Acme of Personalized Customer Communication

Druckerei Kyburz AG can supply private invitation cards in print runs of 100 or 3,000 copies of 24-page brochures and other business materials. However, the company’s principal business area is the production of sophisticated and highly personalized, creative mailings and printed products. From elaborately designed self-mailers with popup modules or representative punch holes to mailshots with a wide range of content components – the more complex and challenging the job, the more it is predestined for the print service provider. All of the products in this category share one thing in common: they all attract the attention of their recipients due to their highly individual approach and exceptionally eye-catching appearance – achieving the maximum response or, in terms of sales, the best possible conversion rate.

The professional competence of the printing company founded by Konrad “Koni” Kyburz has earned it recognition well beyond the Swiss border. About 30% of its turnover is generated from foreign customers primarily in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Nationally, its regular client base comprises leading firms from a variety of industries, including the Swiss advertising agency sector. Druckerei Kyburz covers the entire supply chain. Layout design, imaging, and typesetting can all be taken care of at the customer’s request. This includes print data preparation and additional prepress functions, management and programming of address and other variable data, printing (web offset, sheetfed offset, and digital), complex inline finishing, traditional print finishing, as well as lettershop and mailing services.

For high-volume mailshot production, the family owned company uses a manroland 16-page ROTOMAN Offset Press and a specially configured manroland Octoman 8-page Web Offset Press supplemented with inline finishing modules, as well as three highly specialized web finishing lines - two from Jet Web and one from Scheffer. The paper webs pre-imprinted in web offset are converted into finished mailings in a single operation on these machines, which are each 50 meters (164’) long. The finishing lines include modules for applying varnishes, scratch-off coatings, or gum, making multiple longitudinal folds, attaching cards, labels, or samples, and perforating and punching. Furthermore, highly sophisticated inline processes enable single and double-sided personalization of the paper web using Kodak inkjet imprinting systems.

Where print communicates with maximum personalization

For a long time now, Kyburz has trusted extensively in Kodak’s inkjet technology, which enables printed products to be personalized at full production speed of the web offset press and the finishing lines. In addition to twelve KODAK VERSAMARK DH90 Printheads, which are installed in the Scheffer Finishing Line, the company now also has 35 KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems. The first units of this type were commissioned in 2009, the year that KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems was first brought to market.

The KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting System offers a print width of 105.6 mm (4.16”), works with KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology, and enables variable printing in offset quality at web speeds of up to 305 meters (1,000’) per minute. Its prints with a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi using low-cost, water-based pigment inks. When it comes to linking the inkjet system to the complex data workflow upstream, the Kyburz GMC Inspire system supplies the personalization data required for variable printing. The KODAK System Controller imports the data in IJPDS format.

At Kyburz, KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems personalize both sides of the paper web in the eight-page web offset press as well as in dedicated inkjet towers on the two Jet Web Finishing Lines. On balance, the fact that the imprinting systems can be flexibly swapped between the various production lines and the machines equipped with different printheads to suit the actual production requirements is a great advantage.

In the most advanced finishing line, the paper web can be variably imprinted across its entire width of 900 mm (35.43”) in a single color on the front and back. Alternatively, by altering the mounting and positioning of the imprinting systems, which are motorized on crossbars, three 105.6 mm (4.16”) wide strips at a time can be printed on both sides of the web in CMYK full color. Images with a width greater than 105.6 mm (4.16”) can be stitched (in other words, split and printed) in directly adjoining strips. The stitching precision and color registration are continuously monitored using an INTRO DocControl system, which makes corrections automatically if needed.

The printing company is not forced to make any concessions regarding the choice of paper when using the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems. The KODAK PROSPER Image Optimization Station (IOS), which pretreats both sides of the paper web with a water-based optimizer agent, is integrated into the inkjet towers of the finishing lines. In this way, jobs involving inkjet personalization can be handled on any standard type of substrate (uncoated paper as well as matte and glossy).

A huge step forward with the KODAK PROSPER S-Series Generation – interview with Konrad Kyburz

Mr Kyburz, your company has a great deal of experience with inkjet imprinting systems. How did it all begin?

Konrad Kyburz: I remember it as if it were yesterday. In the fall of 1996, we equipped our first Jet Web Finishing Line with six Scitex 6240 Inkjet Printheads, which were installed in an M-Tower. They printed with a resolution of 240 dpi and allowed us to carry out high-volume personalization directly in the finishing process for the first time – a huge step forward.

Which tasks do you need the KODAK Inkjet Imprinting Systems for most?

Any tasks involving personalization of a large print run: self-mailers with addresses that are enhanced with multicolor geo-personalization, customized full-color products, vouchers tailored to end customer requirements, personalized store cards, checkout point loyalty campaigns for the retail trade, lottery tickets etc.

How has the personalization of collateral changed since you entered the business?

Previously, customers simply wanted to ensure that their direct mail piece reached the intended recipient. It was sufficient to have the correct address printed on the product. These days, it is all about companies differentiating themselves from other mailshots using the different options available with variable and full-color printing. The end customer needs to be personally targeted with high-quality printed matter but not overwhelmed with information. The KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems in CMYK configuration allow us to meet these demands with a level of quality that was not previously possible.

What strategic considerations led to you purchase the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems?

First and foremost, we are pioneers and must provide evidence that something new actually works. Only then will the first customer orders follow. This was also the case when expanding into KODAK PROSPER Press technology. In the future, we must continue to lead the way over our competitors, which means we must have the courage to invest in new technologies and explore new avenues. Our strategy has always been to stay one step ahead with our core business.

What new opportunities have the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems opened up for you?

Thanks to KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems, we can print inkjet full color in offset quality on all commercially available substrates, both coated and uncoated. With other manufacturers, we have only witnessed similar results on special and very expensive inkjet paper. We have of course carried out benchmark tests with various competitors using identical stock types. However, the results have shown that no other product achieves the same superior text and image quality. Stitching also functions very well even with CMYK color images, so that we can offer variable printing in full color over a width of 21 cm (8.23”), for example.

Due to the leap in quality brought about by the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems, many more customers now make use of these options. In practice, the applications range from simple coding right up to personalized images with 2.5 million different color pictures.

Have the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems enabled positive changes to any other applications?

An increasing number of offset print runs are currently being replaced with highly economical, premium quality inkjet printing using KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems. This provides our customers with substantial cost savings – not only in production, but also in terms of shipping and postal charges. Our customer Möbel Pfister is a good example here: they save quite a bit of money producing address top sheets for catalogs, because we no longer print certain items in offset with numerous plate changes but instead print them in full color straight away in the course of personalization with the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems. This also helps reduce transportation costs and protect the environment as half-full pallets no longer have to be shipped to and fro.

How well are your KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems utilized?

Our imprinting systems in the finishing lines are utilized to a greater extent than the systems in the manroland Octoman 8-page Web Offset Press. On the finishing lines, approximately 70 to 80% of all jobs are completed using variable inkjet. This trend is also clearly noticeable on the eight-page web press because the options associated with the technology are enormous. All in all, 20% of our inkjet production is already in CMYK.

What further developments would you like to see to Kodak’s inkjet imprinting technology?

Neither a finer resolution nor a faster speed are particularly important to me as the numerous finishing functions in the lines mean that our production takes place at a maximum web speed of approximately 200 meters (656’) per minute. We would not have any objections if the printheads could be replaced more quickly. It would also be great if we no longer needed the offset blanks, that is if the entire web width could be imprinted in the finishing lines using full-color inkjet. However, this is still a long way off.

Loading