Case Study

Mintzel-Druck – INK SAVER

From The Oldest German Printing and Publishing House to an Efficient, Future-Oriented Media Company

When Peter Gänßlen took over the oldest printing house in Germany in 2009, an era came to an end and things were not going too well for the company, which had been run as a family business for 375 years. High production costs, partially outdated machinery and an unfavorable customer structure got the traditional business into economic straits. “Tradition is a good thing, but that alone will not help a company survive these days. Our industry has gone through fundamental changes over the last years, like never before. Now, radical measures not always decide on success or failure, but rather a whole bundle of measures, which eventually have an effect.” Gänßlen speaks from experience. In the beginning of 2000 he had already taken over the printing operation of the Oberschwäbische Publishing House, and successfully restructured it. You can tell that the chosen path is effective, as a brand-new Heidelberg 5-color press will be installed shortly. “In a degressive market, which we currently find in Germany, the quality of products and services is a unique selling proposition and highly important to ensure the future existence and success of a company”, says Gänßlen. It was therefore not surprising that one of the first measures taken was to completely standardize the entire color management workflow from pre-press to printing.

In 2009, the company was officially certified by Fogra complying with the process standard offset printing (PSO). At the same time, a quality management system, fulfilling the requirements of the DIN ES ISO 9001:2000, was introduced and is binding for all employees.

“For our customers, a stringent quality management is probably even more important than keeping the process standard offset. In some cases, we quite consciously decide to leave the PSO. For instance, to achieve a more brilliant result and more intensive colors on uncoated papers, we over-ink deliberately. In this, CGS ORIS INK SAVER gives us a whole new range of possibilities, as it allows us to control the inking more precisely. All of our data is process-optimized with INK SAVER prior to plate-making. Saving ink only plays a minor role for us. What is much more important is to keep a constant grey balance during the entire print run, which would be hard to achieve otherwise, even though our presses are equipped with the latest control systems.

Another important effect for us is the accelerated drying process. Using less ink helps to avoid offsetting of the printing ink, so we can go to finishing more quickly. In many cases, we can thus produce entire jobs within a day. We have a Kodak CTP system for plate-making and use the stochastic Stakkato screening for many jobs, which in itself already saves ink. Initially we were skeptical, whether INK SAVER in combination with Stakkato screening, would not reduce the chromatic colors too much. This did not prove itself to be true in practice, quite the contrary. I had been successfully using INK SAVER and COLOR TUNER already in my company in Weingarten, so in the course of restructuring Mintzel-Druck, it was one of the first measures to install CGS ORIS there as well.

Looking at the printing industry today, you soon realize that a company cannot survive just by putting ink on paper. Apart from printing alone, it must offer the customer an individually tailored service package to be able to survive on the market today. For example, we offer, in cooperation with ClimatePartner, to print climate-neutral, with which we currently are uniquely positioned in the area.

“Particularly the new color stabilization feature greatly improved the quality even more.”

Michael Niepel | Manager for prepress and digital printing

We have also responded to changing customer needs by investing in digital printing as well, and have installed a Konica Minolta bizhub pro C 5e about a year ago. Today we also produce all of our form proofs on it. Previously, form proofs were printed in black and white on a plotter and then manually glued together and folded. Such form proofs now account for about 30 % of the throughput on the Konica Minolta. The major part however, is sellable prints. Without PRESS MATCHER, this would be inconceivable. We have perfectly matched the system to ISO coated V2 and our offset printing, and can now provide the customer with identical short runs, while he can actually wait for it. I was actually most amazed, when I realized that within twelve months we produced well over one million prints on the machine. With PRESS MATCHER we achieve a consistency and color accuracy, without such a throughput and customer acceptance would not have been possible.

“Switching to the web-based version of COLOR TUNER was simply ideal for our constellation”

Carsten Przygoda | Job Management

We have a very broad customer spectrum coming from all of Germany and the near foreign abroad. Only a minor part comes from our region. We are mainly positioned in the upper quality segment.” Michael Niepel, who is responsible for prepress and digital printing at Mintzel-Druck, can report nothing but good things about the latest PRESS MATCHER version. “Particularly the new color stabilization feature greatly improved the quality even more. All toner-based systems normally show minor shifts in the grey axis. That is why you always have minor color variations within a print run, particularly apparent in technical tints. The new color stabilization feature almost completely eliminates these color shifts. Actually, it is now hardly possible to tell the difference in quality to offset.”

Until recently, INK SAVER and PRESS MATCHER were two independent applications, which have now been combined in the PRESS MATCHER application. Peter Gänßlen did not waste much time to upgrade to the latest version and to add the File Out option. “Mintzel-Druck is PSO-certified as the company in Weingarten has been. Anyone who passed the certification knows how complex it is to keep these standards in daily production. Even if you meticulously comply with the specifications, you still may encounter problems in certain areas. CGS ORIS File Out now allows us to take counter-measures and apply the necessary fine adjustments automatically within the workflow”, explains Gänßlen. Half a year ago it was decided to concentrate all printing activities at the facility in Hof and to replace one of the existing Heidelberg SM 102-4 with a new Heidelberg 5-color press. Still, all prepress activities remain in Weingarten. Carsten Przygoda, who has been working for Peter Gänßlen for fifteen years in various companies, processes all orders from there. To produce hardcopy proofs, he uses an Epson 4880 with COLOR TUNER, a configuration, which is also being used in the Hof location. “Switching to the web-based version of COLOR TUNER was simply ideal for our constellation. Via the web we can access each other’s system and directly print a color-accurate contract proof. In combination with the integrated CGS ORIS Softproof, which we use on Eizo monitors, we can now accurately and reliably communicate color between the two sites”, explains Przygoda.

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