Guest blog by Christian Haneke, Innovations & Solutions Manager of German print and mailing specialist Sattler Media Group
Ricoh Europe, London, June 28, 2022 －A little over a year ago we began one of the biggest investment projects we have ever undertaken.
Our aim was to implement efficient and responsive ways to manage nonstop, high speed promotional and direct mail production. My vision was a highly automated line, requiring little intervention.
We wanted to find an alternative to preprinting work using offset technology and then overprinting with laser or inkjet heads.
We wanted to smoothly transition from analogue to digital print.
Our journey over the past year, along with the drivers and considerations that shaped Sattler’s decision, was something I and my colleague Arndt-Friedrich Wille spoke about during this month’s Spring Forward With Tecnau series of events. You can watch the presentation here.
We discussed how a complete end to end solution, that could be run by a single operator, to enable us to become more efficient and manage a broader range of jobs faster, was needed.
The goal was to reduce startup and makeready times to achieve continuous production. And through a process of co-creation with Ricoh, ably supported by Tecnau, we have arrived at a fully automated line, from dual unwinders to a cutter & stacker.
There are several features on the complete line that help ensure that. They include the web control unit, autosplicing, drying technology and a remoistening system for high quality stacks and book blocks for catalogues. Also delivering consistent reliability is the Pro VC70000’s Pro Scanner web inspection system that checks results while printing and can resolve various quality issues. I am proud of the fact that Sattler Media Group is the first European printer to deploy the Pro Scanner.
While most of our work are self-mailers, catalogues, and magazines, we have been exploring different jobs too.
We have expanded into postcards. We are finding they are proving to be a popular, affordable, communication tool for our clients. This might have proved difficult, though, as it meant managing substrates up to 300gsm. The Pro VC70000 rose to that challenge.
The Ricoh Tecnau line is getting better and better every day. Our understanding is improving, too, because we are able to continue to work closely with Ricoh and Tecnau to see what new application possibilities we can add. This includes greater production flexibility enabled by a wider choice of paper grades including offset and uncoated.
We also have the capability to work with lightweight papers. For us it was very important to be able to offer clients a range of paper types and to be able to consolidate the runs, so we are not making too many roll changes.
We strive to give clients the best product for the best price. We can closely monitor costs for the whole process from the price of ink to the amount of paper required and how much energy a job will consume. The streamlined production workflow is enabling us to reduce energy and consumables consumption, which is good for Sattler Media Group and for the environment.
Our initial idea was to invest in a solution that had the highest degree of automation possible and the highest quality. Ricoh and Tecnau offered the best solutions that supported intelligent production.
Sattler has made the right decision and we would make the same choice again.