With its flexible range of applications and the elimination of size inserts as a cost factor, the Alprinta-V’s design impressed company owner Hans-Michael Hummel.
In 2007, Hummel GmbH & Co KG will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The company, which employs 240 people, has always demonstrated nearly flawless instinct and foresight in adjusting to future market developments. In fact, Hummel’s ability to adjust and respond to a changing marketplace goes all the way back to the company’s founding by Karl Hummel – who in 1957 accurately estimated the value of rising information technology and began manufacturing punch cards.
Forms, Tickets and Labels
Hummel, which is located in Magstadt near Stuttgart, has been on the forefront of new trends time and again – whether producing stock forms and continuous forms (since 1970) or producing magnetic data carriers (since 1987).
Forms, tickets and labels, as well as printed pieces with coded information, make up the important focal points in the company’s product line today. Hummel’s traditional function as a printing house has been increasingly expanded with support services such as forms management. As a result, intelligent products have developed into the company’s biggest cash cow, with a share of nearly 50 percent.
20 Machines from Muller Martini
In order to create actual products from innovative ideas, the right production technology is needed. With this in mind, the strategy in Magstadt has been to collaborate with trusted, long-term supplier partners. For company owner Dipl. Kfm. Hans-Michael Hummel, who has run the business since 1985, it’s therefore logical that nearly 20 Muller Martini machines are now installed in the printing hall.
Since August 2005, this collection of Muller Martini technology has included a shaftless Alprinta-V web offset machine.The new press has six UV offset printing units with a web width of 520 mm and achieves a printing speed of up to 365 m/min. What’s more, the Alprinta series has a unique feature. Although it’s available with conventional size inserts, it can also be equipped with a continuously size-variable system – as is the case on Hummel’s machine. The specialized wet-offset insert includes plate, blanket and impression cylinder which remains in the machine during a size change. Only the actual sized parts – the blanket cylinder and the plate cylinder – are changed.
Make-Ready Times Reduced Significantly
Due to its unique size-variable capabilities, the Alprinta-V can be changed over to a new size in less than five minutes, confirms Martin Kienle, Director of Technology and Planning at Hummel. This reduces changeover times considerably when compared to changing size inserts. However, even in the case of job changes in which the size is not altered, downtime is still significantly reduced...because the cylinders, first equipped with new printing plates, can be replaced in the shortest possible time. In addition, the company also gains valuable flexibility in job planning. Furthermore, the staff at Hummel was immediately enthusiastic about the user-friendliness of the new technology.
Continuously size-variable offset printing has been on Hans-Michael Hummel’s wish list for a long time. An important reason was the relatively high costs incurred in acquiring the required size inserts for conventional machines, as well as warehousing them, and, the makeready efforts they require.
Tapping New Market Segments
Utilizing the capabilities of its size-variable Alprinta-V web offset press, Hummel sees solid opportunities for tapping new market segments. The Alprinta series additionally offers the option of integrating other printing processes, such as flexo printing.
Both Hummel and Muller Martini are convinced that the continuously size-variable offset printing press will be a key to Hummel’s future success. For Markus Knott, Sales and Marketing at Muller Martini Druckmaschinen GmbH in Maulburg, it’s clear that “this technology will continue to develop and will permeate the traditional customer base of Muller Martini for the long-term.”