Saxoprint investing in new large-format press

The online print shop Saxoprint based in Dresden has recorded double-digit sales growth in recent years, and last year generated sales of over EUR 100 million in the area of commercial online printing as part of the CEWE Group. Its product range has undergone a significant change in this time. Standard commercial printed matter such as flyers, posters, catalogs, and brochures are still the main focus and account for 80 percent of its business, however packaging and finishing represent a large growth market.

"Our business model is based on cost leadership," explains Managing Director Klaus Sauer. "We use special algorithms to bundle the orders received via the web shop into gang runs and distribute them to the respective machines.

"With us, every order is individual. As well as a good price, delivery reliability and speed are important," confirms Sauer. Customers from all over Europe order from Saxoprint, whether private individuals, business customers, agencies, or resellers, who now account for a not insignificant share. International customers are looked after by a call center in London staffed with native speakers. According to Saxoprint; the answer quota, in other words how quickly telephone calls are answered, is 98 percent, and the repeat order rate is over 80 percent.

High efficiency and speed are important here. Up to 5,000 orders are produced daily in three shifts. This is only possible using industrialized processes and the most modern equipment. With this in mind, the company has invested over EUR 70 million in new solutions in the past seven years.

The latest installation in the press room comes in at an impressive fifty meters: a Speedmaster XL 162 eight-color perfecting press with the world’s first CutStar roll sheeter in this format on a machine of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). CutStar in other formats, such as 50 x 70 or 70 x 100, has been available from Heidelberg for many years. This means that the full flexibility to use sheets or roll-fed stock is now available in 7B format. More than anything, this significantly reduces the makeready times. This means that Saxoprint now has eight printing presses with a total of 36 printing units from Heidelberg: five large-format Speedmaster XL 162 presses, one Speedmaster XL 145, and two Speedmaster XL 106 presses, both of which are equipped with the CutStar roll sheeter. "We saw the benefits and so entered into negotiations with Heidelberg at drupa 2016 to include CutStar in the next large-format press," recalls Sauer.

The experts from Heidelberg and BW Papersystems Stuttgart GmbH spent two years working on the development of CutStar. The Speedmaster XL 162 with CutStar has been in use since January of this year, and Klaus Sauer is more impressed than ever: “Once again, our partnership with Heidelberg has paid off, and the project was handled with the utmost professionalism by all sides.”

Partnership-based relationship pays off – double the efficiency

Experiences so far with CutStar speak for themselves: With just one reel change, the same number of sheets is fed as with three to four paper pallets. Fewer makeready and stoppage times as well as uninterrupted operating stability make the new Speedmaster XL 162 at Saxoprint nearly twice as efficient. The cutting performance of CutStar has a tolerance of less than 0.3 millimeters, well above that of industrially produced paper stacks. This means that the cut sheets in the delivery can go straight into postpress. The previous step of vibrating against straight edges is no longer necessary. Another plus is the double-gripper technology in the press delivery. The controlled guide at the front and rear edge guides the sheet reliably from the last printing unit to the delivery pile. These innovations mean that the previously required sheet brakes and therefore the print-free corridors are a thing of the past. The best possible use can be made of the print area. This means that a dozen different jobs or 400 different business cards can be printed on a single sheet of paper with a width of 160 centimeters. "We have succeeded in compensating the ten percent increase in the price of paper through innovations and increased efficiency. This is all the more significant since paper accounts for up to 30 percent of our costs," reports Klaus Sauer happily. In addition, paper on rolls is around six percent cheaper than paper sheets. "In Heidelberg I have a partner that I can trust and that delivers on our wishes. The development of CutStar is a really great achievement," says a satisfied Sauer. The cooperation is continuing – a three-year integration project is currently underway that should culminate in autonomous printing with the Prinect workflow.

sbr / 03/08/2019