The crazy gang

We're crazy about ideas. And we're skilled at putting them into practice. Especially in lenticular printing.

1adruck, Judenburg, Austria. We're crazy. So claims 1adruck of Judenburg. Crazy about ideas. Formerly traditional offset printers, they were quick to grasp the necessity for branching out in order to stay in business and to grow. The company developed a second mainstay in digital printing over a decade ago, and continues to penetrate new niches.

1adruck Gebäude © swissQprint

As an apprentice at the Styria printing plant, Uwe Sannemann could never have dreamt that one day he would be running business at the company. In 1996, he became one of the driving forces in a management buyout that gave rise to 1. Aichfelder Druck GmbH. An affiliated company, 2smart intelligent Printing GmbH, was set up eight years later. What began as a vehicle for an initial foray into digital printing is now a profitable line of business.

More than a printing house

1adruck has distanced itself from classical offset for items like stationery, because online providers have long since occupied that market. Instead, the team of 30 is in constant search of ideas both for the business itself and for clientele. 1adruck does not have a conventional prepress department. In its place, three employees develop new solutions and bring them to graphic fruition. Unusual for a firm of printers, but this specific organisation is a key factor. Instead of simply ingesting and processing ready-to-go print data, 1adruck supports its clientele early on in their projects and continually puts forward fresh ideas. Many a development that arose like this has since made its way into the standard portfolio of services.

The lenticular experts

One specialisation at 1adruck is the lenticular technique. Pictures that appear to move as the viewing angle shifts are popular both in direct marketing and as POS items. Large print runs – stickers to go on magazine covers, for example – are produced on Heidelberg offset machines. Short runs and items over 500 × 700 mm are printed on a swissQprint Nyala 2. This new machine arrived in September 2014, succeeding an Impala that had performed faithfully over the previous two years. Utmost precision is the basic prerequisite for lenticular printing, and swissQprint printers meet that requirement. Uwe Sannemann also trusts in the reliability of these machines developed and manufactured in Switzerland and sold exclusively in Austria by Putz Drucktechnik. 1adruck opted to purchase a larger, higher-performance model in light of growing order volumes. But not only for lenticular printing: the Nyala 2 is far too versatile and productive to use just for that.

1adruck Portrait © swissQprint

Uwe Sannemann: “The swissQprint machine has broadened our business because we can now address more industries.”

Flatbed and roll to roll

The Nyala 2 UV printer has a flatbed 3.2 metres wide by 2 metres deep and is capable of printing up to 206 m² per hour. The print quality laid down on the substrate at that speed has dumbfounded some customers: it could easily pass for generally acceptable production quality, and is fully workable in practice. 1adruck ordered their Nyala 2 with the roll to roll option. This converts the machine to a reliable roll to roll printer in a few simple steps. Printing jobs likewise alternate between flatbed and roll applications: sheet aluminium, acrylic glass and foam boards all appear regularly on the printing table. A Kongsberg plotter contour cuts the printed foam boards to make hanging ceiling signs for retailers. Other advertising media include backlit posters, adhesive and reflective films. A beer producer orders wooden beer coasters on a regular basis. Apart from that, the Nyala 2 produces posters directly from roll stock, which are trimmed after printing. In terms of material, anything that fits with an idea gets used – and more besides. Uwe Sannemann explains: “The swissQprint machine has broadened our business because we can now address more industries.” Joiners, glaziers and furniture makers are using glass panels with personalised decorative printing. The specialists at 1a regularly produce exacting proof prints for a jewellery maker: the customer wants samples that correspond 80–90% with production. To achieve this, rigorous colour management is essential.

1adruck Portrait © swissQprint

Alexander Pichleritsch (left) and Markus Antes (right) do research and development at 1adruck: “We are delighted by the extended colour gamut that the Nyala 2 has opened up for us.”

Colour Management

Balancing the company’s claim to craziness is the extra-serious attention given to things like technical issues. The machine operators keep their workhorses periodically calibrated – the Heidelberg offset machines, a UV offset machine, a fully-equipped HP Indigo digital printing machine, and the swissQprint large format inkjet printer. So whichever print method a project manager may select, the customer gets consistent colour results.

Colour space as far as the eye can see

“The colours being run on the Nyala 2 were very important to us”, explains Sannemann. “It is fitted out with seven, just like our HP Indigo.” With offset printing machines around, the capability to produce Pantone colours with digital is a must. The Nyala 2 can do that. CMYK fills four colour channels, with three others for orange, green and violet. Together they open up a vast colour space. Research and development expert Markus Antes enthuses: “You get an incredible depth of image, with colours that glow. It can?t be matched by conventional four-colour printing, or by using light colours.” Photo studios and artists in particular value the way this retains detail which would normally be lost in CMYK conversion. Two more of the nine colour channels on the Nyala 2 carry white ink and varnish. They come into play for printing on acrylic or glass, and for tactile finishes. Hand- made samples are often created with matt or glossy finishes that are reproduced with offset printing when they go into production. Considering all the possibilities offered by their Nyala 2, the 1a team can devote themselves to what they like doing best: figuring out crazy print products and making them happen.

A source of ideas

“The Nyala 2 enables us to further intensify our quest for new ideas and products”, says Uwe Sannemann. “In a way, we see ourselves as a source of ideas for our clientele.” That has attracted recognition by the trade, with 1adruck already the recipient of three coveted prizes from the Austrian printing industry: a Printissimo for an image brochure they developed in-house, the Styrian Green Panther for a self-promotional mailing, a Golden Pixel award, and a trophy bestowed for an artfully produced set of paper samples in the form of a book.

1adruck © swissQprint
Company
1. Aichfelder Druck GmbH,
2smart intelligent Printing GmbH, Judenburg, Austria
Website
www.1adruck.at
Segment
offset and digital printing
Established
1996/2004
Employees
30
Printer
Nyala 2
References
Major soft drinks producers (promo goods) and jewellery makers (advertising media)
Large electronic goods retailers (POS items)
Building industry (construction signs)
Joiners/glaziers/furniture makers: personalised furniture and interiors