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Ahlfeldt & Company Installs First Carbon-Neutral Speedmaster SM 52 Anicolor

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

The Ahlfeldt & Company GmbH print shop in Wiesbaden recently started production operations with the first carbon-neutral Speedmaster SM 52 Anicolor from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). Some 62 metric tons of CO2 emissions were generated during the manufacture of the five-color press with coating unit. This was offset by investing in a certified climate protection project in Vietnam. "We see printing as an integrated process that starts with the manufacture of the press itself. It is impossible for our day-to-day printing operations to be any more environmentally friendly than they are with the Anicolor press," Production Manager Armin Ahlfeldt stated with enthusiasm. "We now need only 20 sheets for makeready and the quality is simply superb," he continues. Compared to traditional small-format offset printing, the Anicolor inking unit cuts makeready times by almost 40 percent. What's more, eliminating ink zone setting also makes job changes faster and reduces waste by up to 90 percent. "Top-quality green printing isn't a contradiction in terms and the Anicolor press has also got the economic balance right," says Ahlfeldt.

Since it was founded in 2004, the Ahlfeldt & Company print shop has positioned itself as an environmentally friendly high-end business and systematically focused on combining sustainability with environmental protection. The full-service print shop employs eight staff and produces commercial products such as flyers, mailings, brochures, and magazines. Ahlfeldt & Company is FSC-certified (FSC = Forest Stewardship Council) and obtains all its paper from a single supplier based in Europe to cut down on transport. At the prepress stage, a Suprasetter A 75 images chemical-free printing plates. And Saphira inks with low mineral oil content are used in production. All the electricity required is generated from hydroelectric power. Ahlfeldt & Company is one of the 100 most environmentally friendly companies in the German state of Hesse. It is the only FSC-certified print shop in Wiesbaden and also the only one to offer certified climate-neutral print production. "We work with a large number of regional and national agencies and industrial customers who ask for products that employ eco-friendly printing. The Anicolor press will win us lots of new customers by enabling us to combine green printing with top quality," explains Ahlfeldt.

The Anicolor press is integrated in the Prinect print shop workflow and is part of a two-and-a-half-shift production operation. Print runs vary between 20 and 400,000 sheets. Before the end of the year, the print shop intends to produce 14 million prints. This corresponds to between 300 and 400 metric tons of paper and 13,000 printing plates. "Our strengths are flexibility and the ability to respond quickly to customer requirements. Our aim is to continue growing, and we can hardly wait to see, which solutions Heidelberg will offer us at drupa. Our aim is to continue growing and also to move in the direction of digital printing and personalization in the future," concludes Ahlfeldt.

Heidelberg the only supplier to provide accurate details of CO2 emissions during press manufacture
An increasing number of print shops are keen to operate carbon-neutral presses. Heidelberg has joined forces with Darmstadt University of Technology to develop a method for determining the carbon footprint of all its press series. The two key questions are how much CO2 is generated by the materials used in the press and how much by the energy consumed during production?

The parts list forms the basis for the material assessment and includes all the parts required to build a press. It is very comprehensive, with around 70,000 components, and indicates the metals and other materials the parts are made from and their weight. The GaBi database developed by PE International (GaBi = life cycle assessment) is used to determine the carbon footprint of these components. It includes the CO2 emissions generated during the manufacture and transport of each material.

The amount of direct (production-related) energy required during operations such as grinding, turning, milling, hardening, and coating components is taken into account in the assessment, as is the indirect energy required for lighting, heating, and cooling the production halls. This data can be obtained and assigned based on the recorded energy consumption for the individual halls, the number of components produced in each one, and the scheduled times for the production processes in conjunction with the relevant energy indices.


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