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AZ Druck Achieves 25% Cutting Performance Increase with Polar

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Kempten-based AZ Druck und Datentechnik GmbH replaced three existing POLAR 115 high-speed cutters by a POLAR CuttingSystem 200 PACE. With the same order volume, production times were reduced by around 25 percent. At the same time, the processes involving the PACE system relieve the physical burden on the postpress staff. The commercial printer with a workforce of 250 is extremely happy with this decision.

AZ Druck re-considered their finishing following the decision to fully integrate the bookbindery that had to-date been canvassing for customers on the market independently. They were looking for a cutting system which offered the best way to implement the organizational changes and achieve the main targets of the insourcing strategy, i. e. to concentrate the machine base, increase performance and ease the staff’s workload. "We noticed that we gain a lot of time and become more efficient by reorganizing the stacking and feeding of cutting material to the cutting machine," says Andreas Strauß, the head of postpress. To date, the guillotine type cutter was at a standstill while the worker was stacking the material. A second worker was needed to prevent this from happening. The idea was then to automatically transport the cutting material directly from the jogger to the cutting machine, and then cut it directly with the help of a suitable automatic program to prevent any standstill and do without a second worker.  

Quality and price-performance ratio  

In order to check how to reach these goals and, above all, with what kind of machine, the management of AZ Druck und Datentechnik GmbH started a comprehensive market analysis focusing not only on quality and the price-performance ratio, but also on the question of how the various machines handle very thin paper, for example. "The ultimate winner was a POLAR CuttingSystem 200 PACE. Strauß says: "The materials we tested simply ran best on the POLAR cutting system." Factors in favor of the Hofheim-based company were the sturdy machines, the good experience gathered over the past 15 years, and the close partnership with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.  

A machine with many features

A good two years after the cutting system was installed and put into service, the Kempten-based company feels that its decision has been thoroughly borne out. All of the improvements and performance increases AZ Druck expected from the investment have been achieved completely. Production is about 25 percent faster, the number of machine operators has been reduced as projected and good progress is being made with the processes. Loading is now performed from the cutting machine rear table. The Autoturn turning gripper rotates the ream to be cut. Automatic aligning gauges precisely position it on the machine, which then automatically processes the material with up to five cuts. The biggest advantage: while the machine is automatically running the operator is already preparing the next ream to be cut. The new suction system, which takes up and removes the waste automatically,  is extremely useful. Previously this work had to be done by a worker, which cost additional time. 

A counting scale ensures increased efficiency 

Increased efficiency and improved quality control are ensured by a counting scale which is integrated into the automatic jogger. Based on reference values it can be used to check if the required quantity has actually been cut. Another benefit is contributed by Compucut® which allows direct access to and use of stored programs. The medium-term goal is to transfer this data directly from prepress to the machine. The high level of satisfaction seen at AZ Druck und Datentechnik is certainly not only the result of the increased efficiency, but undoubtedly also of the soft factors. Since many production steps run automatically, and in particular without any staff involvement, the operator's physical burden has been greatly reduced. According to managing director Günther Hartmann this is a major factor in the willingness to work and the job satisfaction he sees in the company.


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