- Mediahaus Ahaus invests in a complete package totaling 4.5 million euros
- New Speedmaster XL 106 2020 generation delivers double-digit improvement in performance through intelligent assistance systems and navigated printing
- Field test customer for Hycolor Pro – customer calls it a quantum leap in dampening unit optimization– 50 per cent reduction in paper waste at Mediahaus compared with previous press
- Ability to process substrate up to 1.6 mm thick enables a wide range of jobs
The Münsterland region of Germany has a lot to offer: the density of IT companies located there has seen it christened Germany’s Silicon Valley. The company Mediahaus, which offers e-commerce services and operates a packaging print shop, is based in Ahaus. In January of this year, it became the first packaging printer to install a Speedmaster XL 106-6+L 2020 generation from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), where it replaced a Speedmaster CD 102-5+L. Mediahaus has also been field testing the dampening unit optimization with Hycolor Pro. “The new machine has already brought about a double-digit improvement in performance. We’re impressed by its performance, availability, high quality, and the new Speedmaster Operating System designed to support operators”, says Jan Hendrik Walfort, Managing Partner of the Mediahaus Group.
Late last year, Mediahaus invested a total of 4.5 million euros in new packaging printing solutions, with the lion’s share going to the printing press. Once the lockdown happened in March 2020, however, the world changed. “Folding carton printing accounts for almost all of our work now, and the new press really helped us through the coronavirus pandemic. We are system relevant and actually managed to increase sales by five percent”, explains Jan Hendrik Walfort. For customers from the food trade and discounters in particular, lockdown was a boom time for their business. Quite a few of the company’s customers are from the high-price furniture trade, where business is starting to pick up again. A defining feature of Mediahaus is the wide range of applications it offers. Quite a few of its customers exploit the synergies available from e-commerce and printing services, which brings Mediahaus competitive advantages through strong customer retention.
New Speedmaster delivers double-digit improvement in performance
The Speedmaster XL 106 2020 generation implements the latest, innovative solutions in the fields of artificial intelligence and automation. Companies involved in packaging printing in particular are facing new challenges because of declining run lengths and short delivery times. The new press helps here by optimizing processes and closing gaps in automation. “The Speedmaster XL 106 fits into our overall concept. We don’t just see ourselves as a print shop, we see ourselves as a process supplier that offers the customers the best solutions with the latest machines”, explains Jan Hendrik Walfort.
The press is precisely tailored to the needs of Mediahaus. For example, the Hycolor Multidrive inking unit drive in printing units 1 and 6 enables washing in parallel with other makeready processes as well as washing of the inking unit during production. This is especially important with the spot colors that occur frequently in packaging printing. The elevated machine works with a logistics system and can process larger pallet heights. As a special option, the Speedmaster XL 106 at Mediahaus can process substrates up to 1.6 mm thick for a high level of flexibility. Normally the presses process cardboards up to a millimeter thick. Prinect Inpress Control 3 automatically measures and controls color and register on the fly, and ensures the shortest makeready times with minimal paper waste. The Inspection Control 3 sheet inspection system delivers consistent quality from the first sheet to the last. “This is all very important, because sustainability is something we’re passionate about”, says Jan Hendrik Walfort.
Hycolor Pro – the new remote-adjustable dampening unit – hits the mark
“The new press supports our printers with intelligent assistance systems and navigated printing,” reports print shop manager Marco Segeler. He did his apprenticeship at Mediahaus, and therefore learned about printing from the ground up. “Heidelberg has created something special with the new Hycolor Pro. We’re taking full advantage of the benefits it offers, like 50 percent less paper waste compared with the previous press and the consistent print quality, particularly when it comes to multiple repeats on a print sheet”. The field test was successful and the Heidelberg service technicians were always available, even during the difficult coronavirus times. “They even set up a user group, and answers and help always came quickly, and provided the necessary assistance”, explains Marco Segeler.
Heidelberg automates the dampening unit of the Speedmaster XL 106 with the new Hycolor Pro. The quantity of dampening solution is decided and metered between pan roller and metering roller. The pressing/squeezing required for this purpose can now be carried out by motor directly from the Prinect Press Center. This saves time and effort, and enables finest corrections from the control panel even during production. The basic settings of the dampening unit are recorded digitally, and from the Prinect Press Center XL 3 it is now possible to also adjust the dampening solution metering on only one side. “80 percent of our inking-related service calls are due to the inaccurate setting of the dampening unit”, explains Rainer Wolf, Head of Sheetfed at Heidelberg. “With Hycolor Pro, we now have defined and measurable settings we can also use for Remote Service. From the control panel, the printer can now meter more or less dampening for one side, thus react faster and more sensitively, and approach the scumming point much more precisely. This creates stable production run conditions with less waste paper and faster reaching of the good sheet.”
Mediahaus Ahaus – from printing company to packaging specialist
“Just make a start – it could all work out”. This saying is on the wall in the open-plan office where the workforce of Mediahaus refine e-commerce solutions. This slogan also mirrors the history of the company, which has had its fair share of ups and downs but ultimately has always been successful.
The family-run business was established by Heinz Walfort, father of Jan Hendrik Walfort, as a printing company 42 years ago. Printed products for the commercial sector were added in 1998. The company undertook a major program of investment in 2008, which included a Speedmaster CD 102. The subsequent financial crisis and the competition from online printers prompted a pivot to packaging printing, which turned out to be a good move. With its current investment, the company with its workforce of more than 150 employees, including 80 in the packaging value chain, sees itself well positioned for the future. “We’ve been successfully working with Heidelberg as a partner for over twenty years, and have always been happy with the advice we’ve received”, confirms Jan Hendrik Walfort.
Heidelberg is focusing increasingly on packaging printing, and today sheetfed offset printing presses tailored to the specific requirements of this segment account for around half of its sales. “For packaging printers, we are the most important partner worldwide and a technological leader”, explains Rainer Wolf. “When it comes to printing folding cartons, boxes or labels, the number of printing units supplied by Heidelberg in the same as all its competitors combined.”
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