Volkswagen’s manufacturing headquarters in north-west Germany is one of the world’s largest and most advanced car factories. It covers five km² and has a workforce of 5,160.
The site also houses an impressive 2500m² in-house print department with a mix of digital and offset print and finishing equipment. Six offset presses and three digital production colour presses are in use, along with two Océ VarioPrint 6250 Ultra instant duplex printers and one Océ VarioPrint 2110 mid-volume printer.
The team of 42 highly trained operators and 10 trainees produces most of the printing requirements of Volkswagen’s seven German production and sales locations. The department’s output ranges from owners’ manuals and Volkswagen promotional collateral such as brochures and flyers, to business documents and corporate stationery.
A choice between remote submission or a Printroom Customer Service Desk make it easy for Volkswagen employees across all seven German locations to make full use of the print department to fulfil their document needs and to seek expert advice on how to optimise their print materials. The department caters for every conceivable finishing requirement, from guillotining to collating, stapling, spiral and perfect binding.
Digital technology has been an integral part of the production mix within Volkswagen’s print department for many years, and the company’s relationship with Océ dates back several years to the installation of the monochrome systems. So in July 2011, when two existing digital print colour devices were struggling to cope with colour production volumes which had increased by 50% in the space of a year, by Printroom Manager Helmuth Oschmann called Océ’s professional print team in again.
“While the machines met our needs when we first installed them, growth in demand for colour from our internal customer base had been extreme”, he recalls. “The increased throughput was causing us more and more problems with reliability, consistency and machine downtime. There was no question that we needed to urgently replace those two machines with more robust and productive alternatives.”
The Océ team was able to offer a solution in the shape of two Canon imagePRESS C6010 colour production presses (including one VP model), capable of 61 impressions per minute on media up to 135gsm, with the scope to handle heavier or coated substrates up to 325gsm. Oschmann also saw that the presses’ inline finishing capabilities could be used on certain digital jobs to further boost the department’s productivity.
He is unequivocal that investing in the Canon imagePRESS duo was the right move. “Quality is visibly improved and the Canon imagePRESS C6010VP is a lot more robust, perfectly suited to the demands of its payload, which is a constant stream of short run jobs for customers with high quality expectations and ultra tight deadlines.”
The quality delivered by the Canon digital presses has placed them in high demand for last-minute documentation requirements including press and presentation materials. “It’s not unusual for us to be given a job that needs to be turned around within the hour – with the Canon machines that’s now feasible.”
Almost a year since the press upgrade, the department’s digital colour throughput reached 350,000 A4 pages a month. Oschmann has seen his department’s output more than double in the space of two years, with the same shift pattern.
“The two Canon imagePRESS devices have proved to be the ideal complement to the existing offset and digital mix”, says Oschmann. “They offer a balance of productivity and quality that is perfect for a large proportion of our work.”