When French printing company FAGUIER Print & Pack were on the lookout for a 37-inch offset press capable of addressing commercial and packaging applications, they decided on a Komori Lithrone GL537.
Commercial printing or packaging printing? How about both? This is the motto of FAGUIER Print & Pack, a printing company created in the early Eighties in Western France, now in the hands of two former employees, Pierrick Lemarchand (production manager) and Stéphane Mignot (sales manager), who took the helm of the company in 2018. The pair was joined a year later by Denis Auguste (in charge of the packaging design office) with a business development roadmap in folding carton packaging. The company has 18 employees and generated an annual revenue of €2.8 million in 2022, serving a customer base of corporate clients, local authorities and associations, producing brochures, flyers, catalogs and magazines. In the packaging space, FAGUIER Print & Pack addresses clients in the food, industry and luxury goods markets. Today, FAGUIER Print & Pack generates 85% of its turnover in commercial printing and 15% in packaging. But the three partners aim to grow their packaging business to 25% of overall revenue by 2025.
A €1.6 million investment plan
If the Covid pandemic proved to be a tough challenge for most print shops, it was also the starting point of an ambitious growth strategy for FAGUIER Print & Pack. « Back then, we had an intention of upgrading our printing infrastructure » says Pierrick Lemarchand. « But the French government’s stimulus plan France Relance opened new opportunities for recovering industrial businesses ». The company applied for a grant, that was accepted in June 2021, financing 40% of a €1.6 million investment plan. « We invested in five new equipments » explains Pierrick Lemarchand. « We implemented an Enfocus Switch workflow system, we acquired a new CTP unit, we also invested in a Komori Lithrone GL537 four-colour press with a coating unit, to replace our legacy offset press. We also purchased a new Baumann Perfecta 132 cutting system as well as a folding and glueing line ».
A printing press for today’s market environment
By selecting a Lithrone GL537, FAGUIER Print & Pack reiterated an investment choice made seven years earlier when the company originally decided on the 37-inch intermediate format for their previous offset press. « The 37-inch format proved to be perfectly suited for our activities » explains Pierrick Lemarchand. « The investment budget for such a unit is approximately 15% below that of a 40-inch press. Yet, it allows to print 8-up signatures of A4 catalog pages. So we aren’t restricted in any way, especially since the 94x65 cm format of the Lithrone GL537 is slightly larger than that of our previous press ».
The Lithrone GL537 also offers many further benefits. « The print format fits the largest imposition forms that we are given to produce » underscores Pierrick Lemarchand. « This allows us to limit paper waste and optimise our paper purchases. Also, our plate budget is 20% below what it would be with a 40-inch press. Finally, power consumption is significantly below that of a larger press. In the current market conditions, the Lithrone GL537 is an economical printing press that allows us to be fast and competitive ».
A packaging machine
The new press perfectly matches FAGUIER Print & Pack’s ambitions in the packaging space. « We chose to fit our new Lithrone GL537 with a Lithec automatic colour control system » says Pierrick Lemarchand. « The result is excellent colour stability throughout a print run, which is a prerequisite for packaging jobs. We have also chosen an acrylic coating unit. This allows us to quickly move to finishing after a print job. And we produce the high quality gloss that many packaging customers demand. Additionally, we have equipped the press with features dedicated for packaging, that allows us to print on 0.8 mm thick cardboard, something that wasn’t possible with our legacy offset press. All these new features built into our Lithrone GL537 ensure we can confidently grow our business in both commercial and packaging printing ».
Backed by a trustworthy supplier
Printing professionals generally tend to stick with their offset equipment manufacturer whenever they reinvest in new presses. FAGUIER Print & Pack however decided to switch to Komori. « We did a full survey of the available equipment » remembers Pierrick Lemarchand. « Komori was the vendor who best responded to our requirement of addressing both commercial and packaging applications with a 37-inch offset press. We were also very pleased with Komori’s presence and tech support during installation and early production phases ».
Today, FAGUIER Print & Pack are fully satisfied with their decision to invest in a Lithrone GL537. « We usually do 13000 sheets per hour print runs, which is a significant improvement over our previous offset press and is quite sufficient, given our average run length » concludes Pierrick Lemarchand. « And we know the GL537 can produce up to 15000 sheets per hour whenever required. The press’ high level of automation allows for shorter makeready times. The interface brings an added level of day-to-day comfort for our press operators. In hindsight, I don’t think we could have made a better choice ».
Speed and efficiency for finishing
Investing in a Baumann Perfecta 132 cutting system took FAGUIER Print & Pack’s modernisation efforts all the way to the finishing steps in the production workflow. « The new guillotine has a motorised lifting table » notes Pierrick Lemarchand. « This speeds up the overall process and makes things a lot more convenient for our operators. The interface makes it easy to program cutting presets, which saves time in day-to-day production. This means we are not losing at the finishing stage the time we saved upstream at the printing stage ».