KBA Rapida 105 at Rügendruck
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Press release from the issuing companyPutbus, known as the “white town” on the Baltic island of Rügen, was established in 1810 by Prince Wilhelm Malte I zu Putbus. While it is no longer one of the major Baltic resorts, its architectural style makes it a must for many visitors to Rügen. The focal point of the town is the Circus, built in the neo-classical style. Dating back to 1828, the Circus is the last of its kind in Germany to boast such architectural integrity. A printshop set up in business at no. 2 in 1906, moving to no. 13 in 1929. In 1991 the company adopted its present name of rügendruck gmbh putbus. In spring last year a KBA Rapida 105 Universal rolled into action at this historic location.
“I felt straightaway that KBA was keen to pin its flag on Rügen,” jokes managing director Jürgen Hinze on a tour through the production plant. The reception hall and house have been beautifully restored and maintenance work is in progress in the adjoining buildings. Before the peak holiday season starts rügendruck is planning to set up a historic typesetting and printing shop, where holidaymakers can watch craftsmen at work and purchase the company’s products. By then the pre-press and composition departments will also have been rehoused.
For rügendruck, the Rapida 105 – a five-colour coater press with extended delivery – was the perfect choice. “What used to take us 14 to 15 hours, now takes just ten,” says Jürgen Hinze. The company’s entire product spectrum can be handled in two shifts, leaving plenty of reserves. And these are needed, because rügendruck’s business is highly seasonal. From May until the end of the year jobs for hoteliers and the tourist trade keep the presses humming on Germany’s biggest holiday island. But the company also prints periodicals such as rügen aktuell (an information magazine available from newsstands nationwide), in-house book titles for the regional market and work for advertising agencies. It produces 60,000 programmes for the annual Störtebeker Festspiele at the Ralswiek amphitheatre, and print runs of catalogues for the big Baltic resorts are equally long.
Production in a neo-classical setting
Printing in a building of historic interest is almost a luxury nowadays. A few years the company considered moving to a nearby industrial estate. But since Jürgen Hinze does not believe in biting off more than he can chew, rügendruck remained in the Circus. Originally the Hotel Bellevue, the premises have been completely restored in accordance with regulations on listed buildings. The building at the rear, which houses the production department, is also part of the original property. For the Rapida 105 a matching extension was built so as to leave more room for the other departments and improve working conditions for the 25 staff. The printing plant has 1,300m² (14,000ft²) of production floor space. Rügendruck also has a seven-employee subsidiary, hansedruck medien, in the Hanseatic town of Stralsund.
The Rapida 105 was delivered shortly before Drupa 2008, where its successor was launched under the name Rapida 105. Press specs include a board-printing capability for substrates up to 1.2mm (48pt) thick. This is not only useful for printing postcards but will also enable the company to print packaging at some point in the future. And for a printer serving the tourist industry, a coater is a must. Other features include inking-unit temperature control, washing systems for the blanket/impression cylinders and inking rollers, and a height-adjustable nonstop roller facility in the delivery. Ink density is measured and controlled via a DensiTronic system located directly at the console, while LogoTronic Basic software connects the press with Fuji digital pre-press equipment.
Pioneering green print production
Being situated in the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve, rügendruck must obviously comply with rigorous environmental regulations, and has actively pursued green policies for many years now. Back in 1999 the company took part in audits on environmental management and certification, gaining EMAS accreditation that same year, long before green was considered cool. A voluntary commitment to use eco-friendly production processes has made rügendruck a green pioneer well beyond the island’s shore. Jürgen Hinze has found that “in some cases, certification is a decided advantage when bidding for jobs from public authorities.”
In recent years energy savings have been made by switching from oil to gas. Long-term plans include utilising solar and geothermal energy, and renovating the façade to improve heat insulation. The use of heat exchangers, energy cubes and waste heat from the Rapida 105’s compressors will follow. Many Rügen companies have united to form an energy pool whose greater purchasing power helps secure cheaper prices for electricity from renewable sources. According to Jürgen Hinze, the Rapida’s greenest features are the open design of its inking unit, which promotes a faster ink-water balance and thus less start-up waste, and its eco-friendly washing system. The consumption of cleaning agents is so low that the used cloths can be disposed of along with normal household waste.
Capt’n Crisis promotes print
Time and again, rügendruck’s original and imaginative promotional campaigns have caught the public eye. Following the installation of the Rapida 105 last year it coined the slogan “Change your format – go for colour” to promote its new, expanded print capabilities. This year it is mailing postcards showing a comic figure, Capt’n Crisis, advising recipients to “get themselves in print.” But rügendruck is far from suffering a crisis. “The outbreak of avian flu three years ago was a bad time for the region, but since there is very little industry here, the impact of the present global economic climate has been relatively mild,” says Jürgen Hinze. As a joint partner in the Rügen Tourist Board he is confident that “Germans are unlikely to cut back on holidays, though spending while on holiday may decline. So hotels must respond with special offers.” Rügendruck is there to put these offers on paper.
And what of the future? Rügendruck is primarily aiming to expand its sales activities to make the most of its larger capacity. In addition to defending its estimated 85 per cent share of the island market the company is expanding the publishing side of the business, with ideas for new products already in the pipeline. A well-equipped bindery, which even boasts a thread stitcher, will allow it to create value-added products in-house.
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