€20m investment for Kartonfabrik Ellerhold

Ellerhold Aktiengesellschaft is a printing company for indoor and outdoor advertising such as posters, labels, packaging and displays. The owner-managed family business operates seven printing plants throughout Germany. The printing plant in Radebeul has been part of the company since 1999 and has been the headquarters of Ellerhold AG since 2002. The Ellerhold Group is considered the market leader in Germany in poster printing and especially in the printing of one-piece large-format posters.

Since 2004, the printing of cardboard boxes and the production of packaging in Radebeul has been a steadily growing division. Customer orders come from all over Germany. The company employs 657 people in all seven printing plants and achieved annual sales of over €93m. The company is headed by brothers, Maximilian and Stephan Ellerhold.

As part of its growth, Ellerhold built a new factory at its headquarters in Radebeul, using an area of ​​12,000 sqm. The new hall is 120m long, 90m wide and 12m high and houses state-of-the-art machines that require such a large space. A new Quantum corrugator with Stock laminator has been installed, along with two BOBST die-cutters, a Young Shin die-cutter, logistics systems and a Koenig & Bauer Duran folder-gluer.

With the completion of the new factory, Ellerhold is shifting its focus from the production of large posters to the production of packaging materials. The company had already taken the first step in the transformation into one of the most modern manufacturers in Germany in 2019.

Packaging production increase

“The demand for packaging materials has been rising steadily for years,” explains Stephan Ellerhold. “In addition, our company is one of the few in Germany that can produce packaging in the large formats that are in demand. With the new factory, we are increasing our capacity in the production of packaging materials and also have reserves for future expansions.”

Complex project

Planning for the building began in early 2020 and was completed at the end of 2020. This was followed by the theoretical implementation of the machines. Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the takeover of an Oldenburg printing company by Ellerhold AG, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in October 2021. The first machines were therefore brought in during March 2023. Production now runs across the nine different sections handling solutions from Krifft & Zipsner GmbH.

In the first step, the pile is prepared after the laminator in accordance with the specifications transferred to the control system via the PPS/ERP system. It can be rotated by up to 180° and equipped with a pallet. It can then be transferred via the transfer car to a discharge conveyor or to the warehouse.

In this project, all of Krifft & Zipsner’s expertise has been put into practice for Ellerhold AG and adapted to its wishes. The higher-level software ensures that every pile is in the right place at the right time. This means that the warehouse is utilised efficiently. Attention is also paid to the sequence of the corresponding orders. This is handled by the KriziTransDesk warehouse management system, a PC-based warehouse management system that is responsible for the higher-level control of the warehouse. As soon as the piles are retrieved from the respective die-cutter, the ground-level conveyor belts take over the task of conveying the pile into the feeder of the automatic die-cutter.

“In our old factory, the flow of materials kept crossing over. The piles had to be repeatedly moved due to the confined space. This resulted in a lot of extra work for each pile,” explains Maximilian Ellerhold. “There was also a risk of the goods getting damaged and, in the worst case, the safety of personnel or operating materials being endangered by an industrial truck. It is important to us that the machine makes work easier for our employees and that production is carried out without a lot of physical exertion.”

The handling solutions also takes on job of the pallet dispensers at the delivery logistics of the two BOBST die-cutters. Here, the pallets are orientated according to the requirements of the machine and transported into the machine via a ground-level logistics system. Once the pile has been stacked on the pallet, another ground-level logistics system is used to transport it to the removal conveyor. There, an employee can collect the pile for further processing.

“We are proud to be able to equip Ellerhold AG with our plastic belt conveyors, pile turners and transfer cars and at the same time to be part of the company’s success story,” concludes Florian Nitschke, Product Manager, Krifft & Zipsner.

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