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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

KBA Rapida 106 Boosts Capacity at DCT in Coburg

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Stepping up speed and quality for online print business

An eight-colour Rapida 106 in a configuration for 4-over-4 perfecting was taken into production at DCT in Coburg just a few weeks ago. "This press gives us an unbeatable capacity," says the delighted managing director Peter Pratsch. After all, the newly installed medium-format press also cruises along at speeds up to 15,000 sph in perfecting mode.

The capacity expansion was an urgently necessary step for DCT after a period of extremely dynamic growth. Peter Pratsch founded the company under the name "Druck und Copy-Team" in 1983 – as a one-man business. The initial intention was to finance his recently commenced studies, but the first humble copy shop – at that time the only one in Coburg – has in the meantime evolved into a respectable-sized print company with 110 employees and an annual paper consumption of 5,000 tonnes. Today, five sheetfed-offset presses run in three shifts: Two five-colour medium-format models, one of which is a coater press, a four-colour half-format press likewise with coating, the new Rapida 106 and a Genius 52UV. This already impressive line-up is complemented by a diversity of digital machines (both at the original copy shop in the centre of Coburg and in an industrial print centre in Coburg-Scheuerfeld), as well as various platen die-cutters, folders, gatherer-stitchers, trimming machines, perfect binders, stitchers and a packaging line.

From print shop to logistics enterprise
The fact that DCT is increasing its capacity and celebrating above-average growth when many others in the branch are bemoaning drops in orders is not least attributable to the concept implemented by Peter Pratsch. He has his very own perception of industrial print production: "DCT is not just a printer, but rather a whole logistics enterprise. Unprinted paper is transformed into a multitude of printed and finished products, which are then distributed throughout Germany." Around 70 per cent of the company's business is for web print portals, with the remaining 30 per cent accounted for by direct work for local and regional customers. DCT is also structured accordingly. Seven staff in the IT department program the interfaces to the print portals and establish the necessary prerequisites for fast and reliable order processing. Besides guaranteeing flawless quality, it is here important to maintain a clear overview, to ensure that all incoming orders can be handled correctly and delivered on time.

DCT remains anonymous as far as the final customer is concerned, but is all the more visible as a partner for the individual portal operator. Despite the wide spectrum of printed products offered, which goes far beyond the scope of a classic commercial printer, it is still deemed imperative to cater for specific customer wishes – whether that means UV coating or embossing, perforating or numbering. And a broad base is certainly required to be able to offer everything from printed T-shirts and flags, to plastic products and special applications combining conventional and UV offset.

Rapida 106 prints almost a million sheets a week
"Never forget that there are other good fish in the sea!" – Peter Pratsch has no regrets about the installation of the first KBA Rapida in his company. It is every bit as good as his other presses, convinces with outstanding performance and even prints certain formes, such as those containing smooth solids, better than has been possible to date. Pratsch began to take a closer look at the larger sheetfed offset presses from KBA after purchasing a Genius 52UV from KBA-MePrint. He was soon captivated by the efficient output and high level of automation on the Rapida 106, for example by the simultaneous plate changing, the integrated measurement and quality control systems, and the minimal waste during both makeready and production. LogoTronic Professional is to be used in future to manage presetting data for all the company's presses and will serve as an interface to an upstream MIS. That is expected to bring significant improvements for cost accounting, cost centre evaluation and production planning.

The printers had no difficulties whatsoever with the switch to the Rapida 106. A few of them had already worked on Rapidas in the past, and the others have been rotating to build up experience on the new eight-colour press. The objective is that any of the printers can be assigned flexibly to any of the presses in the printshop.

KBA QualiTronic Professional provides for inline quality monitoring on both sides of the sheet. A tag inserter separates the rejects from the good sheets in the pile. Further automation features, such as Plate Ident for automatic plate detection and pre-registration, or ACR-Control for colour register adjustment, serve to reduce makeready and production waste. The quality control systems bring the press into colour after just 50 to 60 sheets. The run lengths range from 250 to 500,000 sheets. And so it is hardly surprising that the new press already clocked up almost 5 million impressions during the first five weeks of production. With almost 1 million printed sheets per week, DCT has enormous additional capacity at its disposal.

Ecology also counts
The company's Genius 52UV press has similarly lived up to all expectations. It is used for UV finishing on a variety of products, as well as for jobs using Chromolux board, the printing of a background white on transparent films, and in the production of plastic cards. Short runs between 100 and 5,000 sheets naturally predominate, but up to 200,000 sheets have already been produced on the compact waterless press in exceptional cases. The combination of waterless and UV processes facilitates the printing of jobs which would be much more difficult to handle with other technologies.

For all the attention to economic necessities, Peter Pratsch nevertheless keeps a firm eye on the environment. And that does not mean simply reducing production waste to a minimum. A heat recovery system permits the otherwise unwanted heat from the presses to be used for room and water heating. Further energy is supplied by an array of solar panels. Together, these measures save 15,000 litres of heating oil per year. All purchased electricity, furthermore, is obtained exclusively from renewable sources.  At the same time, energy efficiency is a prime criterion in all equipment investment decisions, and interested customers are offered the option of carbon-neutral printing (natureOffice).

In times in which it may soon even be possible to buy print products from the local discount supermarket, Peter Pratsch sees DCT's future in a combination of online prices and attendance to individual customer needs. For the immediate future, therefore, he is planning to further expand the print portfolio beyond the current core areas and to realise even better control of the product flows.

Interesting website: www.dct.de

 

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