Koenig & Bauer’s (KBA) web press service and its subsidiary PrintHouseService (PHS) founded early last year will provide comprehensive on-site support for the printing, finishing and building systems at Stürtz in accordance with the service contract concluded recently. The prominent commercial and book printing house is based in Würzburg. While such agreements are nothing new in the newspaper industry, this contract is a premiere for a full-service, large commercial firm with a complex bindery.
A total of seven employees – two from KBA and five from PHS – will work in shifts at Stürtz and are responsible for monitoring production, preventative maintenance, upkeep and rectifying any technical malfunctions that occur. The firm’s extensive technical equipment includes two web offset presses from KBA and manroland, a total of seven medium- and large-format KBA Rapidas, including some long perfectors, as well as a large bindery which is one of the most high-performance finishing plants in Europe given its high level of automation. Originally founded as a university printing house, today Stürtz is managed by Ronald Hof and the company’s some 300 employees produce approx. 55 million print products per year. It is one of the largest sheetfed and web offset printing houses in Germany. For over 183 years the printing house has produced high-quality print media for publishing houses, industry and trade. The print specialist is known far beyond its sector mainly for its school books and complex scientific publications. In addition, the firm also prints superior catalogues, magazines, other periodicals and corporate publishing media. The company’s strengths lie in the mix of consulting, workflow and process management, sheetfed and web offset printing, and the above-average number of finishing options from one source.
The contract for the 24-hour technical service by the Würzburg-based press manufacturer with qualified personnel in the printing house underscores the trend also evident in other industry branches towards concentrating on the core business and outsourcing technical services to suppliers. This trend has been noticeable for some time. Stürtz is thus taking a path still less chosen by commercial printers.
Managing director Ronald Hof on the reasons behind his decision: “The responsibility for the performance of our technical systems, which we have placed in KBA’s hands, is naturally vital for Stürtz. However, it is not part of our core business which we now have to focus more on more than ever. This is why we made the strategic decision to place the ‘comprehensive carefree’ service for the maintenance of our technology in the hands of experienced professionals who know the production processes and complexity of a highly automated printing house and finishing lines. We have a long-standing, solid and trusting partnership with KBA. Therefore, it stood to reason to cooperate with them on this key interface, not only, but also given the cost benefits for our company.”
Jens Maul, head of web press service at KBA in Würzburg, on the benefits of outsourcing for the printing firm: “Our team of KBA and PHS employees covers all of the printing house’s maintenance and service requirements. This includes the coordination of all technical service tasks, including the building systems and it has two key advantages. On the one hand our customer’s management and staff can focus on their core business and on the other hand considerable costs are saved with regards to technical tasks, which will in turn significantly lower operating costs.”