Aichacher Zeitung Opts for Modular Expandable Printing Plate Processing Technology Made by Beil

Print and Media Group Mayer & Söhne Commissions a Beil Processing Center for KBA Commander CT Plates
Technical discussions continue even after signature of the contract (from left to right): Josef Ettner, Head of Pre-Press with Mayer & Söhne; Christian Koller, Quality Assurance Officer and Plate Exposure Project Manager: and Thomas Kögl, Managing Director of Beil Registersysteme GmbH. (PresseBox) (Abensberg, ) Mayer & Söhne Druck- und Mediengruppe GmbH & Co. KG, a privately held print and media group, was first established in 1862 in Aichach, a lively district town in Bavarian Swabia located some 25 kilometers to the Northeast of the Fugger City of Augsburg. As long ago as 1865, master printer Ignaz Mayer started out as publisher of the Official Gazette for the Aichach Royal District Administration – the forerunner of today’s daily paper. With a circulation of some 9,000 copies sold, Aichacher Zeitung surely is not one of Germany’s biggest local newspapers, but thanks to its sound regional base and its own local editorial offices in Augsburg it has been successfully holding its ground in a fiercely com-petitive market environment for nearly 150 years now.

In addition to its own daily newspaper, the company also publishes a city journal, i.e. its own advertising-financed weekly with a total circu-lation of more than 400,000 copies. But what is more: Mayer & Söhne also make their experience and know-how gained in the printing of their own newspapers available to other publishing houses. To name just a few: BILD City München, an Axel Springer publication, is as much a product of the Aichach printing presses as are the advertising jour-nals and magazines of other publishing houses, numerous mail-order catalogs, business reports, or brochures and catalogs for commercial and industrial clients.

Very early on, the company opted for the uncompromising use of inno-vative and novel technologies and was among Southern Germany’s first newspaper printing companies to switch from hot type setting to pho-totype setting as early as 1975 and to switch from letterpress printing to offset printing as early as 1979.

In addition to the Aichach print shop specialized in four-color process printing, the group also includes the company AS-Druck in Lahr (Black Forest Region), a print shop specialized in single- and double-color offset printing.

A new compact rotary press – the perfect 150th birthday present
In the fall of last year, Mayer & Söhne decided to commission a KBA Commander CT compact rotary press from Koenig & Bauer (KBA) - also a bit of a milestone date as it marked this printing machinery manufac-turer’s 20th purchase order for the same machine type. This Berlin-format 32-pages plant is equipped with a fully automatic plate changer, reel changers and a folder and is scheduled to go live by 2012 – just in time for the company’s 150th anniversary. The “anniversary project” will also include a number of additional extensions such as the installation of additional printing towers. Comments Thomas Sixta, principal share-holder of Mayer & Söhne and managing director of the company’s sub-sidiary publishing houses: “Modular expandability of the installation is very important to us to ensure long-term securing of the investments already made. KBA and Beil understood our needs right away and helped us put our plans into reality with valuable support and useful design concepts.”

Modular plant for printing plate supply
To further upgrade their new printing machine, Mayer & Söhne recently commissioned a fully automated cutting, punching, bending and sort-ing machine for the printing plates from the Beil Group. The core ele-ment of this plant is a fully automated cutting, punching, bending and sorting machine with optics-assisted gauge pins of the type also sup-plied to Rheinzeitung in Koblenz. With the aid of a printed bar code the printing plates are sorted automatically by customer-specified criteria and placed in a double-tiered sorter featuring a total of 32 storage compartments. A lifting & rotating station involved in the process en-sures that the printing plates will at all times be set down by their lead-ing edges. The printing plates are then remove manually from their storage compartments and placed in the Beil transport boxes designed to accommodate single plates or panorama plates, respectively.

Express station for state-of-the-art processing
The sorting plant is additionally equipped with an express station served preferentially by the Beil PlateTracking-Software (BEIL-PTS) to respond promptly to current events or incorrectly exposed plates. The BEIL-PTS software keeps track of the positions of all printing plates at all times and communicates on status level with the workflow system.

Modular expandability
During the first expansion stage the transport boxes will still be for-warded manually into the printing facility; however, even during that stage the plate containers will already be designed for automated transport via a rail-bound light-cargo handling system based on the PlateTrans System jointly developed by Beil and KBA.


BEIL Registersysteme GmbH
Kagrastrasse 15
D-93326 Abensberg
Tom Weber
Head of Sales & Marketing


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