Case Study

Zabel Printing – PRESS MATCHER

CGS ORIS PRESS MATCHER can Assist Even the Most Unconventional Printers

Zabel Printing is a trendsetter in many areas and, with over fifteen years of experience, a real pioneer in digital printing. CGS ORIS PRESS MATCHER ensures identical color results between offset and digital on a Xerox iGen and DocuColor press.

When you enter Zabel Printing’s building in Radolfzell, just off Lake Constance, you immediately notice one thing; the facility has practically nothing in common with a conventional printing facility. The modern architecture is spacious, airy and welcoming, the entire furnishings custom-made and mounted on wheels so they can be rearranged at any time as needed. And something else stands out; it does not smell like a printing plant. Here they don’t just talk about protecting the environment, they are actively doing something about it. Printing is done completely without isopropyl alcohol thanks to an Ecocolor dampening unit. On the roof of the building is one of the largest solar panels in the region and the company was recently awarded FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. That has been particularly recognized by environmental associations such as BUND (German Association for Environment and Nature Protection), Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environmental Aid Organization), Global Nature Fund and many others that are sending their print orders to Zabel.

” ‘Printing is Emotion’ for proofing and offset or digital printing Zabel relies on CGS ORIS color management.”

Ralf Kautzmann | Technical Director

The company currently has twenty employees but started twenty-five years ago with a single Rotaprint small offset press, printing mostly business cards, and with the help of just one employee. Zabel has constantly invested in new technologies and new business opportunities. Fifteen years ago they installed a black & white digital printing system to produce operating manuals. When Heidelberg introduced the NexPress – its first digital press – Zabel was one of the first adopters. Offset capacities were continuously extended with the installation of GTO presses and a Speedmaster 52. Four years ago the decision was made to discontinue small format offset and run a Printmaster 74 in two shifts. From the start Zabel did not specifically push digital printing. It was not the process itself that was given prominence but the solution for the customer’s requirements. This, however, led to a fundamental problem of digital printing because even minute variations in, for example, room temperature made consistent reprints impossible. Ralf Kautzmann, responsible for sales and technology at Zabel, explains: “It was our goal to offer the customer an all around carefree package with consistent quality, irrespective of the printing process. When we are printing digitally we frequently give the customer a ‘sample copy’ and, of course, the problem after approval was to print the entire print run exactly the same way. The customer expects a consistency and repeatability similar to offset. Offset production based on the Fogra standard is not a challenge for us but we are not bound by it; sometimes we deliberately print outside the standard to achieve, for example, a higher saturation with over-inking but, in general, there is no alternative to standardization.”

To exploit new business opportunities, Zabel decided early in 2008 to replace the NexPress and the monochrome Xerox Nuvera system with just one Xerox iGen press with an inline coating unit.

“From the outset we had hybrid production in mind. In other words, the customer gets an optimal result at a reasonable price since the job is always produced using the most suitable process. The spectrum we cover with the iGen is as diverse as our customers. We supply in equal measure individuals, small businesses, corporations and government agencies, primarily within a circle of 100 kilometers and with print runs of up to about 10,000 copies.”

“For an idea to become reality, we investigated the market and discovered PRESS MATCHER from CGS ORIS. With it we have made a significant step forward in quality.”

Perhaps the biggest advantage for us is the accuracy and repeatability of digital production and its consistency to the offset press. Creating a profile is purely by measurement and iterative process. That’s why a defined print condition like the Fogra offset standard can easily be achieved and maintained in digital printing. Today we proof critical premium jobs directly on the iGen, measure it with CGS ORIS CERTIFIED and then go straight into production. We have also equipped our Epson with CGS ORIS color management – COLOR TUNER – and our customers now specifically ask for them by name and insist on them being certified and labeled by CGS ORIS CERTIFIED.

The latest addition is a Xerox DocuColor, primarily intended for internal use. Also color-managed by PRESS MATCHER, it matches the Xerox iGen and the conventional press perfectly. Almost all internal proofs are now produced on it.

“We run a generalized operation with products ranging from brochures, flyers and operating manuals all the way up to posters. But printing is only one aspect of it. On behalf of our clients we handle, for example, complete mailing fulfillment, no matter whether simple or highly complex and personalized. You may have noticed that we run two inserting and folding machines but no saddle-stitcher because we focus primarily on top-quality products and short runs. For several large customers we stockpile their entire marketing collateral and ship it on their behalf.

CGS ORIS color management guarantees one system-independent uniform standard, irrespective how and on which system we print. It goes without saying that the current crisis in the printing industry was a challenge for us too, but if you want to stay in business today you must have the right technology, kept constantly under control, and use tools which allow industrial production. And you need motivated employees, new ideas and concepts. This is particularly true for digital printing. We have extended our workflow to our customer, customized for each client and who can order his marketing material online. We also have a general web storefront but we focus primarily on individual online communication with our regular customers” concludes the owner, Peter Zabel.

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