First Impremia IS29 boosts direct mail printer in Germany

Germany, Wirtz Druck | Impremia IS29 | Apressia CT115

01 December 2018

Wirtz Druck is situated in Datteln, a town in the northern part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This family business, founded in 1889 by Vinzenz Wirtz, is now run and managed by fourth-generation brothers Jürgen and Vinzenz Schmidt, who in the 1990s transformed the traditional printing shop into a very innovative and successful direct mailing printer. The registered trademark MailingLiebe® is one of the most successful brands in the German direct marketing business.

From left: Vinzenz Schmidt, Managing Director; Yutaka Iwata, Representative Director of Komori Machinery; 
Jürgen Schmidt, Managing Director; Ken Sagawa, President of Komori Europe

Wirtz Druck interview

The first-ever Komori digital printing system in Germany, an Impremia IS29, a 29-inch sheetfed UV inkjet digital printing system, was installed at Wirtz Druck in Datteln, North Rhine-Westphalia, in July 2018. In 2017 Wirtz Druck won the Druck & Medien Awards in three categories, including the prestigious Direct Mailing Printer of the Year.

2017 Druck & Medien Awards winner Wirtz Druck won in three categories


'It's all about innovation and creativity'

Direct mail is a marketing tool in which carefully targeted brochures with tailored offers for goods and services are provided through the mail. A 2016 market report estimated that "the value of European direct mail printing will be €4.657 billion." This represents a huge business although, as stated in the same report, "direct mail has decreased its share in total European advertising expenditure since the early 2000s, with digital (internet, email, social media, etc.) growing strongly." What's more: "There is no doubt that volumes in direct mail are in continuous decline; but as one door closes, another will open with innovations in technology, such as quality full-color continuous inkjet printing." The strengths in this market were defined as "versatility and the ability to connect to all senses, innovation and the use of the latest technology and added value."
Clearly the owners of Wirtz Druck could have written this report themselves. Co-owner Jürgen Schmidt explains: "We are a true direct mail printer and are always looking for ways to improve both quality and process to get ahead. One of the reasons we chose this Impremia IS29 is that it gives us the ability to print on both sides simultaneously, something we had not seen anywhere before. Another major factor in our decision is the wide color gamut the system offers. The variety of colors and their vitality is something our customers will most definitely like. In the end, it's all about innovation and creativity."

MailingLiebe® — made for response

Wirtz Druck offers a wealth of creative solutions for direct mail. From the classic self mailer to elaborately designed pop-up cards, slipcases, boxes, packages and special surprise items, such as paper cubes jumping out of slipcases when opened, and lots of tailor-made solutions, including products with haptic effects. The registered trademark MailingLiebe® ('mailing love') is the printer's brand for all these high-quality products, which are described as 'made for response' and the 'right tool, if you want to conquer the heart of your target group.' The huge product portfolio and individualized solutions are the basis of the company's success.
The figures speak for themselves. The direct mailing business started in the 1990s on a very low level, but today accounts for almost 97 percent of printing orders. Wirtz Druck produces more than 50 million mailings per year, resulting in a total turnover of € 7 million. Many employees are involved in the success of the company, with 62 people working in the production, administration and sales departments, and another 70 people working in fulfillment, packing and shipping of the product items, which is almost all done manually.
Wirtz Druck has a real full-service offer for a wide clientele, including customers from all industries, from small businesses to renowned blue chip companies. The printer has won accolades for numerous stunning products. Vinzenz Schmidt says: "We have won several awards but we're most proud of the Direct Mailing Printer of the Year award. Direct mail is our core business, so to get recognition for this work is hugely gratifying. It's also important that it's an award for the entire company. We're all about team effort."

Key technology for the direct mail market

The first Komori Impremia IS29 installed in Germany marks another step in the very successful story of this state-of-the-art 29-inch sheetfed UV inkjet digital printing system. The Impremia IS29 is a perfect match for the needs of the direct mail market. It offers a maximum sheet size of 585 x 750 mm, and digital printing in the 29-inch size greatly expands the range of work. The machine incorporates a perfecting mechanism, thus accommodating not only single-sided but also 8-up double-sided impositions. In addition, the Impremia IS29 incorporates a direct printing method by means of UV inkjet. Printing that emphasizes paint-like contrast can be performed on a huge variety of substrates that are difficult to handle even with offset presses.

Digital printing systems like the Impremia IS29 also offer unique print capabilities, such as variable data printing and versioning. Another powerful feature is full gamut RGB printing. Komori systems are implemented with Pantone and DIC Color Guide-compatible applications. The flexible and variable printing adaptability and the wide color gamut will bring enormous advantages to Wirtz Druck's printing business. Jürgen Schmidt says: "We were looking for a digital system because of current customer needs. With today's lower printing volumes and the demand for a wider range of colors, digital is the way to go. What made us choose Komori's digital system was, most of all, its ability to print double-sided sheets instantly. That's a huge time saver! Another deciding factor was the far wider color gamut and the ability to print on different substrates. Of course, quality, speed and pricing also played a part. But it wasn't just the product itself that did it. It was Komori's open attitude and their extensive knowledge of printing that sealed the deal. Komori dealer Hubertus Wesseler also really listened to our needs and made us feel good about this machine."

Indeed, Komori distributor Hubertus Wesseler played an important role in the selection and purchasing process. Managing Partner Dirk Teuber: "We are very happy to see that Wirtz Druck chose the Impremia IS29 digital system. It offers them the chance to fill the gap between offset and digital printing — with personalized jobs and variable needs. We were able to show Wirtz Druck the capabilities of the machine, for example, by attending demonstrations at the Komori Graphic Center-Europe tailored to their needs. This helped Komori to understand this company's needs and gave Wirtz the confidence to choose an Impremia IS29."
The first Impremia IS29 installed in Germany is a great success for the Sales Department of Komori Europe as well. Robert Holscher, Sales Director Digital & Finishing Equipment at Komori Europe, concludes: "The Impremia IS29 is the new standard in digital printing, offering greater possibilities to printers. More and brighter colors on ordinary paper, a wider sheet thickness range and instant curing. These benefits of our system ensure that our customers fulfill the printing needs of their customers. Exactly what Wirtz Druck has been doing ever since the installation."

An Apressia CT115 on top of everything

From left: Jürgen Schmidt, Managing Director; Vinzenz Schmidt, Managing Director; Dirk Teuber, Hubertus Wesseler; Yutaka Iwata, Representative Director of Komori Machinery; Ken Sagawa, President of Komori Europe

Only two months after the installation of the Impremia IS29, Wirtz Druck decided to replace an older Polar cutter with a brand new Komori Apressia CT115, a programmable hydraulic clamp cutter. There was a need for more efficiency in the postpress department, and the old cutter had been identified as a weak link in the workflow. The Apressia CT115 installed in September combines ease of use, flexibility and safety as well as outstanding productivity and great cost-performance. The cutter is equipped with a 19-inch touchpanel that allows easy operation, and the tightly arranged air nozzles on the air table improve sheet handling for cutting. The Wirtz owners are especially impressed with the excellent cutting accuracy and the high speed of the back gauge movement, which contributes to high efficiency and reduced working time. First the Impremia IS29 and then the Apressia CT115 on top of everything — Wirtz Druck and Komori promise to become a good partnership.

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