Finishing & Screen Printing
Tecnau eases the path from roll to product stack
Wednesday 04. December 2019 - INFOX upgrades new inkjet web press with high performance Tecnau Cut & Stack line, enabling highly and hyper-customized print media to be produced at short notice
Since INFOX GmbH & Co. Informationslogistik KG’s entry into digital back in 2008, printing has developed into an important pillar of the service portfolio. Established more than 40 years ago in Troisdorf, not far from Cologne, the company is known in the German tourism industry as the market leader for information logistics and communication solutions. INFOX belongs to the 7Days Group, a provider of logistics services, and specializes in the development and production of highly and hyper-customized media. Personalization, customizing and versioning in every conceivable form are realized with the help of 1:1 communication software solutions developed in-house.
INFOX employs around 250 people in Troisdorf, including 25 in IT and 40 in the printing and finishing departments, covering the complete process chain from data management as well as print media conception and design through production to mailing and logistics.
Printing and logistics for the tourism and other industries
Among other things, the company keeps Germany’s 12,500 travel agencies regularly supplied with promotional material, information brochures and catalogs. INFOX additionally targets end customers with direct response campaigns on behalf of travel agents and tour operators, and sends them their tickets for booked trips. In the meantime, INFOX’s extensive expertise is also successfully leveraged for international clients in other industries such as finance and insurance or the market for customized photo products.
The role played by digital printing has grown rapidly since INFOX first launched into print media production. Today, six Xerox iGen sheetfed color production presses are in use in Troisdorf. In November 2018, they were joined by a Xerox Trivor 2400 HF inkjet web press, which expands the production capacity for high volumes. This inkjet press, which works from roll to roll and prints the web in four colors on both sides in a single pass, is mainly employed for high-volume transaction printing where part of the content is in color as well as for catalogs and magazines.
Entry into inkjet web printing inspired the investment in Tecnau Cut & Stack
INFOX needed a suitable new solution that would allow the printed rolls to be immediately separated into single sheets and sheet stacks, because in the past only cut-sheet systems had ever been used and the firm’s existing finishing equipment was geared accordingly. A Tecnau Cut & Stack line was installed in August 2019 for this reason. Designed for web widths of up to 520 mm, this line is operated as a near-line installation adjacent to the press. It is configured with an Unwinder UW 550 and a Cutter TC 7000 with a waste extraction unit attached as well as a Stacker TC 1220 and a conveyor.
The INFOX management were already familiar with Tecnau from trade fairs, information supplied by Xerox and visits by Area Manager Robert Gubo.
“Our aim is to transfer customers’ online experience to printed advertising material in terms of relevance and currency of content. That’s why same-day processing – from receipt of the customer data to the finished printed products – is paramount for us,” explains Mahmut Acar, Manager Printing and Finishing with power of attorney at INFOX. “Being able to process the printed rolls on the Tecnau Cut & Stack line supports our efforts in this direction.” He adds that the quick and easy changeover feature and the low-maintenance design of the entire line influenced the decision in Tecnau’s favor, as did the maturity and reliability of the Tecnau system components.
Efficient roll processing
In the first step, the unwound web is separated into single sheets on the Cut & Stack line, which runs without constant attention from an operator. Depending on the print format – for example A4 two-up or A3 landscape – the Tecnau Cutter TC 7000 ensures high-accuracy perpendicular and cross cutting, if necessary with intermediate cuts and side trimming. The sheets are then stacked in the Tecnau Stacker TC 1220. The option of offset-stacking single copies simplifies the downstream processing steps. Finally, the prints are placed on a conveyor and are ready for further processing by INFOX – this could be enveloping with some products or hot-melt perfect binding or saddle stitching in the case of brochures.
The Tecnau Cut & Stack line is designed for a maximum web processing speed of 120 m/min. It makes an ideal complement to the Xerox Trivor 2400 HF press, which can print at up to 100 m/min on uncoated paper or 76 m/min on coated stock. So far, INFOX has tended to process 450 mm roll widths and 80 g/m² paper on the Tecnau line, which in practice supports a much wider range of grammages. In short, the flexibility of the inkjet press as regards substrates is mirrored by the Tecnau Cut & Stack line.
Mahmut Acar confirms that INFOX have no regrets about choosing the Tecnau Cut & Stack line: “Our experience to date has been thoroughly positive and it all runs very smoothly. At the same time, our operators are pleased that the line makes so little noise.”
Basis for a new dimension in service
Encouraged by the production capabilities offered by the inkjet press in combination with the Tecnau Cut & Stack line, INFOX are already making plans for new, smart applications. “We can now produce one-hundred-percent customized travel catalogs in larger quantities,” says Acar. These on-demand catalogs have content tailored to the wishes of individual prospects and are ideally sent out to the recipients the very same day.”