Installation of the first Speedmaster XL 106 new 2020 generation went off without a hitch during the coronavirus pandemic
B&K Offsetdruck GmbH based in Ottersweier has invested in a complete package from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) consisting of two of the latest 2020 generation of Speedmaster XL 106 presses and a Subscription Smart contract with supplied consignment warehouse. By doing so the company sees itself as well-positioned for the digitization of its processes, and altogether would like to increase its overall equipment efficiency (OEE). B&K has direct access to the various services via the Heidelberg Assistant digital portal.
The new Speedmaster XL 106 fits perfectly into this digital environment. “The response from my printers has been only enthusiastic,” reports Jörn Kalbhenn, Managing Director and owner of B&K, in summing up his experience with the first Speedmaster XL 106 installed recently. The world’s first ten-color perfecting press with coating unit impressed from the get-go with its innovative Push to Stop operating concept and the many intelligent assistants. In particular, the latest Speedmaster generation provides a systematic way of minimizing the operator-dependent and process-dependent time losses and significantly increasing effectiveness – all the way up to autonomous printing.
The 220-strong workforce at B&K operates a two-shift production schedule for items like envelopes for magazines including Fokus, Bunte, Elle, Freundin, and TV-Spielfilm published by nearby Burda Verlag. The possibilities offered by inline die-cutting and finishes with fluorescent inks or drip-off coatings are used here. Industrial customers and agencies from the region and all of Europe continue to value B&K’s quality and delivery reliability. The company is one of the biggest sticker manufacturers in Europe and produces coloring and school books for children.
Since full production got underway in June, the Speedmaster XL 106 already has over three million sheets on the totalizer. “We operate the press at a rate of 18,000 sheets per hour for straight printing and perfecting, which means the jobs go into postpress and are on their way to the customer faster. This saves us up to four hours a day,” explains Kalbhenn. A special feature of the press is the perfecting device’s location after the fourth printing unit, which means that printing of 4/4 colors plus spot colors plus coating is possible. This is often used for envelope production for well-known publishing houses.
B&K was one of the first customers in Germany to opt for a Subscription Smart contract, covering the consumables for all three printing presses – the new press as well as two existing Speedmaster presses – for a term of five years. The supply process is handled by a local consignment warehouse, which is operated by Heidelberg. “I expect this to save us a lot of time and money, and that our purchasing processes and the warehousing will improve – it’s a win-win situation for both sides,” confirms Jörn Kalbhenn.
The Heidelberg Assistant digital portal plays a crucial role in this context. It provides B&K with digital access to a multitude of additional services such as its vendor-managed inventory or key real-time information about the company’s performance, as well as offering straightforward access to the Heidelberg eShop.
Both the installation of the new Speedmaster XL 106-10-P+L and the establishment of the consignment warehouse took place under difficult conditions during the coronavirus pandemic in spring, and the team from B&K received appropriate training. The collaborative partnership made it possible to meet this challenge. The new Speedmaster XL 106 is a replacement investment for an older Speedmaster XL 105-10-P+L press. The second press ordered in the complete package – a Speedmaster XL 106-8-P+L from the new 2020 generation – will also replace one of the older presses. The concrete installation date has not been decided yet, and will depend on future business prospects.
B&K was voted one of Germany’s most innovative sheetfed and web offset printing companies by a German magazine, and Jörn Kalbhenn was voted Printing Company Manager of the Year in 2018. “We want to use our enthusiasm and passion and the best and most economical solution to make products that are innovative and help our customers in their business activities,” says Jörn Kalbhenn in explaining his motivation. Last year the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The very long runs are produced using web offset printing, while sheetfed offset printing is used for the medium to shorter runs. The average run length for the new Speedmaster XL 106 is 50, 000 to 60,000 sheets. Initial figures already show significant savings thanks to the Wash Assistant and through the reduction of paper waste. The printers are delighted with the new technical possibilities, and are motivated to try something new and to have an innovative workstation.
“All of our printing presses with the exception of our web presses are from Heidelberg, and we share a deep relationship. Heidelberg’s approach as a provider of complete solutions suits us, since it means that we can improve our overall value added,” reports Jörn Kalbhenn. “To date we have worked on everything together as a team and optimized our processes and the workflow into one digital whole.” In prepress we have a Suprasetter CtP platesetter, in the pressroom the new machine lines up beside a Speedmaster XL 105-8-P+L from 2009 and a Speedmaster XL 105-5+L built in 2008, each of which have printed over 500 million sheets. The machines used in postpress include 16 Stahlfolder machines in widths from 36 to 112 cm, which make 6.5 million folds daily. In the digital printing section, two Versafire CP presses produce personalized mailings for insurance company, bank, and pharmacy customers. As a print shop workflow, Prinect Production Manager integrates the processes and the machines are integrated into the Heidelberg service network via Remote Access Plus.
Source: Company Press Release