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Digimaster Systems Help The Institute For Demoscopy Produce Research Quickly, Flexibly

Press release from the issuing company

February 16, 2004 -- It didn’t take long for a German market-research firm to form an overwhelmingly positive opinion about Heidelberg’s Digimaster print system. The Institute for Demoscopy in Allensbach, Germany is one of Europe’s leading market-research and public-opinion firms, with 100 or more studies completed annually, from political polls to social and market research. It currently employs two Digimaster 9110 print systems and a bookletmaker in its three-person, in-house printing department. Heidelberg’s Digimaster systems allow the Institute to meet its needs for centralizing production of questionnaires, improving print quality and maximizing output — with flexibility and speed. “When we made the change to digital printing, we needed a solution that would meet our productivity demands,” explains Werner Süßlin , chief coordinator and organizational director at the Institute. “Thoroughly customized, the Digimaster systems have been running perfectly from the very start, and all of the Institute’s requirements have been fulfilled, including centralizing the time-consuming steps of producing questionnaires with increased print quality and maximum output during peak periods.” Those requirements also included producing more than 200 pages per minute during peak periods (more than 80,000 pages per eight-hour shift) and automatically numbering pages. When the Institute tested competitive digital systems, it found that productivity dropped as low as 35 percent during pagination and to only 70 pages per minute during binding, which was unacceptable. Süßlin noted that the Institute quickly benefited from the installation of the Digimaster devices, the only system to paginate and bind at the same time, with no reduction in productivity. Market researchers also enjoy the Digimaster systems’ ability to use different paper stocks and to accurately reproduce individual shades of gray in black-and-white printing. “Just as our data has to be accurate, the Digimaster device allows the text of our reports and questionnaires to be printed with absolute precision,” Süßlin said. The Institute’s in-house print shop previously worked exclusively with Heidelberg offset printing equipment and used analog copy machines in various other departments. With offset, the individual pages printed by the printing plate master were first assembled, then sorted by hand, paginated and bound. Süßlin noted that its Heidelberg digital equipment enables these same processes to be done more simply and automatically, taking what used to be done in four separate steps and doing it in one step. Using conventional production methods, the Institute at Allensbach generated an output of between three and five million per year. Within the first 10 weeks of installing the digital equipment, the Digimaster systems had proved significant increases in throughput with the printing of more than 1.5 million pages. The business of research The ability to print fast and flexibly is a considerable advantage to the core business of a public-opinion and market-research firm. When a large project is on the schedule, such as the Allensbach Market and Advertising Media Analysis — which alone involves some 20,000 interviews — the work must be done quickly. After all the questionnaires have been completed, the in-house printing operation must compile tables of the raw data and print the volumes of tables, evaluations and analysis reports for the client. Often, changes are made on short notice and large-volume print jobs must be handled quickly to satisfy a special demand, proving digital printing to be a powerful tool. Allensbach also chose Heidelberg’s digital print systems because of the reliability and flexibility of the machines, along with the company’s outstanding sales and training support. “Our employees found it very easy to make the switch from our previous equipment,” Süßlin said. “The machine’s functions are very intuitive, and Heidelberg provided tremendous training after everything was set up.” The Institute sees enormous business potential in digital printing, especially in the prospect of personalized printing and in data storage. In the future, for example, Institute interviewers could receive individualized correspondence. Also, since the Institute’s founding, all the questionnaires, raw data and final reports have been collected and stored in hard copy, taking up room. The Institute sees great value in being able to scan in all these publications and archive them in digital form, having ready-to-print documents for future use preserved in their original form. The Digimaster systems’ productivity and flexibility have proved powerful for the Institute of Demoscopy at Allensbach, which needs no further research to find a print solution that can meet its needs today and long into the future.