First Stitchmaster ST 500 in World Installed
HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—July 2, 2013—Druck Pruskil produces premium products for the automotive, fashion and telecommunications industries. "Our discerning customers expect fast delivery and excellent quality," explained General Manager Hannes Arnold. The full-service, owner-run company in Gaimersheim, Germany, has a workforce of 80 and invests in state-of-the-art technologies to deliver lean, cost-efficient production.
The pressroom has no fewer than 26 Speedmaster printing units in the 3B-format from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (Heidelberg), including Germany's first Speedmaster XL 106 LPL dual-coating press, which coats both sides of the sheet in a single pass. "We have also put a great deal of effort into expanding our postpress operations in recent years," added Arnold, "as we feel they offer great potential for added value, quality and fast delivery."
Over 90 percent of products are now folded in-house using Stahlfolder folding machines from Heidelberg. Following its positive experiences with the company's postpress equipment, Druck Pruskil was happy to field test the new Stitchmaster ST 500 that Heidelberg unveiled at drupa 2012. "We were originally intending to invest in a Stitchmaster ST 450 but then quickly realized that it didn't quite fit in with our job structure," explained Arnold. "For some years now, we've been seeing a trend toward shorter runs, particularly in the premium segment in which we operate." Despite this, he said, high-quality short runs are the more lucrative jobs. "There are simply too many suppliers on the mass market and prices have collapsed." Arnold stressed that the Stitchmaster ST 500 is ideal for runs of all lengths in the premium segment.
Saddlestitcher scores highly with frequent job changes and getting production started fast
Druck Pruskil was so impressed with the fast makeready times, excellent flexibility and high productivity of the Stitchmaster ST 500 during the field test phase, that it decided to purchase the machine and was the first company in the world to install a saddlestitcher of this type in spring this year.
"Our job structure includes all kinds of different saddlestitching formats, which means frequent changeovers," Arnold noted. "Yes, we have runs of 300,000 copies or more—but it is precisely here that a fast job change during production is important. I need to be able to interrupt a job of this size—which in some cases runs over four shifts or more—to fit in another urgent job with a run length of two to three thousand. The times when it was possible to plan a job on just one machine over several shifts are long gone. The Stitchmaster ST 500 makes us very flexible," he said. While the pressroom operates three shifts, postpress operations take place in two shifts.
"The output of the Stitchmaster ST 500 is absolutely perfect for our requirements, and the product quality is also as it should be," Arnold commented. He explained that makeready work naturally plays a smaller role for long runs and is justified to maximize production speeds. With short runs, on the other hand, it is important to be able to start production as quickly as possible. "This is where the ST 500 comes into its own," Arnold continued. He is equally impressed with how easy it is to learn how to operate the Stitchmaster ST 500, and with the integrated quality control function that delivers stable and reliable production. "I would also like to stress that we are highly satisfied with the service we have received from Heidelberg. Good service can no longer be taken for granted in our industry—even in Germany—but Heidelberg still excels in this respect, which plays a vital role in ensuring our productivity and reliability in production," said Arnold.
The next step at Druck Pruskil is to integrate postpress into the production workflow using Prinect Postpress Manager. After that, the integration with Prinect Business Manager is planned. According to Arnold, "This will give us the greater flexibility and transparency we need to move forward."
Stitchmaster ST 500—the all-rounder of saddlestitching
Heidelberg unveiled the new ST 500 saddlestitcher at drupa 2012. A wide range of formats and applications combined with customized automation make it a true all-rounder for commercial print shops and bookbinders. The machine operates at 13,000 cycles per hour. For the first time ever, the Stitchmaster ST 500 makes it possible to collate stack-signature brochures in preparation for adhesive binding. New options such as the third step in the trimmer allow products to be created with added value in just a single pass where previously two or more steps were required.
More information can be found in the press release from May 2, 2012, "drupa 2012: Heidelberg Presents New Stitchmaster ST 500 Saddlestitcher for Maximum Flexibility."