De Bink builds the foundation of a promising future
Printing company De Bink located in Leiden underwent a true transformation in the last three years. This will reach a new peak this Autumn with the installation of two Manroland Sheetfed ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION printing presses.
This first installation for the Dutch market means a significant efficiency step forward, as explained by Carl Smit and Lucas Mevius: “The replacement of our three existing printing presses by these two state-of-the-art machines means a leap forward in automation, flexibility and capacity.”
The company's 130th anniversary in 2012 was not only a moment of reflection on the De Bink's rich history and fine traditions, Manager Johan Schoonderwoerd also seized the moment to pass on the helm to a five-headed management team after thirty years: Madelon Breedveld, Zeger van de Plas, Marco van der Krogt, Carl Smit and Lucas Mevius to lead De Bink, as an independent printing company towards a new future, explains Mevius:
“Like the rest of the graphic industry in the Netherlands, we also had to face the market changes and shrinking volumes. We had to respond quickly to this situation and at the same time anticipate well on new trends. The five of us have intensively thought about this and came to the conclusion that will provide a new foundation for the company.”
New way of work processes
Smit explains that first of all they invested in organizational changes: “If the market requests even smaller print runs and shorter delivery times, one should be able to respond to this – without compromising on the quality you are known for. As a management team we have started to control the company by shorter lines. We have agreed on clear responsibilities with all employees and in each division a team leader has been appointed. For example by separating physically the external and the internal sales, everyone is able to better concentrate on his own task.”
Mevius said “With the Lean Six Sigma methodology we have involved everyone in making and implementing improvement plans. Besides the “low hanging fruit” that quickly led to results, employees also came with interesting suggestions a manager would not have thought about. Work could for instance be organized with much more efficiency by simply moving the cutting machines. A new floor with clear lines ensures that the workspace remains much neater and clearer.”
Investing in people and technology
Mevius and Smit emphasize the important role all the employees have within the necessary transformation process: “The Management Team needs input from the company as a whole. It is, particularly for the employees, not easy to deal with so many changes in such a short period of time. But the enthusiasm in the organization and the willingness to learn things seem to be huge. Investing in your employees offers a tremendous result.”
The changing market also has its effect on the technology. De Bink offers a wide range of services, from graphic design to enhancement of printed matter with embossing or foiling and direct mailing. “The printing volume on our digital press grew so fast that we quickly had to switch to a high volume printing system”, Smit tells.
“We then placed the machine along the offset presses in the print shop. This makes it immediately clear to everyone that this change also is part of the set up. Furthermore, we noticed digital printing and offset printing compliment each other and with this combination of printing technologies we offer a wider service to our customers.”
De Bink operates in very diverse markets. Besides its own corporate customers, the government is an important customer. With the OBT partnership, in which De Bink has successfully collaborated with Drukkerij Opmeer since 1996 in competing for public tenders. Mevius said: “We are permanently searching for a good balance in our portfolio.” The huge procurement of printed matter in 2014 was an important milestone for De Bink. In November 2014 the contract was granted to Xerox (The Netherlands) B.V. and its partner OBT B.V.: “This means continuity for years to come; sales and production were expanded and we have since recruited some twenty new staff members within OBT.”
Smit continues: “This gave us the opportunity to invest in other activities, such as offering special finishes and the application of particular techniques. We now have a ‘sample room’ where we inspire customers with creative printed matter. In this way, De Bink conquers new markets with higher added value.”
Growth requires optimization of the print shop
De Bink employs 55 employees and has seen sales in print grow. The print shop regularly works in three shifts.
Smit: “In 2012 we decided to postpone the replacement of our three printing presses. Although they date from 2004 they were still in perfect condition. With the actual growth it was however time to look for optimization. We analysed our order package and came to the conclusion that it was more efficient to completely switch to the 70x100 format.” Mevius explains: “The unwritten rule ‘small jobs on a small press’ no longer holds true thanks to the high degree of automation on modern large presses. A part of the 50x70 orders from the offset presses will also be carried over to the digital presses. Moreover, it is much easier for us to efficiently organize the limited space in our print shop with two instead of three presses. At the same time, we will increase our capacity.”
Leap forward with press automation
The team leaders of the print shop were also involved in the selection process. On top of the wish list we made together, it featured inline measuring and a high degree of press automation. “The fact that all the existing machines would be replaced also meant that we were free to switch to another supplier if we so required”, Smit tells “To broaden our choice, we invited Manroland Benelux to make a proposal.
They reacted confidently with a successful demonstration of the new ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION press. One of our employees summarized his impression: ‘This is not a step but a leap forward’.”
The press fitted perfectly in the planned investment budget and met all the requirements, thanks to fully automated simultaneous plate change and the InlineColorPilot. With the ProServ 360º Performance-programme Manroland Sheetfed furthermore guarantees regular intensive check-ups of the machines and analyses of the maintenance and productivity, Smit explains: “This guarantees an additional certainty of this investment.”
ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION
De Bink’s team is convinced and already took the decisive action at the beginning of the year – even before drupa. They chose for a four and five colour version of the ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION, Mevius explains: “The five colour press gives us the possibility to immediately varnish some orders and for some customers it is important that we can also print with PMS-inks. This way, the machines perfectly fit with our current order package and we can properly respond to the continuing trend of even smaller print runs and more job changes. If we use the presses permanently in two shifts and take full advantage of their potential, we will have enough capacity for further growth.” Smit: “Manroland Sheetfed also prepared the presses for application of LED-UV drying. For the time being, with all the changes in the print shop, it is too early for us to immediately switch to that new technology. But we certainly do not rule out the development.”
Basis for the future
Smit and Mevius are in the opinion that the new ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION presses are two important building blocks in De Bink's foundation: “We have been working hard on this in the last few years; we have restructured the organisation and strengthen our position in the market by investing in employees and in technology. It allows us to work more efficiently and consistently outstanding with unique capabilities and good customer service. In fact, satisfied customers are the basis for the future.”