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The printing company Clasen in Dusseldorf / Germany demonstrates its enthusiasm for football also with its latest investment in the field of print finishing

It all started in 1932 in a former goose stable where the printing company Clasen was founded. Now, more than 80 years later, it is among the three largest printing plants in the Dusseldorf region.

Michael Klein, machine operator Petra Schmitz and MB Bäuerle sales representative Sebastian Scheel (from the left).

It all started in 1932 in a former goose stable where the printing company Clasen was founded. Now, more than 80 years later, it is among the three largest printing plants in the Dusseldorf region. Since 1998 production takes place on the current site on a floor area of about 2,000 square metres. More than 20 staff members are engaged in the smooth manufacture of all products - from business cards to A1-posters, from 1 to more than 500,000 copies. 80 per cent of the customer base are advertising agencies, most of them in the local area. "We see ourselves as partners to our customers, taking care of elaborate finishing technologies such as hot foil or cold foil embossing. In this field we cooperate with specialised companies", explains Michael Klein, one of the two managing directors. In 1989 he took over the management from his father and became Dusseldorf's youngest owner of a printing plant. In 1991 he was joined by Achim Krause as a second managing director.

The printing house has also set standards when it comes to the topic of climate protection. Clasen is fsc-certified, prints carbon neutrally, pays attention to the reduction of IPA consumption and has installed a photovoltaic system on the roof of its bookbindery. The full-service printing company is equipped with two offset printing machines for format ranges up to 70 x 100 cm. In print finishing, different systems are available for scoring, hot foil embossing, blind embossing, punching, numbering, collating, saddle stitching and folding. The latest investment in this segment is the fully automatic folding system prestigeFOLD NET 52 from MB Bäuerle. "Our experience with the already existing machine from MB has been positive. This made it clear the current model would make it onto the shortlist. Initial talks were already held at the drupa in 2012 and the deal was finally settled at last year's Druck+Form exhibition in Sinsheim“, explains Michael Klein. The new folding machine is equipped with six standard fold plates and an automated gate fold plate to achieve a considerable reduction of set-up times.

The prestigeFOLD NET 52 can handle sheets with a maximum size of 52 x 85 cm. Its outstanding feature are the fully automatic settings of all relevant elements of the system from the feeder to the delivery section. Manual interventions are reduced to a minimum. The centrally placed touch-screen panel is the interactive operator interface. 20 standard folds are pre-programmed; all other folds are freely programmable. Up to 200 repeat jobs can be saved in the memory. The prestigeFOLD also has an interface that allows integration into an in-plant network. This is the basis for the transfer of data to the machine by means of a JDF-file or for production data acquisition. "We often use the possibility to save repeat jobs and to recall them at a later date. In connection with the automation we therefore save a lot of set-up time. Thanks to the two additional fold plates, the system is now even more flexible when processing certain products. And there are hardly any limitations as far as the grammage is concerned. The folding machine does what it is supposed to do", summarises Michael Klein his experience with the new prestigeFOLD. Besides the folding system, Clasen has recently invested in new printing technology for digital printing of opaque white and spot varnish up to a sheet length of 70 cm. "The two new systems complement each other perfectly. Contrary to the offset printing process, there is no waste in digital printing, because each product is personalised and therefore unique. The automation and the job memory of the folding machine reduce waste during the folding process to a minimum", says Michael Klein. 

Besides its enthusiasm for printing, the company also demonstrates its support for the local football and ice-hockey clubs. It is no accident that Clasen is an important partner of the Fortuna Dusseldorf football and the DEG ice-hockey team. And this is why the new folding machine has been painted in red und white - Fortuna's club colours. 

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