Offset Printing

Bertelsmann Printing Group achieves its goals with Heidelberg Subscription

Friday 26. March 2021 - Just over a year ago, the Bertelsmann Printing Group (BPG) decided on a subscription contract with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) for its two sites - Mohn Media in Gütersloh, near Bielefeld, and Vogel Druck in Höchberg, near Würzburg.

That makes it time for an initial review. The performance partnership – under which Heidelberg is responsible for the performance and availability of the newly installed presses over the next five years – was and still is a key factor for BPG. The Subscription Smart contract applying at both sites includes all service operations and a vendor-managed inventory component that covers the inventory management of selected wear parts and consumables on BPG’s behalf.
“As we see it, our very high expectations have been met in full. The cooperation was exactly as envisaged and Heidelberg has really delivered,” emphasizes Roland Witte, Production and Technology Manager at Mohn Media. “The figures speak for themselves and we’re looking to systematically continue this approach. I can imagine the next step being a further investment proposal to build on the successful partnership,” he adds.
Overall equipment efficiency target met
Production with the Speedmaster XL 106-10-P+L started in Gütersloh on February 7, 2020, and it was operating at 18,000 sheets per hour from day one. By the end of January this year, the press had printed a total of 55 million sheets and its overall equipment efficiency had increased from 37 percent to a highly impressive 56 percent. “The press was assembled completely on schedule, and the highly professional Heidelberg service team provided our printers with excellent technical and personal support every step of the way – from preliminary training in Wiesloch-Walldorf to subsequent instruction on the machine itself,” says Julia Isabell Schäfer, Head of Sheetfed Printing at Mohn Media. Together with her team, her initial task was to determine the best technical configuration for the press and also discuss the ROI calculations with her staff. “Given the high investment sums, it was important to us to involve staff in the project from the outset so that everyone was on the same page,” says Witte, describing the successful approach.
The management team in Gütersloh is very happy with the makeready, waste, and speed figures, all of which are within the required range. The site operates in three shifts and mainly produces cover pages for a large number of magazines. Having been as high as 15,000 sheets, the average print run has now leveled out at around 10,000 sheets. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the company was very quick to introduce a comprehensive package of measures that has left production virtually unscathed. “We apply the Push to Stop concept with some orders. Our press operators primarily use the smart assistants such as Intelliguide, which guides them through the job. The AutoPlate automatic plate changing system is also a big help, certainly in terms of cutting makeready times,” sums up Schäfer. The printers, she adds, are highly motivated and love their state-of-the-art, innovative workplace.
Performance partnership – a win-win situation
The monthly coordination meetings between Mohn Media and Heidelberg that form an integral part of the performance partnership are one of the main reasons for the impressive statistics and high level of satisfaction. The figures from the Heidelberg Assistant and Mohn Media’s own data are analyzed and evaluated with the entire team in Gütersloh. Problems are discussed directly with Heidelberg and a joint solution is found.
“Our previous strategy was to invest in good-quality used equipment, but it didn’t provide us with the performance promise we were looking for. That’s all changed with the new press from Heidelberg, because the innovative technology gives us exactly the values we need,” explains Witte. “With Subscription Smart from Heidelberg, we have this performance promise, and I’d also like to emphasize the partnership between our two companies, which has always been cordial and commercially equitable. We’d very much like to continue working together on the same basis,” he adds. Even the Controlling department in Gütersloh is satisfied with the figures, and has scrutinized and approved the investment calculation. “It’s a similar story at Vogel Druck, because the Subscription Smart contract from Heidelberg and the associated performance partnership are also working well in Würzburg,” comments Witte.
“The excellent figures we’ve been able to achieve with Mohn Media make us happy and proud,” says David Schmedding, Managing Director of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH. “Improving this company’s profitability will bring us reliable, regular payments year on year and we are benefiting from the growth. That means the interests of our two companies are focused on a common goal,” he adds.
Schäfer’s plans for the future confirm this view. “We want to keep improving and our next step is extending the support to the entire process – from prepress to postpress. It’s the interfaces that are important then, and we trust Heidelberg for that, too,” she says.
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