It is now been a year since Druckerei Rindt first fired up its eight-colour Rapida 106 with an additional inline coater and perfecting unit for 4-over-4 production at its printshop in Fulda. And that's now the second time that this German print company, a member of the Parzeller media group, has opted for a Rapida press equipped to combine perfecting and finishing. Koenig & Bauer presses in various configurations have formed the backbone of the company's facilities for more than 16 years. Seven presses have been purchased to date, three of which the company is now using in three-shift operation.
The eight-colour press is allowing Druckerei Rindt to continue expanding its commercial activities, helping it react to the increasing price pressure being faced by straight printing-only operations. Today, most commercial products are printed in a single pass on the perfector press and can even be coated as part of the same process, if necessary. The company’s two straight presses, on the other hand, have been optimised to print packaging. This means there is an ideal and profitable means of production available for every product.
Added-value printshop with a high real net output ratio
This level of flexibility is also necessary, as production at Druckerei Rindt is, above all, characterised by diversity. The company works with the “who’s who” of print customers. This includes a number of DAX companies, financial services providers, major players in the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive sector, logistics, the food and beverages industry, health care, media services and tourism, as well as publishing houses, insurance companies and agencies. In addition to typical commercial work, the product range also extends to packaging, print products with all kinds of coating finishes, and a whole series of particularly complex items in which the company specialises.
Managing director Sebastian Jerabeck describes the company as an “added-value printshop”, which he explains as follows: “We are happy to tackle the jobs that bring others to their knees. At the same time, we enjoy the benefits of an exceptionally high real net output ratio, because we can access a broad range of production equipment from other areas of our company group, in addition to our own.” This allows the typical services offered by a sheetfed printshop to be supplemented by those of a full-range media group: this extends from advertising agency services, app development and product distribution, to web offset printing in both heatset and coldset variants, also including finishing and mailroom services. Picking and packing is also possible.
At the same time, customers of Druckerei Rindt are able to choose between two completely different approaches to production: In the first case, specialists accompany customers through every phase of the process, enabling them to develop unique and often also extremely complex print products. This could include, for example, the creation of white prototypes, design proofing, or specimens for die-cutting or folding options, perforations or finishing. The purchasing departments of major companies, in particular, appreciate this comprehensive service. They often require physical samples as the basis for further decisions ahead of the actual production start, and cannot know every last detail of the printing and finishing options due to the sheer diversity of their own work.
Alternatively, print jobs can be processed without prior consultation and without additional services – at prices which are comparable to those of an online printer.
Satisfied Rapida users
There's a very good reason why the company has chosen Rapida sheetfed offset technology over and over again. “On the one hand, commercial printing is facing enormous cost pressure,” says Sebastian Jerabeck. “At the same time, however, printing machinery is associated with a high investment outlay.” In this situation, it is important to invest in equipment which runs without problems and facilitates production with high outputs and maximum automation. For the specialists in Fulda, the Rapida technology is here “the measure of all things”. The print quality is outstanding, and the technology itself is extremely reliable. Equally decisive for the experts from Druckerei Rindt are the consistent upgrades made to the technology from one press series to the next.
One technical feature which was critical for Druckerei Rindt was paper stretch compensation as a console function (made technically feasible by the direct plate cylinder drive), in order to guarantee precise registration over the entire sheet. The benefits are especially noticeable on long-grain sheets.
Similar importance is placed on job changeover times. “Makeready is unbelievably fast,” says Sebastian Jerabeck. “More than 350 plate changes per shift are everyday reality for us. For our operators, that means constantly thinking ahead.” Even so, Druckerei Rindt frequently exploits the full potential of its sheetfed offset presses – pushing production up to as much as 18,000 and 20,000 sheets per hour.
Growth in sheetfed printing
Druckerei Rindt is one of the sheetfed printers that continue to record growth year after year. 2020 was a rare exception – due to the pandemic.
The 75 employees, including five trainees, organise their own workplaces according to what is known as the 5S methodology, a systematic approach that allows optimal concentration on value creation activities. This reduces the stress factors for the individual employees, and also increases productivity. The absence of any fluctuation and the fact that everyone is pulling in the same direction provide ample evidence of a healthy work climate. Sebastian Jerabeck is confident of a return to further growth once the pandemic is over, and already has more ambitious plans for process automation up his sleeve.