colordruck Baiersbronn builds a new digital business model in packaging printing 

Variable data printing without any interruption in production

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Heidelberg
The two managing directors of colordruck Baiersbronn, Thomas Pfefferle (top row, far right) and Martin Bruttel (bottom row, center) as well as Sabrina Janta from Heidelberg (top row, far left) together with their teams learned a lot during the field test. Photo - Heidelberg

colordruck Baiersbronn, a packaging service provider operating throughout Europe, is well known for its high-quality standards. Right from an early stage, the company started to build itself a new business model based around digital printing in the food, confectionery, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and non-food sectors. It has collaborated with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (Heidelberg) on numerous projects, giving rise to a decades-long partnership. Therefore, colordruck Baiersbronn was also one of the first field testers of customized digital packaging production using the Heidelberg Primefire 106. With almost all criteria successfully met and the Primefire 106 fully adapted to colordruck Baiersbronn’s web-to-pack portal, the field test was completed at the end of 2019. 

Explaining about the initial phase, Martin Bruttel, managing director of colordruck Baiersbronn, said, “Through the consistent development of a digital business model, we were also able to optimize our processes further and make them fit for the future. Heidelberg offered outstanding support as a partner in incorporating the Primefire 106 into our workflow. Wanting to offer our discerning customers new business ideas in digital packaging printing meant that our requirements for the digital printing press were very high.” 

Variable data printing without any interruption in production

Three years ago colordruck Baiersbronn added the ‘Packaging Digital’ division, which offers innovative packagings in runs of one and up with the online shop ‘designyourpackaging.de.’ A very complex issue in building the new business model with the Primefire 106 was the variable data printing (VDP), the prerequisite for mass customization. “The team from colordruck Baiersbronn and Heidelberg have invested a lot of expertise and effort here and developed VDP together. Today, the Primefire at colordruck Baiersbronn can produce an unlimited number of custom printed sheets without any interruption and in consistently high quality,” explains Tom Streefkerk, heads – Digital Packaging division at colordruck Baiersbronn. The Primefire 106 has been gradually integrated into the existing production workflow, with the Prinect Digital Frontend (DFE) as the link between the hardware and the software used at colordruck Baiersbronn. 

colordruck Baiersbronn’s digital business model includes the web-to-pack portal and the Primefire 106 as an output system. This makes it possible to produce the most varied applications in many packaging segments. For example, the custom and personalized Advent calendar is already a bestseller among business and private customers. The company has acquired a multitude of new customers, and its existing customers are impressed with its expanded services. “The Primefire offers excellent color brilliance, outstanding register accuracy, the same impressive color consistency, and good reproducibility. Customers who attach particular importance to these criteria will have an immediate benefit,” summarizes Tom Streefkerk. 

“colordruck Baiersbronn had high requirements for digital packaging printing, which we were able to meet by working together and will continue to develop together in the future,” explains Montserrat Peidro-Insa, head of Business Unit Digital at Heidelberg. 

Offset transfer to digital printing with high quality and color fidelity

In addition to digital printing, the company also produces premium packagings using offset printing on four of the most recent generation of highly automated Speedmaster presses. Shorter runs are increasingly being transferred to digital printing to free up capacities in offset. colordruck Baiersbronn offers its customers systematic solutions for adapting spot colors in offset and digital printing.

“The integration of digital printing allowed us to gain a lot of flexibility and optimize our efficiency in all run lengths. Digital printing is setting new standards in color fidelity across the entire run,” concludes Thomas Pfefferle, managing director. In addition, the B1 format of the Primefire 106 enables the company to use die-cutting tools in postpress that are also used for offset runs.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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