Until 2021, Duma Druck GmbH, based in Wolfschlugen, Germany, had used offset printing almost exclusively, upgrading several times their printer base to more than 20 units. But changing market demands and new business possibilities drove the company to take the next step in production digital printing and finishing. For the task, Duma Druck Managing Directors, Frank Illi and Volker Lück, invested in a Tecnau Stack 2328 automated cut and stack solution inline to a Xeikon SX30000 press specifically designed for high-quality and demanding print applications.
There were many reasons for the managing directors to get into production digital printing and finishing. On one hand, Duma Druck wanted to produce small runs even faster and, especially, more efficiently. On the other hand, the company wanted to expand its range of services in on-demand printing with personalized and individualized products, and further optimize delivery times in general. The company aim was to offer its customers added value while being able to react more flexibly to constantly changing requirements. It was also essential to find a solution capable of handling not only a wide range of papers and formats, but also offering the same high quality as offset.
For Duma Druck an important reason to go with the Tecnau cut and stack solution was the overall level of automation. The Stack 2328 system offers an automatic, on-the-fly size change option triggered by a datamatrix code printed on the paper web. This fully automated feature allows switching between format lengths without stopping the printer or requiring any operator intervention on the finishing side.
The Stack 2328 is configured with a dual rotary technology for precisely cutting full-bleed color printed applications with a maximum length up to 710 mm (28”) and stacking them with offset separation on an exit conveyor. “We found that purchasing a roll to cut and stack Tecnau solution with a Xeikon press was the right thing to do, as this combination offers a great deal of flexibility,” commented Volker Lück, Managing Director at Duma Druck.
“While though the long stacker handles sheet-lengths up to 28 inches, there are special applications that require even longer formats. With a special vibrating collecting box, placed instead of the standard exit conveyor, Tecnau provided a solution for banners with a maximum length of 1270 mm (50 inches),” added Stephan Klier, Managing Director at Tecnau Deutschland.
With this new acquisition, the company is now capable of processing a wide range of print substrates with a printer equipped with a 5th inking unit for special or security colors and delivering directly to a finishing line capable of variable on-the fly length changes in 1-, 2-, 3-up impositions.
“The complete Stack 2328 Cut & Stack solution, inline with the printer, was initially configured and extensively tested in close cooperation between Xeikon and Tecnau at Xeikon headquarters in Lier, Belgium, prior to being shipped to the customer. This resulted in an easier and shorter installation window at Duma Druck, where the real production started just after completing certifications to achieve homogeneous and consistent high-quality color,” stated Harm Jan Hulleman, Sales Director EMEA at Tecnau.
Duma Druck, depending on the amount of orders received, runs the system with two operators between one and a half to two shifts. This half-shift overlap allows one operator to run and manage printing and finishing production while the other takes care of machine maintenance without requiring unnecessary or extensive downtime. “We can run the system very effectively with minimum effort, limited manual intervention and low waste. Above all, the complete roll can be processed into a wide variety of very different products,” said Volker Lück.
The Stack 2328 cut & stack system inline to the Xeikon SX30000 press now handles all the production volume below 1000 units. “With the increase of short-run orders, working with our offset presses was no longer profitable. All our jobs below 1000 units are now handled digitally” said Mr. Frank Illi, Duma Druck Managing Director. “Several of our customers are in the agrochemical industry and their request is for short batches of labels with customized on-demand coding; for this reason we needed a digital printing and finishing system to adapt to these increasing demands.”
Orders are sent to a dedicated network server for digital production, offering flexibility for Duma Druck to decide what needs to be prioritized and what can be postponed depending on the urgency and time-to-market of specific products. The decision can be taken directly at the solution side so that operators can streamline the different jobs taking into account roll changes and time required for each run.
“With the Stack 2328 inline to the Xeikon SX30000 press, Duma Druck took the first steps into digital printing with exceptional results,” continued Stephan Klier. “An initial real challenge was the huge amount of static generated by the system, but thanks to a special ionization device added, we were able to solve the issue and provide a reliable solution that just keeps running and works effortlessly.”
Even if an investment in another digital printing system is not a short-term decision for a medium-size company like Duma Druck, the team is monitoring the market for developments and an increase in short-run requests to further boost their business. Obviously, the wider economic situation and the prices in the paper market are serious concerns, but the company is confident of further expansion in digital printing and finishing.