When Gerhard Tapken bought the newspaper printing company of which he was managing director in 2018, "many people thought I was crazy".
Since then the two-centuries-old business established as DruckHaus Rieck has been renamed - as Druckhaus Delmenhorst - and restored to a solid footing with prudent investments and innovative ideas
Now Tapken is buying a new press to handle millions of copies of contract work, supplements and weekly papers.
"When I look back now, I can definitely say that it was the right decision," he says.
The new three-tower Koenig & Bauer Commander CL - earmarked to print Weser-Kurier, Bremer Nachrichten and Verdener Nachrichten - will be up and running by Christmas and joins a triple-wide Commander CT 6/2 installed for the previous owners in 2013.
"The existing press is already very well utilised, and so we needed to expand our production capacities ready for a series of new jobs which we will be printing from December onwards," he says.
The new floor-mounted press adds flexibility with four folder deliveries, making it one of the major newspaper printing locations in northern Germany. The installation includes two KF 5 jaw folders and three reelstands with a stripping station and Patras A paper-reel transport system. Engineered for a maximum web width of 1,400 mm and a cylinder circumference of 1,000 mm, the new press will print up to 100,000 four-colour newspapers an hour. Like the existing Commander CT, it incorporates automation features including roller locks, inking unit and cylinder washing, fan-out control, colour measuring and control systems, colour and cut-off register controls and fully automatic plate changing, with an ErgoTronic control console and the maker's EasyTronic optimised press start-up system.
Since its initial market launch, Koenig & Bauer has now sold 28 presses of this type to clients in Germany, France, China and the USA, and it is currently the most frequently ordered newspaper press.
Pictured after the contract signing: Gerhard Tapken (left) with K&B Digital & Webfed sales manager Günter Noll
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