German print house Straub Druck & Medien AG, based in Schramberg in the Black Forest, has seen a dramatic rise in new sales and throughput in the months since it installed its second Fujifilm Jet Press 720S in the summer of 2016, with work secured for luxury car manufacturer Porsche being a notable highlight.
Says Francisco Martinez, CEO, Straub Druck & Medien: “We’ve had an amazing nine months since the installation of our second Jet Press 720S in June 2016. Both Jet Press 720S presses have allowed us to demonstrate to customers that they can move away from offset technology without compromising on quality, while offering the capability of printing lower volumes much more cost-effectively.”
Straub Druck & Medien is a 24/7 operation, producing a variety of printed products including calendars, leaflets, catalogues, books and marketing material for blue chip brands, either ordered through an online portal or directly. The Jet Press 720S is well up to the challenge of this diverse product range: “Everything we send to the Jet Press comes out perfect,” says Martinez.
First time, every time
Key to the success of the two installations has been the ability of the Jet Press 720S to produce ultra-consistent, high quality print, with each printed product being right, first time, every time. This has dramatically cut down waste and increased productivity and profitability.
“With other machines we could never guarantee it would be right when it was printed, but we know, that with the Jet Press, whatever we send to the machine will come out right first time,” says Martinez. “We have never seen a machine turn out such consistent, outstanding quality.”
A great example of this was when Straub Druck & Medien had the opportunity to pitch for work with Porsche, based in Stuttgart. For a prestigious company like this, the highest quality is always a prerequisite, so Martinez and his team assumed it would all come down to price.
“However,” Martinez explains, “When we met with the team at Porsche and explained we would be printing their work on a Fujifilm Jet Press 720S, they told us there was no need for any further discussion. They already knew of the reputation of the Jet Press for extremely high quality, so they awarded us the job there and then!”
“Every sheet you get from the press you can sell, which means no waste, and waste costs a lot of money. When we need to print 20,000 sheets a day, I have complete confidence that it will print 20,000 sheets a day. Other machines might do 24,000 one day, but only 5,000 the next because there is a problem. As we are a 24/7 operation, we need machines that work and that we can rely on. The Jet Press 720S offers litho press quality, it is built well, and just doesn’t break down.”
As the company is based in the Black Forest, its commitment to the environment is also a topic of increased focus: “We are very lucky based where we are, but it also comes with responsibilities,” says Martinez. “Many of our local customers want to work with a printing company that is environmentally sound. Because of the incredibly low levels of waste, our Jet Press presses are enabling us to meet these ecological demands, and many customers now work with us because of the environmental benefits the presses provide.”
Workflow the way you want it
“To make something new, you need a new technology, a new way of thinking and doing things,” says Martinez. In the 18 months following the installation of the first Jet Press, his team worked hard to learn all about the integrated capabilities of Fujifilm’s XMF workflow and the Jet Press 720S. When they installed the second Jet Press, they wanted to change the XMF workflow set-up so they could queue jobs for both machines centrally and send them at the last minute to either press depending on their needs. This was especially important as their online business grew, leading to a high volume of jobs coming in that were much less predictable, and not able to be planned in a traditional way.
“We talked to Fujifilm about tailoring our version of XMF to accommodate a workflow more suited to multiple machines and on-demand printing, and we were very pleased and surprised how quickly they developed a solution for this. Within a couple of weeks the team had come back to us and we now have an XMF software solution tailored to our business. You can’t overestimate the production efficiency this now provides to us.”
Packaging up success
Emboldened by the ability of the Jet Press 720S to print such high quality, low volume print on demand, Straub Druck & Medien has developed a range of online portals in specialist sectors over the past few years.
“This is a rapidly growing area for us and the inherent flexibility and performance of the Jet Press means we are able to serve these on-demand markets extremely well,” says Martinez. “We are constantly creating new products for these markets and the Jet Press presses are printing the majority of these. One of the new markets for us is packaging. We have recently launched a new dedicated online packaging portal, and we have been amazed at how quickly this has taken off.
“Most of these products are printed on one of our two Jet Press 720S presses, and feedback from the customers so far has been excellent. Packaging buyers want consistency, and solid and bright colours and the Jet Press presses are delivering all of this. We believe packaging will grow in tandem with our commercial printing operation over the next few years, and the Fujifilm machines are essential to our success in this sector.”
“We invested in our first Fujifilm press because we needed to. We needed to change the business to help future-proof it. It was an experiment and we hoped it would make a real difference to the business,” continues Martinez. “We invested in the second Jet Press because we wanted to, because we had such a positive experience with the first one. I now have many companies visiting us to try to understand what is happening in this factory, and why the Jet Press 720S is working so well for us.
“In addition, the level of service from Fujifilm after the installation of the second press has remained extremely high. This means that working with Fujifilm is like a true partnership. They are always there when we need them, they don’t try to sell us anything that is not right for our business and they work hard to solve problems and find solutions. I foresee a great future working with Fujifilm, as together we continue to help our customers to think in new ways, develop new products, achieve new levels of quality and set new standards of productivity.”
Concludes Graham Leeson, Head of Communications & Sales Enablement, Fujifilm Europe: “Straub Druck & Medien is an outstanding example of a business that has transformed itself by daring to think differently and ambitiously and then investing in the technology that would enable them to deliver on this ambition. Francisco and his team are a pleasure to work with – they have a clear vision of where the company is going and are inspirational to work alongside. We look forward to continuing this great partnership in 2017 and beyond.”