Second offset press enables huge leaps forward
Insignis significantly increases its capacity with a Nilpeter MO-4 and offers the delivery reliability customers now demand
“We wanted a machine that could at least do the same as our existing press, but to a higher quality,” was the simple yet clear requirement laid out by Ferdinand Hager, a qualified engineer and Managing Partner of Insignis Etiketten Erzeugung und Vertrieb GmbH, as the company searched for another press for narrow-web offset printing. Up to that point, Insignis had been very successfully operating in the market for seven years with a 6-colour Nilpeter MO-3 web press. Ferdinand Hager and Erwin Pudek, the company’s Director, explained to Klemens Ehrlitzer why they decided on a Nilpeter MO-4 and what growth the label printer was able to achieve by installing a 7-colour version of this model, when he visited the company in Vienna.
During its search for a new press, Insignis had a clear idea of the configuration and technical equipment it wanted. As Erwin Pudek explains, the middle section had to have six offset printing units – four for process colours and two spot and special colours, which are being requested increasingly frequently. Next, it wanted another two flexographic printing units before and another two after the middle section for various finishing options, such as opaque white or metallic colours as well as varnishes and cold foil stamping. Insignis wanted to be able to switch between flexographic and screen printing in the first two printing stations as required if, for example, it needed to print special colours or effects.
Numerous attractive offers
Nothing was set in stone when it came to choosing the equipment supplier, but a number of providers were already eliminated based on predetermined configurations. For example, a supplier’s range had no sleeve technology, it was automatically ruled out. “The manufacturers went to great lengths to provide us with attractive offers, including on the price,” recalls Ferdinand Hager, but, after the first evaluation phase, Insignis’ list was down to just two European manufacturers.
According to Erwin Pudek, the fact that the Nilpeter MO-4 won in the end turned out to be an excellent decision for Insignis. The new press helped the company create the conditions needed to achieve all the objectives set for the new investment, making a higher purchase price worthwhile.
Investment was an absolute market requirement
“Installation of a second offset press was an absolute market requirement,” says Ferdinand Hager. “For one thing, we could see that the existing MO-3 with its six printing units was reaching its limits on an increasing number of orders because of the growing demand for additional finishing effects. A second issue, about delivery reliability was also being raised by customers, especially for long runs.”
Since the commissioning of the Nilpeter MO-4 in October 2014, the Austrian company has had the advantage of a backup press if needed. To maximise the effectiveness for independent operation, and each has its own power supply.
Installation of the second machine soon bore fruit. Turnover increased by 30%, partly because Insignis was able to turn companies that had demanded production capacity to be guaranteed before committing themselves into customers. This also explains why two-shift utilisation of the MO-4 was achieved after only a few months, even though the wider web width (420 mm compared to 330 mm with the existing MO-3) had more than doubled the available production volume.
Fitting a UR Precision series winding system from Kocher+Beck produced a further increase in productivity. In addition to the 440 U automatic transfer unwinder and the 440 R automatic transfer rewinder, the Nilpeter web press is equipped with a 440 M automatic matrix transfer rewinder from the UR Precision range. Insignis was the first company in Austria to use this Matrix rewinder. Automation like this is consistent with the company’s pursuit of an industrial operation. Hence, the system was not only installed on the MO-4, but also retrofitted to the MO-3.
Food-related jobs as an important mainstay
To extend its production capacity, the Insignis has invested a total of 4.5 million euros over two years in new buildings and printing technology. The new hall is fully air-conditioned with heat recovery units and provides space for a further printing line with all the necessary connections in place. What type of machine will be used is a decision the managers will make once they have performed an in-depth analysis of the market. This approach has already proven successful with the purchase of the new Nilpeter MO-4.
“We monitored the customers' needs carefully over a prolonged period so we could then align the configuration of the new machine to those needs,” explains Erwin Pudek. “As the rapid utilisation and the successful acquisition of new orders show, we have met the customers’ needs perfectly.”
The new MO-4 is, for example, only used to print with low-migration inks. For Insignis, this is essential as their customer base includes a lot of companies from the food industry, many of which are located in the immediate vicinity of the printshop. At present, more than half of its turnover can be attributed to the food industry. For these customers, in addition to low-migration production, high print quality and short delivery times are especially important.
Continuing trend towards more printing units
The market has seen a trend towards more refined labels in recent years. According to Andreas Höfner, Managing Director of Nilpeter GmbH, this is reflected primarily in the increasing number of printing units supplied with newly installed machines. Insignis is typical of this trend. For the first print line, the MO-3, six offset printing units was sufficient, the recently installed MO-4 has ten. Flexographic units upstream and screen printing units downstream for performing the most popular finishing options have now become more or less standard, even with presses for industrial label production where the main focus is on productivity.
With its choice of materials – from classic adhesives to mono films to tickets and tags – Insignis is also part of this trend. The technical capabilities of the MO-4 have opened new possibilities, and helped Insignis expand its printing and converting of films in particular, e.g., flexible packaging for spices.
Service as a strong argument for the purchasing decision
Although, generally speaking, technical criteria are central to the purchasing decision, the availability of good and fast service from the supplier was another important aspect for Insignis. In this respect, Nilpeter had already been able to gain an advantage in the past.
“In case of queries or service,” says Ferdinand Hager, “we could always rely on rapid and highly competent support from the Nilpeter branch in Vienna. This was the case with the MO-3 and was reconfirmed when we commissioned the MO-4.”
As a result, the new machine was well received from the start throughout the company, by printing personnel and in the sales and administration departments: “When you look at it like that, deciding on Nilpeter was less risky for us than any of the alternatives for us.”
Barely any margin for error on large projects
Such a trusting customer relationship is gratifying to Andreas Höfner. At the same time, however, he is also aware of how much responsibility lies in such projects.
“Increasingly today we are talking about investment amounts that can threaten the existence of a company if they make a wrong decision,” he says. “Mutual openness and an honest exchange of information always form the essential foundation for long-term success.”
When it came to making the investment decision, Ferdinand Hager found that visiting different companies that use Nilpeter presses particularly helpful. On the one hand, they offered valuable insights into the practical use of the machine in daily life in the printing industry, and on the other, he found it very enlightening to watch the interactions between the user and the machine supplier.
“The knowledge that we took away from our visits was of huge practical assistance to us in the end when it came to making our decision,” Ferdinand Hager says.