Heidelberg and DOCUFY: Why it fits!

Heidelberg and DOCUFY: Why it fits!

Dr. Marco Müller has been involved in the strategic development of Heidelberg Platforms since 2013. Here he explains why Heidelberger Druchmaschinen AG and DOCUFY are a good match.

DOCUFY has been part of Heidelberg for more than a year. The entrepreneurial background is explained in the press release. Why I am personally convinced that the integration of DOCUFY into the Heidelberg Group is a good idea and “it just fits” is what I would like to briefly explain here.

First of all, the acquisition has caused a big question mark for many: for the new colleagues in Bamberg, for DOCUFY customers and also for some of my colleagues in Heidelberg.

Over the past few months, I have met many people, for example at the DOCUFY user meeting in June, and heard one question over and over again:

“Why does a press manufacturer buy a specialist for technical documentation?”

In my opinion, the question arises from two incomplete assessments:

1) Heidelberg is no longer (for a long time) just a press manufacturer, but also a service provider for the print media industry (and other industries), a software house, a consumables retailer, a cloud operator, … and continues to develop business models and portfolios as part of its digitization strategy.

2) DOCUFY is not only a specialist for technical editing systems, but for the creation and distribution of information in general – they have described the concept of the information space!

Data is the lubricant of the digital world – but not them alone

If you now take this perspective, the original question is easier to answer, but still not obvious… so I will explain it in my words: Against the background of digitization, industry 4.0, big data and the Internet of Things, there is a lot of talk about data (“data driven business”, “data is the new oil”) … I too am aware of the overwhelming importance and potential of data.

But industrial value creation (with a few exceptions) is not achieved with data alone: printing presses still have to print, bottling plants have to fill. Of course, data and the above-mentioned technical developments help with billing, forecasting and preventing failures, troubleshooting and troubleshooting.

Industrial value creation is not achieved with data alone. There is still a need for people who repair, assemble and put into operation

Marco Müller, Heidelberg

But: People are still needed to create value, perhaps with different emphases, different training and better support systems. People who carry out maintenance, repair, commission, operate, assemble and so on. In this context, it will be critical for the success of companies whether these people are taken along during the digitization process and ensure added value at the end of the day.

For me, this “take-away” means above all whether these people can be provided with important, correct and meaningful information.

Heidelberg and DOCUFY Combine Know-how from Mechanical Engineering and the Provision of Intelligent Information

In recent months, we have worked with our colleagues at DOCUFY to identify precisely this aspect as a central element of the joint product roadmap. I saw that “it fits” and that we are a strong duo:

  • Heidelberg is contributing its expertise in mechanical engineering and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). We know what is important in practice and how meaningful information is created from the interaction of PLM and ERP data (e.g. bills of materials, variants, change statuses) and 3D models.
  • The DOCUFY colleagues know how to handle information, how to orchestrate the information space and how to organize the information supply.

I am curious to see how our first joint product, Maintenance 4.0, will be received by the market. The first customers are enthusiastic and encourage us to continue in this direction.

Innovation: yes – but with caution

One more thing:

Together we have many innovative ideas and I am sure we will continue to build future-oriented, practical and successful solutions for our customers. I’m excited about that, and I’d love to jump on the innovation topics at full throttle and get going – I’m downright impatient.

But I also think of our customers: As their partner, I would naturally like to provide the right, stable and high-performance solution tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but certainly also today, and to create concrete benefits for them. That’s why we continue to maintain a balance between the further development of the existing portfolio, the implementation of joint innovation topics and concrete customer requirements.

As I said: It fits!


Dr. Marco Müller

Marco beschäftigt sich seit 2004 mit Product Lifecycle Management in der industriellen Praxis. Schwerpunkte seiner Tätigkeit bei der Daimler AG und seit 2008 bei der Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG sind 3D Visualisierung, Digitale Planungsmethoden, Variantenmanagement und Business Process Management. Seit 2013 gestaltet er die strategische Weiterentwicklung von Heidelberg Platforms durch Portfoliomanagement und Business Development mit.

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