This highly automated five-color press with coater and extended delivery has now been used for routine production for more than six months.
Schmidt & Buchta has seen any number of changes since the arrival of its Rapida 76. Investment in a new hall has tripled the available production floor space from 500 to 1,500m2.
“I never imagined that the press would have such an impact. It has immense potential," Herrmann said.
Makeready times have been reduced tangibly, and the company is now printing an average of two to three additional jobs every day.
Jobs that previously required printing time of between 36-42 hours are now completed, along with all the requisite plate changes and makeready processes, within 21-24 hours.
While a print job used to last for 1.5 shifts, Schmidt & Buchta has now been able to condense its operations to one single shift only.
Even so, monthly output has increased by around 500,000 sheets – despite the fact the predecessor press was also from the 16,000sph generation.
“On the old press,” Herrmann said, “we sometimes had to drive with the handbrake on, so to speak, in order to keep the quality up to the required level.”
The printers at Schmidt & Buchta were working alone on the new Rapida 76 after just two weeks of familiarization training.
Even if Schmidt & Buchta were also affected by the usual order volume failing to materialize in March and April due to COVID-19, Herrmann is nevertheless optimistic about the future.
By combining commercial work for the regional economy, the cultural sector, food and pharmaceutical companies and furniture manufacturers, not to mention its unique specialization in so-called “sample hangers” for the textile industry, he is well equipped to cope with any shifts in market demands.
Turnover at Schmidt & Buchta increased by 2-3% in the first three months of 2020, despite the lockdown and all the negative consequences it had for the advertising industry.