At the Postpress Commercial Information Days in Leipzig, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is joining forces with its partners Kodak and Popp Maschinenbau to showcase a special configuration of the Stahlfolder Flexomailer mailing system. This system uses Kodak inkjet print heads to print personalized content on both sides of the sheet by turning it between the print heads using an innovative perfecting module from Popp. With this "read-to-print" technology, an integrated camera system uses a QR code to read the information - e.g. the recipient's address - printed on the front side before starting to print on the reverse, thereby controlling the text selection for the next print head. This ensures that the inkjet imprint on the reverse side precisely matches the content on the front. This technology is key to ensuring optimum target group accuracy and consistency for direct mailing jobs.
It enables users to meet the increasing trend towards ever more target group-specific mailing campaigns and to generate added value. Examples of such mailing campaigns include sealed and addressed direct mailings with personalized content for use in customer promotions, membership mailings, and sales promotions. The major benefit of the Stahlfolder Flexomailer system is its ability to process sheets easily and cost-effectively. In contrast to web printing systems, a sheet-based system is much faster to set up, thereby making it ideal for shorter print runs. Overall, the combination of offset and digital printing produces high-quality and eye-catching mailings that address recipients directly and in a multiple of ways. The sky's the limit as far as individual ideas and creativity are concerned, delivering a variety that is only possible by combining the two print processes.
Heidelberg has been working successfully with mailing specialists Popp and Kodak for several years. "Our customers benefit from the best possible machine components for complex mailing systems, and we provide the security of an end-to-end, tried-and-tested complete solution," explains Thomas Krischke, Head of Postpress Commercial at Heidelberg. Extensive experience in a wide range of mailing applications also provides a platform for developing complex specialist applications, since the "building blocks" available from the mailing partners can be combined to produce a broad spectrum of customer-specific configurations.
Greater customer benefits through sophisticated technologies
The machine components of Heidelberg and Popp use the same control system. As a result, the entire machine network can be operated from start to finish with standardized control technology. During operation, this means, for example, that the pallet feeder can be started from any mailing station to guide sheets through the individual stations during setup. This saves the operator considerable legwork.
The Prosper S 10 inkjet print heads from Kodak operate in stream inkjet mode. This means that the print head continuously generates small drops of inks that can be deflected by means of a timed stream of air. This technology boasts a higher printing speed and a consistently sharp print image. The perfecting module from Popp turns the sheet in the Flexomailer so that the reverse side can be printed from above using the inkjet print heads. At the same time, the direction of the sheet is also changed by 90 degrees, which reduces the system's footprint. A further advantage of the perfecting device is that, in many cases, multiple-ups require fewer print heads, because the repeats can be printed one after the other with just a single print head.