Two used printing machines, seven employees and a bank loan – these were the humble beginnings of My Press Co. Ltd. a few decades ago. Today the company ranks among the top-notch food label printers in Thailand. And with the latest investments in Heidelberg innovations, which boost cost and resource efficiency by 90 percent, My Press has improved profitability once more.
When Somsak Amonpitak started out his printing company My Press in Bangkok, he had only little money but big visions. Thus the first two presses he purchased were from Heidelberg: a T-Offset and an MO press, both used. “I trusted the expertise of Heidelberg as a world leader to develop cutting edge technology at a faster pace than anyone else in the market. I have used presses from other brands but none of them could meet my standards,” says Somsak Amonpitak.
His uncompromising strategy has clearly paid off: The company has grown steadily. Its nearly 300 employees work two shifts in prepress, press and post-press. 80 percent of the production volume is exported. Although competitors try to gain market share by offering their products at a lower price, Somsak Amonpitak is confident: “Quality comes first. If you don’t meet the high demands of your customers, cheaper price is not an issue”, he says. To serve customers’ needs profitably, My Press currently has 9 presses at its disposal: One Speedmaster CD 102-4 and 8 Speedmaster XL 75 (two six-color, two five-color, three four-color and one five-color with double coating unit), all equipped with command panel in the local Thai language.
„I trusted the expertise of Heidelberg as a world leader to develop cutting edge technology at a faster pace than anyone else in the market.“
The cooperation with Heidelberg, however, extends beyond machines. “Thanks to the broad portfolio of Heidelberg that covers all aspects of sustainable printing and packaging, our customers are on the safe side regarding the environmental standards their products need to comply with”, points out Somsak Amonpitak. For instance, Saphira Eco represents the widest range of eco-friendly consumables for the whole production chain and fulfills the strictest environmental protection criteria of the printing industry.
In addition, the highly automated presses and numerous Prinect applications such as the two latest investments, Prinect Image Control 3 and the Wallscreen on the central control station Prinect Press Center , enhance sustainability and cost efficiency even further. For example, the company can avoid several hundred metric tons of paper waste per year, and has minimized CO2 and VOC emissions.
By implementing the digital Prinect Workflow into which all machines are deeply integrated, My Press uses Heidelberg’s Push to Stop technology to bring Industry 4.0 level of automation into its pressroom. Software-based job preparation greatly reduces manual touchpoints, so jobs can be changed over with minimal operator intervention. “Due to streamlined and standardized processes, we have driven down our costs and increased speed and accuracy tremendously. Make-ready times have been cut by 80 percent. A job change takes just 10 to 15 minutes”, says Somsak Amonpitak. Also, setup waste has been reduced dramatically. Depending on the job, now only between 100 and 300 waste sheets are generated compared to almost 1,000 waste sheets with the old press.
A great deal of these savings is due to Prinect Image Control 3. During make-ready, the spectrophotometric color control system checks the entire print image, back and front sheet, by comparing the setup value with the target value, such as the desired spot colors in the job PDF. It will detect even slightest deviations (i.e. dot gain) and indicate them to the operator who can decide if they are within the tolerance range for the OK sheet. Alternatively, the system automatically will send the adjustments straight to the press, which in turn corrects the ink zones accordingly. Color fluctuations during the production run are also automatically corrected. Prinect Image Control 3 creates detailed quality reports for each job as proof of consistent production for the customer and for internal analysis. All parameters such as CIE L*a*b* values, densities, and tonal values are saved and can be used for repeat jobs.
My Press has installed three units of the color measurement system. Each unit controls three presses at once. “ Prinect Image Control saves us about 1 million baht a month (approx. 30,000 US-dollars)”, states Somsak Amonpitak. “We’ve increased our throughput from between 7 and 10 jobs per day to up to 18 jobs per day. Some days we can process even 22 jobs.” Consequently, output per shift and machine reaches now up to 100,000 sheets. That totals 30 million sheets per year which is three times as much as presses from other manufacturers would produce.
The color measuring results are displayed on the new Wallscreens at the Prinect Press Center. My Press has installed this user-friendly device at six Speedmaster presses. They provide the press operators with the job information – i.e. production plan, make-ready data - they need to monitor and speed up the production process. As operators can easily navigate through the job list and prepare each job in advance, throughput is greatly improved.
“We know we can rely on Heidelberg as the perfect solution provider for growing our business and enjoy a high-quality service from a single source”, states Somsak Amonpitak. Heidelberg helped train the staff to reach a new performance level in daily operations, including better management of raw material, job calculation and scheduling. Simultaneously, the consumption of resources such as paper, electricity, and ink has been minimized.
“It is the power of technology which enables us to stay ahead of the competition by using a smart production platform”, says Somsak Amonpitak. Thanks to Push to Stop My Press has systematically increased overall equipment effectiveness and cost efficiency as well as production capacity. To expand these benefits even further, the company just purchased another Speedmaster XL 75 equipped with Inpress Control 2. The inline color control system brings the press up to color whithout the need to stop the press or to pull sheets while continuously checking the quality during the press run. “The Heidelberg concept of a smart print shop helps us to more easily adapt to the fast changing requirements in international markets and stay competitive in the era of digitalization. It enables us to simplify our operations and optimize the entire value chain while ensuring maximum production quality”, resumes Somsak Amonpitak.
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