Thimm invests in another digital printing system

29 November 2022

Thimm Group is continuing its digitisation strategy by investing a total of 20 million euros in a second digital printing system and associated peripheral work.

The PageWide T1195i Press from HP is scheduled to go into operation at the Alzey site in the first quarter of 2024. For the packaging manufacturer, the new digital press is an important milestone for the digitalisation of supply chains and for achieving the digitalisation vision "Internet of Packs".

After the successful introduction of the first digital printing press at Christiansen Print in Ilsenburg in 2017, the Thimm Group is once again relying on the printing expertise of the manufacturer HP. The new digital web press is a further development of the predecessor model based on market requirements and impresses with faster speeds and more production capacity at a working width of 2.8 metres. Thanks to innovative HP thermal inkjet print heads, the press guarantees consistent print quality for sophisticated packaging, even at high speeds. At the same time, it has six different printing inks.

Competitive advantage through digital preprint

Kornelius Thimm, CEO of the Thimm Group, sees the expansion of digital preprint as a complement to flexo printing as a key competitive advantage. Because in the current retail landscape, products must be available quickly and flexibly, individually customisable and yet cost-effective. This also has an impact on packaging management.

"In view of the increasing demands of our customers, we at Thimm have set ourselves big goals: no lead times for the production of packaging and displays (no lead time), no minimum order quantities (no MOQ), no additional costs in the supply chain and all this in a sustainable manufacturing process. We have already achieved a lot with our first digital printing facility in Ilsenburg." - Kornelius Thimm, CEO of the Thimm Group

In digital printing, for example, a wide variety of print images can be realised without additional costs in the pre-press stage. Thanks to piece-precise production, resources are saved and unnecessary waste avoided. So far, Thimm has already been able to reduce lead times by 75 per cent and minimum order quantities by 90 per cent.

With the second digital printing system, we are taking a decisive step further. It will be positioned in our Alzey plant directly next to the existing corrugator. This reduces the lead time by up to two days because the transport time for the printed rolls is eliminated," says Kornelius Thimm. In order to create space for the over 50-metre-long line, extensive preparatory measures for the installation are being implemented at the Alzey plant.

Subsequently, installation will start in the third quarter of 2023, and commissioning and an inauguration are planned for the first quarter of 2024. Together with the necessary peripheral work, the total investment for the new press is around 20 million euros.

With the acquisition of the second digital web press, the Thimm Group is consistently pursuing its digitalisation strategy. The goal: "We want to drive the digitalisation of the entire supply chain, also beyond the packaging industry. To do this, we need relevant data as well as digital and intelligently networked processes - from the printed paper roll to packaging production to retail and the end consumer," says Kornelius Thimm.

The printed packaging acts as an information carrier, because it is the only thing that passes through the entire supply chain. At the centre of this vision is digital printing, which makes it possible to print continuous codes in infinite numbers on the paper rolls. These codes provide relevant information at various points in the supply chain: For example, they control the further processing of the paper at the machines in the packaging plant, provide data on the sale of the product or offer further information for end consumers as a QR code.

"Our vision of digitalisation is the 'Internet of Packs' - in other words, the networking of machines or objects in packaging management analogous to the Internet of Things. Each package has an individual code and is thus traceable through the entire supply chain. The new digital printing system brings us a decisive step closer to our vision." - Kornelius Thimm

Source: Packaging Journal