Case Study

Ziegler Printing – PRESS MATCHER

Change is Constant, Let CGS ORIS PRESS MATCHER Help

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Ziegler Printing is located in Neckarbischofsheim in the middle of the Neckar-Odenwald Nature Park just 25 kilometers southeast of Heidelberg. It’s not immediately obvious, when you see the new ultra-modern industrial building which the company moved into three years ago, that tradition and decades of experience are an integral part of their success in innovation and trendsetting. The company, today managed by Jo Bloss, CEO, is still family-owned after five generations and boasts forty-three highly motivated and committed employees. Steeped in tradition, knowledge gained over decades is always passed on to the following generations of employees.

“Ziegler does it differently, the only constant is change. In digital printing the company depends on innovative color management from CGS ORIS.”

Jo Bloss | CEO

There is one ideal to which the company has been committed for several years now and that is sustainability and the environment. Ziegler has received FSC certification, recognizing that most of their printed products are produced on FSC-certified papers, offset as well as digital. The building itself was rated for low CO2 emissions and their customers are offered CO2-compensation certificates used to finance projects promoting renewable energy.

Ziegler recognizes that the fundamental changes taking place in the printing industry offer chances for success and are by no means a threat. The transition from print service provider to media producer was made quite some time ago. Future success of the company is ensured by continuous investment in new technologies and equipment. The printing presses are somewhat special. They have all been given names, like ‘Gina’ – the latest digital press, or the more classical ‘Penelope’ for one of the offset presses. Their service offering ranges from traditional print media (catalogs, leaflets, inserts etc.), through the production of labels, scratch cards and punched cards to printing and distribution of direct mail pieces. The company’s clients are located throughout Germany. The majority are agencies and well-known companies in trade and industry who all have high demands regarding quality and on-time delivery.

That Ziegler is at the very highest level of quality printing is obvious by their choice of offset presses _ a four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 and a six-color Speedmaster CD 102 for substrates up to 1 mm thick, both with coating units and Prinect Image Control. In 2008, Ziegler decided to get more involved in digital printing after an in-depth market and customer analysis and first experiences with a Xerox DocuColor 6060. Increased production capacity using the best available technology for reprints was the main consideration so quality needed to be high. After extensive testing the decision was made for a Xerox iGen3 based on print quality, ease of operation and a larger format compared to other machines on the market. Another factor was a look-and-feel similar to offset. Jo Bloss comments: “Contrary to many other companies, digital printing for us is only a part of our overall range of services, but it is a very important one. It allows us to offer our customers a full service from single copy to fully personalized complex mailings. We produce very high quality products on our offset presses, so when we began to consider investing into digital printing, it was absolutely clear that it had to fulfill the same quality criteria to be able to run in mixed production. For example, advance copies, smaller repeat orders or short-run language versions are printed digitally, with the main print run in traditional offset. Naturally, customers expect identical results, irrespective of the printing process.

“We save a lot of time and material on every order, and the make-ready time is drastically reduced. Just great!”

Heike Albert | Operator iGen3

Consistent quality over time always requires standardization. The majority of our production is based on ISO Coated V2, along with the job data. It is essential that this data produces identical results.” When viewed on its own, the results from the iGen3 were quite acceptable but they showed noticeable differences in color when compared to offset printing. On their existing ink jet proofing system almost all proofs produced are ISO-compliant; so critical customer proofs for digital had to be printed directly on the iGen3 and to match these printed “proofs” during the final print run was not easy, particularly if several days had passed between preliminary and final printing. A lot of time and material was wasted in setting up each job for digital printing. Make-ready time was significantly higher than expected as different stocks, ranging from 90 to over 300 g/sqm, are used on the press and they all required an individual profile needing the skills of a color specialist.

“CGS ORIS PRESS MATCHER has paid for itself within a very short time.”

Jo Bloss | CEO

“It was our goal to produce to a standard independent of the printing process and it was causing us considerable effort to achieve it. Then, at the beginning of 2010, the local CGS ORIS reseller, IGEPA, introduced us to PRESS MATCHER, and we decided to give it a try with a test installation. The integration into our Heidelberg Prinect workflow went absolutely perfectly, and right from the very first day we were able to produce exact color matches. In the CGS ORIS system color is optimized iteratively and is based purely on spectrophotometry, which means that the operators do not need to be color experts. This alone has led to a noticeable easing of the workload as color profiles for the iGen3, just like any other digital printing system, they have to be re-calibrated regularly. With PRESS MATCHER this process only requires about fifteen minutes and can be done during normal production. The testing phase was concluded after four weeks and the CGS ORIS software permanently installed”, explains Jan-Michael Zech, Pre-press Manager. “With PRESS MATCHER we have achieved our objective to consistently match offset printing. We were quite amazed how easy it is to use the software and how quickly you can achieve a perfect result. Color transformation of the data is completely automatic and the application is fully integrated in the Heidelberg workflow. Files are entered into the Prinect Pre-Press Manager, checked and optimized if necessary and then sent either to the CTP or the CGS ORIS system. The CGS ORIS hotfolder manager collects the PDF files, color corrects them and sends them to the hotfolder of the iGen3 or the DocuColor 242. The latter is also color matched to offset printing standards and can be used as a back-up or proofing system for the iGen3. That way we can produce digital advance copies without having to use the iGen3 to print just a few sheets. We also benefit from CGS ORIS color management in our large volume production digital printing by using its ability to manage the relationship between black and the colored inks. As a result, the printing press is much more stable during the entire print run and we can control any shifts much more easily. Greys particularly print perfectly neutral which is very often a problem in digital printing”, adds Jan-Michael Zech. Jo Bloss adds: “The investment has paid for itself in a very short time. In addition to the process advantages we see a distinct quality improvement and we save at least 50% to 70% in time when setting up new jobs. This will become even more significant in the future as we are planning to move into web-to-print later this year with an increase of investment in digital printing.”

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“Color matches can now even be done by someone without any color management expertise.”

Jan-Michael Zech | Pre-Press Manager
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