- Die-cutting and coating via the coating tower
- High production output for additional print jobs
- Further investments in post-press systems
A new Rapida 106 has been in operation at PMS Offsetdruck in Wendelstein near Nürnberg since the beginning of March. The five-colour coater press adds a significant boost to production capabilities compared to its predecessor. This is furthermore the company’s first sheetfed offset press from Koenig & Bauer.
Apart from the usual criteria such as production speed, job changeovers and quality, the specialists at PMS based their purchase decision on the ability of the new press to die-cut complicated formes inline. This requires fast conversion of the coater between die-cutting and coating set-ups. After all, 40 per cent of the company’s jobs involve die-cutting, while 60 per cent are coated. At the same time, the Rapida 106 made the best impression in terms of innovative automation technology, for example the DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed.
Relief in the production process
The high production speed of the Rapida 106 has brought tangible relief. The company operates a two-shift system, and the previously necessary third or weekend shifts to cover demand peaks should now be a thing of the past. Job turnaround is also accelerated to the benefit of the customers. Even today, the timing for individual products is already relatively short. The delivery time for 21,000 perfect-bound brochures with over 400 pages of content and a cellophane cover is less than a week.
Another point which benefits customers of PMS is the expansion of its portfolio in the field of high-quality inline coating. In the past, PMS outsourced its coating needs to a partner company. The results were good, but the additional transport was costing far too much time. Works manager Christopher Buhr: “Under the motto ‘Faster, higher, farther’ and with an ideal investment at just the right place and time, we are looking ahead very positively to the future.”
Inline colour control with QualiTronic ColorControl has raised the quality of the printed products yet another notch compared to the eleven-year-old predecessor press. This quality also remains identical for every single sheet, even in case of later repeat jobs.
PMS has invested in further equipment besides the Rapida 106: A new trimming line (Polar 137 XT Autotrim) and an MBO T800 folder with fully automatic Palamides delivery system are already in production. The company premises, too, are being treated to a major facelift. New windows and furniture have also brightened up the work environment for the office staff.
High product diversity
The Rapida 106 was able to demonstrate its outstanding substrate flexibility during the first weeks of production. The schedule included everything from 55 gsm paper to 450 gsm board. The print jobs handled by PMS are equally diverse: From high-page-count brochures to voucher booklets (with inline die-cutting and perforations), from children's books to premium-quality catalogues for watch and clock manufacturers
Senior director Wilfried Buhr summarises: “We are not your printer if you only want it cheap. We produce high quality.” That includes offering genuine full service to customers – from business cards to new design developments which help them to present their products at the point of sale. That could mean displays or dispensers which have yet to be produced in the envisaged form, or small items which require complex handling and exceptional creative input. The Buhrs are actually happiest when the customer simply describes the task in hand and asks them to “get on with it”.
Automation is a boon to operators
The change of manufacturer and the switch to latest-generation technology meant that there was no shortage of new things to learn for the four printers on the Rapida, but they are nevertheless delighted with the new press. For Philipp Rachel, the sidelay-free infeed is one of the most important innovations. It requires no manual settings and thus eliminates many of the cumbersome aspects of substrate changes.
The 23 permanent employees at PMS serve customers from all over the country and, together with the Buhr media workshop, generated turnover of €6.5 million last year. A merger brought a further sheetfed offset press into the company in 2013. This ten-colour perfector today runs side by side with the Rapida 106.