcity of training available in the industry, Heidelberg United States decided to restructure its Print Media Center with an emphasis on training programs designed to develop and develop the skills of current and future operators and print industry professionals.
Training: a critical industry need
The new Print Media Performance & Training Center, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, officially “opened” its doors to Heidelberg customers this week at an open house with over 100 attendees in attendance. At the event, Heidelberg presented their initial training schedule for 2022 – which is expected to start this summer. Initially, the courses will focus on what Heidelberg has considered “critical” industry topics, such as:
- Printing Fundamentals: Basic Balance of Ink and Water
- Specialized sheet feeder training for new operators
- UV printing including coating applications and special effects
- Printing Troubleshooting
- Commercial Folding Basics: Folder Operation and Slot/Groove/Perforation
- Introduction to cutting
- Introduction to Folding and Gluing
“We have an endless pool of knowledge and the latest technology at our disposal. As an industry leader, we are obligated to educate and train our industry workforce to ensure they know what is possible now and in the future,” said Clarence Penge , executive vice president of product management for Heidelberg USA. “It is our responsibility to connect people, process and technology to ensure the success of our customers.”
Viewing training as a critical industry need, Heidelberg will offer most Performance and Training Center courses free of charge to attendees, recognizing that there is a cost to the customer for travel expenses. The courses will be a combination of theoretical and practical training on the equipment. Click here to see the current schedule.
While the training will focus primarily on offset printing and finishing initially, the Performance & Training Center will offer additional topics in the future. “After much of the virtual learning that took place during the height of the pandemic, we think people are looking for hands-on, in-person training,” Penge said. “There’s better long-term understanding that happens in a training center outside of the normal workplace, where people can physically touch the equipment and apply the knowledge they’ve just learned.” As this training structure is new to Heidelberg, the company intends to modify its training options according to the future evolution of industry needs. “We’re excited to help move the print industry forward and see how it receives this new training center,” said Penge. Heidelberg recognizes, however, that the Centre’s success depends on the industry’s commitment to enrolling its operators in the available classes.
The latest and greatest available
A critical part of educating the industry on the latest technologies is ensuring the Performance & Training Center is always equipped with them. Recently, Kennesaw’s state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot facility installed Heidelberg’s brand new press, a Speedmaster CX 104 six color UV machine equipped with a coater and patented Push-to-Stop technology. The new press offers an all-new 104-sheet format and ergonomic design and features an all-new operating philosophy, the Heidelberg User Experience, which, together with the Intellistart 3 system and a multitude of support systems, guarantees short start-up times and the best possible support. for operators.
In addition to the new CX 104, the Print Media Performance & Training Center is currently equipped with two POLAR cutters, a Stahlfolder KH 82, an Easymatrix 106 cutter, a Prinect workflow, a Suprasetter 106 CtP, a Versafire EV and EP, a Labelfire 340 and a Speedmaster XL 106-8P+L – also equipped with the latest generation Speedmaster technology – and will soon be enriched with a new Diana Easy 115 folder-gluer. The Performance & Training Center will continue to host demonstrations in person or virtual equipment and software, in accordance with CDC guidelines for the safety of its customers and employees.
To register for available training dates or to schedule a demo, please contact your local Heidelberg sales representative or visit https://news.heidelbergusa.com/pmc-training/
The preceding press release was provided by a company not affiliated with Print impressions. The views expressed herein do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Print impressions.