Schäfer Druck & Verpackung GmbH & Co.KG in Werther, Germany have been a hive of activity for several days with the installation of the Speedmaster XL 106 2020 generation from Heidelberg. It represents the first installation of an elevated press for a packaging printer in Germany.
A new foundation up to two meters deep was poured specifically for the Speedmaster XL 106-6+L. Schäfer Druck & Verpackung added a countdown to its homepage to count down the days to the installation, which given the coronavirus pandemic had to be planned even more carefully to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.
Schäfer Druck & Verpackung specialises in folding cartons for the food industry and numbers well-known brands from the confectionery and frozen food sectors among its long-standing customers. The staff of 43 produces for companies in these sectors in the region, as well as for customers from across Germany.
“Flexibility, reliability, and proximity to the customer with round-the-clock accessibility,” is how Timo Schäfer describes the factors behind the success of the company he has headed up as Managing Director for the past four years. His father Udo Schäfer established the company in 1987 to print advertising materials and forms. The company moved to a new building ten years later, adding small carton batches to its commercial print activities with a Speedmaster CD 74. After replacing that press with a Speedmaster XL 75-6+L, the company made the full switch to cartons and for more than fifteen years has only been producing folding cartons and shelf trays. “Now we’re taking the next step and switching the format class from 75 to 106. Our customers rely on our flexibility and speed, and our intention with this investment is to maintain and, needless to say, continue to build on this,” explains Schäfer.
“Our company operates three shifts, five days a week, and we have a good level of capacity utilisation,” says Schäfer. Its orders span the entire spectrum of short, medium, and also long runs. “Folding cartons for the food industry will always be needed and demand for confectionery items and frozen goods in particular is high at the moment against the backdrop of the pandemic crisis.”
Even before the crisis it was clear that more capacity should be created for the customers to enable fast and flexible deliveries. “We were won over by the complete package from Heidelberg with the new press generation and the Prinect Production Manager print shop workflow,” says Schäfer. The company already uses folder gluers as well as die-cutting and hot-foil machines in 3B format in post-press. It was therefore a logical step to also install the printing presses in this format now, thereby doubling capacity. Other recent investments include two VISIONCUT 106 LER flatbed die cutters, a VISIONFOIL 104 embossing foil printing machine and an EXPERTFOLD 110 A2 folding box gluing machine from BOBST.
“The new 2020 generation of the Speedmaster XL 106 is a milestone for our company and, together with the state-of-the-art machines in post-press also, enables us to offer our customers innovative products,” explains Schäfer. “We expect the new printing press to significantly reduce our make-ready times so that we can produce even the shortest runs economically and achieve high productivity. With the ‘Push to Stop’ concept and the intelligent assistant, we see ourselves as a pioneer in packaging printing in also making the most of the high level of automation of the press.”
The printers at Schäfer Druck & Verpackung are already looking forward to resuming production and to a modern and innovative workstation.
The new 2020 generation of the Speedmaster XL 106 is the most intelligent and most highly automated Speedmaster yet. At Schäfer Druck & Verpackung, it is supplied with the next-generation inline colour measurement system Inpress Control and Image Control – the colour measurement system for optimal quality in the entire print image. Together with fast printing plate changes using Autoplate Pro, make-ready times are cut down. Equally important is the incorporation of the press into the print shop’s processes via the Prinect Production Manager workflow.
“We’re proud of the long-standing and good partnership with the innovative and fast-growing company Schäfer Druck & Verpackung,” says Tino Bardong, Head of Press Product Management at Heidelberg Vertrieb Deutschland. “Both Schäfer Druck & Verpackung and Heidelberg focus on the customer, are solution-oriented, and are working more intensively on digitizing processes.”