Flexibility, function and form in action

Digital all the way – that’s the motto at alpha print GmbH. The company has been committed to digital production ever since it was first established in 1998; at the same time, alpha print sees printing as simply one element of an end-to-end service.

“Print enhancement and extensive finishing options – even hardcover PUR perfect binding – are integral to our business. We do everything in-house,” emphasized Hassan Mohammadian, founder and proprietor of alpha print. “You have to offer that today in order to print jobs fast from start to finish.”

He describes the location close to the main railway station in downtown Dusseldorf as ideal whenever a prompt response is needed to last-minute orders from local customers. His firm, which employs 15 people, also collaborates with several key accounts situated farther afield, for instance in Berlin, Hamburg or Cologne.

There’s almost nothing that alpha print can’t print. Business stationery, brochures, books, packaging, labels, flyers, posters, vehicle advertising, banners, rigid signs – the list of products from this full-service partner for digital printing goes on and on. Five sheet-fed digital printing systems for formats up to A3+ and five large-format inkjet systems for widths of up to 2 meters are installed on around 1,000 square meters of floor space. Sheet-fed printing up to A3+ (including finishing) accounts for 85% of the sales total – by far the biggest share.

KODAK NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press: German premiere at alpha print

KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Color Production Presses have played a crucial role in the alpha print production process for some time now. Mohammadian originally invested in a NEXPRESS 2500 Press back in 2009. However, since December 2016, a KODAK NEXPRESS ZX3900 Digital Production Color Press – the first such press anywhere in Germany – has taken center stage at the Dusseldorf print shop. The new model recently acquired by alpha print has replaced their NEXPRESS 2500 Press and NEXPRESS S3000 Press.

“After winning a major industrial customer, we have probably twenty percent more to do than eighteen months ago. That’s why we need the extra productivity we get from the NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press,” Mohammadian added. When asked about his reasons for choosing Kodak once again, he said, “The flexibility in terms of paper sizes and the wide array of substrates that can be used on the NEXPRESS Press without primers are enormously beneficial for us in view of our production requirements. And, of course, our three experienced NEXPRESS Press operators didn’t take long to familiarize themselves with the way the new press works.”

Differentiated print by using the KODAK NEXPRESS Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions

alpha print makes extensive use of the print enhancement options enabled by the NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press in its Fifth Imaging Unit. The press ships with the KODAK NEXPRESS Light Black HD Dry Ink in the Fifth Imaging Unit as standard. Light Black Dry Ink provides optimal results, producing smooth images and graphics while maintaining superb detail. alpha print also selected various other options which enhance CMYK color prints:

  • KODAK NEXPRESS Gold Dry Ink, which prints authentic gold shades and a series of metallic effects;
  • KODAK NEXPRESS Dimensional Clear Dry Ink, which engages readers with unique and tactile dimensional printing;
  • KODAK NEXPRESS Clear Dry Ink, which can be added as a flood or spot coat as a protective layer or can also be used as an authenticating watermark;
  • and the KODAK NEXPRESS Red, Green, and Blue Dry Inks, which expand the color gamut and improve Pantone color matching.

The newest offering, high-opacity KODAK NEXPRESS Opaque White Dry Ink, rounds off the range of specialty inks in the alpha print portfolio.

“Thanks to the Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions, we can offer our customers many different ways to create more attractive, more emotional products – without any additional production steps”, Mohammadian explained. “We often employ Opaque White for printing on black substrates or on materials that are dyed throughout. There’s also a considerable demand for Gold, the Clear Dry Ink and Dimensional Clear Dry Ink. We recently produced a mailer with a contour-cut football. The textured surface of the ball was replicated using KODAK NEXPRESS Dimensional Dry Ink, which our customer was very impressed with.”

Wide variety of formats and substrates plus significantly higher print volume

Hassan Mohammadian has complemented the NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press with a TPF-550 Long Sheet Deep Pile Feeder from BDT Print Media. This optional feeder upgrades the largest printable sheet size from 356 x 520 mm to 356 x 1000 mm. The large format is used at alpha print for six and eight-page products, certain posters and packaging.

And speaking of packaging, the NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press’s ability to handle a wide variety of substrates is just as much an advantage with jobs like these. It supports 60 to 385 g/m² (uncoated) and 80 to 385 g/m² (coated) papers as standard. Yet thanks to the new KODAK NEXPRESS Substrate Expansion Kit, which alpha print has already ordered, even more options will soon be available. The kit allows the press to print thicker materials – paperboard up to 0.61 mm and synthetic stocks up to 0.35 mm. “That gives us more latitude when producing folding cartons or slipcases for books, for example,” Mohammadian said. His assessment after the first six months with the new digital press is very positive.

“Our print volume must have risen by twenty-five percent. We can now print more jobs in-house because the NEXPRESS ZX3900 Press operates so reliably,” he said. “It runs without any problems and helps us live up to our claim of producing everything we possibly can in digital. The investment in the new press was good for us because the productivity’s right.”