Despite the many restrictions that COVID-19 has brought upon business, activity has remained strong in Heidelberg’s Print Media Center (PMC) Atlanta throughout the last two years.
PMC Atlanta, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, is the largest printing demonstration facility in the US and boasts the most up to date software and equipment that Heidelberg has to offer. Recently, Heidelberg hired Jeff Powalisz as Director of PMC Atlanta to oversee its demo room operations. With a combined 22 years of experience at Heidelberg, Powalisz will manage daily customer demonstrations, training, and testing in the demo room. Additionally, to ensure the facility stays on the cutting edge of technology, PMC Atlanta will soon install its latest press, the Speedmaster CX 104, which offers a new sheet size in the product portfolio and features Heidelberg’s unique User Experience (UX) software.
Visions for PMC’s Future
With Heidelberg since 1999, Powalisz brings a unique understanding of Heidelberg’s product portfolio and the industry to his new role – having worked as a press demonstrator, product specialist, and account manager. “Jeff is a perfect fit,” said Clarence Penge, Executive Vice President of Product Management for Heidelberg USA. “His skillset and understanding of the demonstration process from the perspective of customer, demonstrator and account manager is unmatched.”
Looking ahead, Powalisz has a variety of near-term goals for PMC Atlanta. To begin, he wants to more closely align the goals of the customers, sales team, and demonstration team to ensure that demos are specifically tailored to each customer. “We have the ability to show printers very real-world scenarios that are unique to them,” said Powalisz. “With our team of accomplished demonstrators and state-of-the-art software and equipment, there’s no limit to showing our customers their potential when they come here for a demo.” Part of that vision includes showcasing the future of the industry – featuring a complete end-to-end dynamic Smart Print Shop, powered by Prinect. This means taking a customer’s job from prepress to press, where artificial intelligence not only simplifies tasks and eliminates touchpoints during makeready, but all task and production data is also delivered upstream for MIS or production quality reports and allows for job status tracking. This type of automation and reporting would extend to finishing for added efficiency and transparency during the entire production process.
Additionally, Powalisz and Penge are aiming to amplify the training options for customers at PMC Atlanta. “As technology continues to evolve, there is an apparent skills gap in both the workforce that has been working on presses for 20-30 years and also with the generation of operators that is just coming into the workforce,” said Penge. Starting this year, Heidelberg USA will offer quarterly training sessions geared towards different level of operators for both press and postpress. According to Penge, “We have an infinite knowledge pool and the most updated technology at our disposal. As an industry leader, we are obligated to educate and train our industry’s workforce to ensure they know what is possible.” More information will follow about Heidelberg’s new training courses in the first quarter of 2022.
A New Press for a New Year
Part of educating the industry on the newest technology is also making sure that PMC Atlanta is always equipped with it. Starting soon, PMC Atlanta will install a Speedmaster CX 104, six-color UV machine with coater and Heidelberg’s patented navigated Push-to-Stop technology. The new 104 sheet format press offers commercial, packaging, and label printing customers access to cutting-edge offset technology with an outstanding price-performance ratio. The new, ergonomic design offers a completely new operating philosophy, Heidelberg UX, together with a whole host of assistance systems. This provides the best possible support for operators at the Prinect Press Center XL 3 control station and at the press itself. Additionally, to ensure makeready times are always kept short, the patented Intellistart 3 system automatically determines the makeready processes required for the jobs to be produced.
In addition to the new CX 104, Print Media Center is currently equipped with two POLAR cutters, a Stahlfolder TH 82, Easymatrix 106 die cutter, Prinect workflow, Suprasetter 106 CtP, Versafire EV and EP, Labelfire 340, and Speedmaster XL 106-8P +L. It will add a new Diana Easy 115 folder-gluer early in the year. PMC Atlanta is open for in-person or virtual demonstrations – following CDC Guidelines for the safety of its customers and employees.