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Quality Standard from sample to full Production

CPC Haferkamp in Norden, Germany, installs ten colour full rotary offset combination machine from the product line MO-4 of Nilpeter.

The coast area around the East Frisian city Norden in Germany is primarily characterized by landscape and tourism. The fact that the print shop CPC Haferkamp is producing for multinational branded article companies exactly here, in this rather contemplative surrounding of the most north western city on the German mainland, may be surprising for people outside this industry. For insiders the company development due to the membership of the French CPC Group is just as logical as the installation of a modern ten colour roll printing machine end of September 2009. This article highlights the motivations for the investment decision and tells about the first practical experience.

In the world of the multinational branded article companies issues like promptitude, product variety and safety play an important roll, in order to get into the act in the front row in the tough contest for the consumers. If it is about packaging solutions, these companies expect a “One-Stop-Shop-Quotation” from their supplier partner as far as possible. A supplier fulfilling this demand particularly is the company group CPC.


Specialisation on the packaging print

The French Group CPC, to which CPC Haferkamp belongs since year 2000, specialises in packaging print. The company group – founded in 1986 – has 16 sites in France, Germany, England and Russia. Five core areas are the supporting pillars of the company group: folding boxes, which are being produced in six sites in France, England and Russia, wet glue labels and inmould labels with three sites in France and one in Germany, self-adhesive labels with two sites in France and the already mentioned site in Norden; three sites in France and one in England produces flexible packagings; and various sites in France are active in the area safety printing.

The business division CPC Haferkamp consists of two companies. CPC Haferkamp GmbH & Co. KG with domicile in Oldenburg, Germany, produces wet glue labels and inmould labels. CPC Haferkamp GmbH in Norden is since 2005 completely designed for production of self-adhesive labels. The company benefits from synergies with CPC in Oldenburg and could thus contiuously grow. In order to still be able to fulfil the constantly increasing demands from the customers in the branded article industry, they continuously invested in new techniques depending on the requests.

Full rotary label production in combination printing

CPC Haferkamp has served several customers for more than a decade. The price war has also accelerated heavily among the branded articles during that time. With an optimized workflow and new machines with higher productivity and flexibility CPC supports customers by narrowing down the costs for the packaging production. Parallel to the constant request for cost lowering the demands to the variety of the decorative features increase. For the Northern label print shop only one printing machine came into consideration, a machine allowing most possible production varieties inline, in order to keep the production costs within the frame. Alongside the standard demands to short change-over times and the lowest possible waste-paper value. At the end the decision landed on a printing machine of the type Nilpeter MO-4, which the company took into production in the fall of 2009.

Sleeves make the difference

Important features of this machine concept are primarily the sleeve technology and the configuration with servo drive technique. This allows for a significantly higher variability in the print formats compared to the traditional roll offset machines – and in fact at favourable costs. With the help of the sleeve technology the price for new formats compared to traditional cassettes is reduced by 75%. At the same time the application of sleeves gives noticeable advantages in terms of changeover times. Furthermore, changeover is also possible offline, if a second set of print form sleeves is available.


Ten print units for various operations

The configuration of the machine with 420 mm web width comprises ten print units, of which seven allow free choice between offset, flexo or screen printing. In the remaining units the last two of these are possible. Furthermore, the machine is prepared for later upgrade of individual supplements, if requested. At present for instance integration of cold foil in several positions within the production line is possible.

For monitoring the quality CPC Haferkamp applies inspection of the print image on the new Nilpeter machine. With this installation the company now has a total of 3 systems in use. The data collected with this equipment are stored and the data log is via a workflow connection transferred to a packing unit. In this way the system automatically stops, in case of any registered errors.

No vision, but an ear on the market

“The precise configuration of the machine did not originate in a visionary conception nor was it aiming at penetrating new markets” explains Ernst Addicks, general manager at CPC Haferkamp. “In fact it complies exactly with the jobs in the daily practice and the requests from our customers on grounds of product developments and ideas”. In a team with the technical manager Ralf Güttler and Dipl.-Kfm (FH) Jann Rodenbäck, Sales management domestic and sales, he always tries to have an ear on the market, in order to filter out the available information about trends, innovation and the developments to be expected in the industry. On these grounds the technique to be installed is determined.

From single piece to mass run

The individual production systems used at CPC Haferkamp fulfil various purposes which are also adjusted to customer requests. For the first product sample or dummies a digital ink proof system is applied. This gives the advantage of manufacturing half tone proofs on original substrates. Small runs of a few thousand pieces are produced in Norden on a semi-rotary offset printing machine. The new Nilpeter MO-4 in contrast works fully rotary and due to the significantly higher productiveness it covers the entire remaining product amount to the point of mass series. As it is about offset printing in both cases, Norden has the technical qualification to offer the customers in the branded article industry a standardised offset print quality in all job sizes. In addition dummies, small series and mass runs can be manufactured on a financially favourable production system in each case.

Involvement in group structure

The customers of CPC Haferkamp also see the involvement of the company in the overall structure of the CPC company group as an important advantage. As the various sites are specialised in different kinds of product segments, it is possible to fulfil a wide spectrum of customer requests. As an example Ernst Addicks mentions the area labels, where the product programme of the group contains all current product variations from wet glue labels over roll adhesive labels to inmould labels. That is an important criterion for many brand companies when choosing supplier. This clientele also places special value on a high delivery reliability. In the CPC group they are guaranteed this reliability, as certain product groups are produced in more than one site. In addition to CPC Haferkamp also the two French companies CPC Sipse and CPC Oralu produce self-adhesive labels.

Group strategy as strength

Some of the sites also possess extensive know-howon special areas, for instance booklet labels, from which the other production sites within the group can profit, if required. „Our customers increasingly utilise the possibility of shopping only once for various packaging solutions. We can co-ordinate such jobs from Norden.“ Labels for the Contiroll process – which is typically run across in the beverage area – are mainly produced in a site in France within the CPC group, where the production is done on a suitable wide web machine adapted to the mass run, for instance for mineral water. However, the product range for many beverage manufacturers also includes specialities, for instance mixed beverages requiring a considerably smaller amount of labels. Where these kinds of tasks are uneconomical for the finalisation structure of one site, they fit exactly into the production profile of another site.

One million running meter already in the first month

„The MO-4 is well qualified for exactly such kinds of jobs“, says Ernst Addicks. „Only a company group like CPC with production sites complementing one another can offer these advantages to their customers“. The machine concept at Nilpeter is designed for complex job settings. Servo and sleeve technology makes printing and handling of required material variety from self-adhesive material to the high quality Mono material for inmould labels or shrink sleeves possible.

Inspite of this versatile machine technique the printing personnel at CPC Haferkamp mastered this new printing line after having been trained at the manufacturer printshop in Denmark first. Within the first month they almost did one million running meter. That the individual job sizes lay between 3000 and 50000 running meters and the entire arsenal of processing possibilities were applied as well proves that the demand for quick job change and higher productivity is met.