Not only after the dramatic price increases of 2022 will the costs for energy and resources play a major role in print shops. For this reason, QUBUS media initiated an energy-related renovation in 2020. Among other things, the company invested in a combined heat and power plant and a photovoltaic system and also switched the lighting to LEDs.

"With the energy efficiency workshop* in November 2022, we took the next logical step," stated Armin Ahrens, one of the three Managing Directors of QUBUS media. “The main issue for us was to identify new potential and to take the employees with us on the journey to becoming an energy-efficient print shop.” It was also important to him to get an external view of the processes in the company.

The "Energy Efficiency" workshop goes back to Heidelberg's claim to support its customers not only with innovative technology. HEIDELBERG is also available as a consulting partner - especially in the current energy and paper crisis. "We want to advise our customers systematically and comprehensively in order to tap into savings potentials that have not yet been fully exploited," explained Hans-Jürgen Fink, Senior Consultant at HEIDELBERG, the objective.

Strategic Partner

On the one hand, QUBUS media decided in favor of HEIDELBERG because HEIDELBERG is a strategic partner (all printing presses are from HEIDELBERG). On the other hand, according to Armin Ahrens, "the HEIDELBERG consultants are professionals who ask the right questions because they know the industry and the processes inside out." This is an advantage compared to energy consultants from outside the industry.

The three-day workshop was attended by three HEIDELBERG consultants, ten QUBUS employees, as well as the management and the heads of the printing and postpress departments.

From Armin Ahrens' point of view, it was important for the success of the workshop that the consultants showed tact in dealing with the team and the situation in the company. Because this would open up unexpected potentials. The entire team was committed and always developed new ideas and approaches for improvements. "The workshop was a productive process for everyone involved, and it was fun," summarized the Managing Director. Key operational insights include:

  • Firstly: The printing presses account for more than half of the energy requirement. They can run much more efficiently by increasing the printing speed.
  • Secondly: Energy costs can be significantly reduced by carefully detecting and eliminating leaks in the compressed air system.
  • Thirdly: Up until now, maintenance has been underestimated. Today, QUBUS media has detailed maintenance plans and the freedom for the staff to implement the plans meticulously.

New processes and routines

Through the workshop, QUBUS media not only identified and eliminated many large and small "energy guzzlers". In addition, processes and routines have been revised to ensure the medium and long-term success of the workshop.

In January 2023, for example, QUBUS media held a first management workshop in which the implementation of further measures was discussed. In addition, so-called CIP rounds take place in the departments every 14 days or once a month. The goal: to keep focusing on the topics of energy and resources.

Based on the knowledge gained from the workshop, QUBUS media made a strategic decision: The four-day week will be introduced, initially for a trial period. "The quintessence of the workshop is: We produce our order volume in four days more energy-efficiently than in five, because we save a shift through a higher machine speed," stated Managing Director Armin Ahrens.

"The workshop was a productive process
for everyone involved, and it was fun."

"We produce our order volume in four days more energy-efficiently than in five, because we save a shift through a higher machine speed."

Armin Ahrens, Managing Director, QUBUS media

Lessons Learned:

  • Involve all levels in the company in the workshop.
  • As the first step, collect the ideas of the senior managers.
  • Then bring the topic to the teams so that the production staff can also contribute.
  • It's worthwhile to take a close look. Much is overlooked in day-to-day business or not noticed in detail.
  • Keep raising awareness of the topic.
  • A trusting partnership with HEIDELBERG forms the basis for success.

* This service is currently only available in selected countries. Please contact us via our contact form or contact your local HEIDELBERG representative for more information.

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