SAXOPRINT: new large-format press from Heidelberg

Klaus Sauer, Managing Director of SAXOPRINT, developed the CutStar roll sheeter for the Speedmaster XL 162 together with Heidelberg. This means that for the first time, the full flexibility to use sheets or roll-fed stock is available in 7B format

The online print shop SAXOPRINT based in Dresden has recorded double-digit sales growth in recent years, and last year generated sales of over EUR 100 million in the area of commercial online printing as part of the CEWE Group. Standard commercial printed matter such as flyers, posters, catalogs, and brochures are still the main focus and account for 80 percent of its business, however packaging and finishing represent a large growth market.
“With us, every order is individual. As well as a good price, delivery reliability and speed are important for our international customers”, says managing director Klaus Sauer.
High efficiency and speed are important here. Up to 5,000 orders are produced daily in three shifts. This is only possible using industrialized processes and the most modern equipment. With this in mind, the company has invested over EUR 70 million in new solutions in the past seven years.

The business model of the online print shop SAXOPRINT is based on bundling orders into so-called gang runs. Everything is checked on the Prinect Press Center of the Speedmaster XL 162

The latest installation in the press room comes in at an impressive fifty meters: a Speedmaster XL 162 eight-color perfecting press with the world’s first CutStar roll sheeter in this format on a machine of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). CutStar in other formats, such as 50 x 70 or 70 x 100, has been available from Heidelberg for many years. This means that the full flexibility to use sheets or roll-fed stock is now available in 7B format and this significantly reduces the makeready times. This means that SAXOPRINT now has eight printing presses with a total of 36 printing units from Heidelberg: five large-format Speedmaster XL 162 presses, one Speedmaster XL 145, and two Speedmaster XL 106 presses, both of which are equipped with the CutStar roll sheeter. “We saw the benefits and so entered into negotiations with Heidelberg at drupa 2016 to include CutStar in the next large-format press,” recalls Sauer.

Partnership-based relationship pays off – double the efficiency

SAXOPRINT’s press room is now home to six large-format presses as well as two Speedmaster XL 106 presses

The experts from Heidelberg and BW Papersystems Stuttgart GmbH spent two years working on the development of CutStar. The Speedmaster XL 162 with CutStar has been in use since January of this year, and Sauer is more impressed than ever: “Once again, our partnership with Heidelberg has paid off, and the project was handled with the utmost professionalism by all sides.”
Our experiences so far with CutStar speak for themselves: With just one reel change, the same number of sheets is fed as with three to four paper pallets. Fewer makeready and stoppage times as well as uninterrupted operating stability make the new Speedmaster XL 162 at SAXOPRINT nearly twice as efficient. The cutting performance of CutStar has a tolerance of less than 0.3 millimeters, well above that of industrially produced paper stacks. This means that the cut sheets in the delivery can go straight into postpress. The previous step of vibrating against straight edges is no longer necessary. Another plus is the double-gripper technology in the press delivery. The controlled guide at the front and rear

A new paper roll is inserted in the Speedmaster XL 106

edge guides the sheet reliably from the last printing unit to the delivery pile. This means that a dozen different jobs or 400 different business cards can be printed on a single sheet of paper with a width of 160 centimeters. “We have succeeded in compensating the ten percent increase in the price of paper through innovations and increased efficiency. This is all the more significant since paper accounts for up to 30 percent of our costs,” reports Klaus Sauer happily. In addition, paper on rolls is around six percent cheaper than paper sheets. “In Heidelberg I have a partner that I can trust and that delivers on our wishes. The development of CutStar is a really great achievement,” says a satisfied Sauer. The cooperation is continuing – a three-year integration project is currently underway that should culminate in autonomous printing with the Prinect workflow.


Online printing business model growing – expansion of the packaging offering


Packagings are a strong growth segment at the online print shop SAXOPRINT

SAXOPRINT was established in 1999 with 22 employees. The online print shop “” was launched in 2006. The first Heidelberg press was installed in 2011. SAXOPRINT has been part of CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA based in Oldenburg since 2012. Today, SAXOPRINT employs 550 people at its site in Dresden and last year received an award for excellence in apprenticeship from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Every year it trains 20 young people. “More than anything we need skilled workers who can put our multi-million investment in machinery to efficient use,” says Sauer. CEWE purchased the entire company premises of over 70,000 square meters in Dresden last year. Half is occupied by SAXOPRINT, the other half is rented to companies. With this investment, further growth at the Dresden location will be easily possible.

SAXOPRINT’s postpress area boasts an entire phalanx of Stahlfolder machines from Heidelberg

The full-service print shop is no stranger to superlatives: every year it processes over 25,000 metric tons of paper and images 1.2 million square meters of printing plates, 700,000 square meters of which were produced without chemicals and water in 2018. The prepress area is home to a new large-format Suprasetter, while the postpress area boasts an entire phalanx of Stahlfolder machines, which prepare the high output from the printing presses for the saddle stitchers and perfect binders. Following the installation of the new Speedmaster XL 162, the last of the old machines will be removed this year. “What I like about the Heidelberg machines, apart from the high level of automation and ease of use, is the high technical availability. The makeready times on the Speedmaster XL 106 are consistently under two minutes,” explains Klaus Sauer. Paper waste is 20 to 40 sheets. According to Sauer, CO2 emissions have decreased dramatically in recent years. Over 10 percent of customers also order climate-neutral printed products.

The business field is presently being extended with packaging such as the SAXOPRINT® easy box. With this innovative product solution, a wide variety of packaging types can be conveniently customized online in freely selectable formats in a 3D designer and ordered in runs of one and up. The target group is anyone who wants to enhance their product by giving it a customized packaging – regardless of the size of run and at attractive prices.