New technology for printing jobs from Bremen
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New technology for printing jobs from Bremen


The Druckhaus Delmenhorst print house in northern Germany has seen its production capacity more than double in the past year. Among other equipment, a complete precollecting and inserting line from Ferag has been installed. Since December 2020, this has been used for processing the WESER-KURIER, Bremer Nachrichten and Verdener Nachrichten – all daily newspapers published by Bremer Tageszeitungen AG. This came after the publishing house decided to stop in-house production and outsource it elsewhere. 

Gerhard Tapken – the current owner of Druckhaus Delmenhorst – is certainly an extremely dedicated businessman. In September 2018, he acquired Druckhaus Rieck from insolvency – where he previously worked as general manager – and rebranded it as Druckhaus Delmenhorst. According to Gerhard Tapken, “investments and innovative ideas” laid the foundation for him taking the print house from insolvency and putting it back on a solid footing. “A lot of people thought I was crazy back then. However, looking back I can definitely say that it was the right decision.”

The print house primarily produces inserts and weekly newspapers in contract printing. For many years, this was taken care of on two production lines featuring technology from Koenig & Bauer in Berliner format together with a Ferag mailroom with two precollecting and inserting lines. However, with the newly acquired periodicals from the nearby city of Bremen published in Rhenish format, completely new technology had to be ordered for the print house in Delmenhorst.

Tight schedule for conversion

Just twelve months passed between signing the contract with BTAG and the proof printing of the first issue of WESER-KURIER on the new technology during the night of 1 December 2020. The old technology had to be removed within three months. Once this was complete, a new foundation was laid for the printing press and additional requirements met in the mailroom for the installation of the new machines. Gerhard Tapken invested €13.5 million and hired additional staff, with the workforce at the print house now numbering around 60.

In terms of finishing, Ferag put together a tailored configuration for Druckhaus Delmenhorst consisting of new and refurbished modules. As a result, the new RollSertDrum-MV inserting drum and FlyStream precollecting line with 16 JetFeeder hoppers were supplemented with MultiDisc winding and unwinding technology and three MultiStack compensating stackers from another site in Germany. This was a huge step forwards for Druckhaus Delmenhorst. Equipped with the Ferag FlyStream, automated overnight production of the daily newspapers – which are published seven days a week – is now possible.

“A really good job”

The daily newspapers have an average circulation of 120,000 copies, with a further 165,000 regional supplements on three days a week. This is in addition to over 200,000 copies of a weekly freesheet. In order to optimize overnight production, the main products are processed on the MultiDisc, with the new printing press designed for a mechanical speed of 50,000 copies/hour.

The first new production run was made virtually from a standing start in the night of 1 December 2020. Even Gerhard Tapken was amazed at what his team achieved together with partners Ferag and Koenig & Bauer. “Our suppliers did a really good job,” he comments enthusiastically. “And all this with the coronavirus restrictions in place and staff on furlough.” Looking forward, Tapken is absolutely convinced about the future of the print business: “We can print to a high standard, and make money as well.”