The best of two technology worlds



As the only printing machine manufacturer of both technologies in the world, THIEME is successful both in the screen printing and digital printing markets.

THIEME GmbH & Co. KG, international market leader for flatbed screen printing systems, can be more than satisfied with its success in the digital printing sector: After the launch of this next machine generation :M-Press Tiger in May of last year, four machines have been installed in spite of the difficult economical conditions. Orders have been placed for an additional six.


At Thieme, the advantages of two different worlds can be optimally combined: flatbed precision material handling and revolutionary inkjet printing machine :M-Press, which was developed in cooperation with Agfa, further demonstrates a market leading position with the Tiger, optimizing output and reducing production costs. "It is no wonder", says Thieme sales director Oliver Beck, "A great deal of Thieme's decades of expertise in the design of screen printing machines, which are not available to other manufacturers, and has influenced the machine." In particular, the stable steel construction and the proven material transport system of the successful screen-print multicolour lines were incorporated into the digital machine. As expected, the system which was presented at the FESPA Digital last May sparked great interest. Shortly after the exhibition, four additional sales could be reported in addition to the five M-press lines which were already running from earlier series; the delivery and commissioning occurred in 2009. In the first eight weeks of the new year, six additional orders were received.


The fastest and most efficient digital printing machine of its class.
As with the Thieme screen-printing lines, the :M-Press Tiger can be operated fully automatic with an automatic sheet feeder, which enables a very quick loading of media to the machine, on to the inkjet printing station with integrated dual curing system and downstream UV dryer through to the stacker. The :M-press Tiger is equipped with three print modes: express mode, the system prints more than 165 sheets per hour, which corresponds to a capacity of approximately 700 m²/hour for a maximum print format of 1600 mm x 2600 mm. In the best (near-offset) quality, it is at least still 80 to 90 sheets per hour. Thus the :M-Press Tiger is clears the "best in its class". The print system, which was developed by the inkjet specialist Agfa, is equipped with 64 dual colour print heads creating particularly small colour drops (12 to 24 picoliter) and a very thin ink layer. On the one hand, this ensures a brilliant print image with very high sharpness and fine small font detail, and on the other hand it ensures particularly low ink consumption. Therefore the :M-Press Tiger has by far the lowest printing costs of all inkjet systems on the market in its class (minimal costs of under one Euro/m² can be realized). Oliver Beck is convinced that "The demonstrably best cost-of-ownership of our machine is the decisive argument for many customers who choose an :M-Press Tiger".





Productivity-increasing components from the screen printing sector.
Many components, which have proven themselves in the large-format screen print multicolour lines of the THIEME 5000 series, are also available with the :M-Press Tiger: The universal vacuum print table with 48 vacuum zones which is automatically switched on and off greatly reduces set-up times for varying formats, the cumbersome taping of the print table is nearly eliminated. The register precision is, as expected from Thieme screen-printing systems, outstanding and guarantees an optimal further processing of the printed material.


Digital or screen-printing? Thieme's consulting is technology-neutral
"With the Thieme screen-printing program and the :M-Press Tiger, we affirm our technological leadership in both worlds, in screen-printing and digital printing", emphasizes Oliver Beck. "We want to secure and develop this position in the future by means of continuous advancements." This has a double advantage for the user that not only obtains the best machine technology each time but also a technology-neutral consultation: "We take a close look at each case and then make an informed recommendation.” 



The most important factors are the type of production and typical run sizes, but also the pre-existing pre-press equipment of a printing operation. "A screen-printing line delivers constant high performance in output. For this purpose, the :M-Press Tiger can be flexibly and frequently adapted to job changeovers and requires minimal set-up time", explains the Thieme sales director. In contrast, his opinion is that the materials to be printed barely play a role in the selection of machine technology: "The current UV-special inks of the :M-Press cover a wide colour spectrum and exhibit outstanding adhesive qualities so that nearly all materials, as in screen-printing, can be printed without pre-process coatings." A further, notable advantage is the future security of the :M-Press technology. The Thieme chassis is already designed for higher printing output than can be achieved with the current inkjet technology, so that the user can profit from the future possibilities of digital printing with a comparably cost-effective update of the printing unit (which this upgrade has been already been done in the field from the traditional :M-Press to the :M-Press Tiger).


Digital and screen-printing? Everything is possible!
If needed, digital and screen printing can be combined to form a globally unique hybrid system, by equipping an :M-Press with additional screen printing stations. "Thus the possibilities from both technology worlds can now be combined," explains Thieme Director Frank Thieme. "For example, digitals prints can be enhanced on the following screen-printing station with special inks, which can only be applied via screen-printing." In order to advise the customers as well as possible, Thieme shares the sales responsibility for Germany and other core markets such as France, Great Britain and North America while the general responsibility for sales,delivery and installation of the M-Press Tiger remains with Agfa.


Oliver Beck explains the motivation at Thieme to build up a second product line in addition to the established screen printing sector:   "We have recognized that professional digital printing in the graphic sector is increasingly requested in ever higher demand," With the :M-Press Tiger, we can offer a robustly designed, highly productive machine which can beat the competition in multiple aspects. The technological spectrum of Thieme should be reflected at the FESPA 2010 in June of this year: Together with Agfa, Thieme will be represented at the exhibition for the first time in the digital printing sector. "We can still be found in the screen-printing sector," adds Beck, “because precisely the technology-neutral consultation is a particular advantage for the customer:  Only Thieme can do that."


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