Cewe acquires a 2e JET varnish 3D Evo

Germany's CEWE, Europe's leading photo book manufacturer, orders its second JETvarnish 3D Evo from MGI!

In October 2017, Cewe decided to enhance its photo books with UV varnish and hot foil stamping, equipping its Eschbach site (Southern Germany) with an MGI digital technology JETvarnish 3D Evo digital finishing press. Seduced by the press' total integration into its production workflow, which has made it possible to finish millions of photo books a year, the German manufacturer has just equipped its Oldenburg plant (Northern Germany) with a second JETvarnish 3D Evo. An investment designed to consolidate its strategic development in photo book finishing.

Founded in 1961 in Oldenburg, Northern Germany, Cewe has been an innovator in the emerging market of color photo printing since its inception.

This strategy of innovation, reinforced by constant international development, has continued with the printing on objects since 1980, the implementation of a waste recycling policy in 1985, the launch in 1997 of the first in-store photo terminal, and the launch of the photo book in 2005!

Cewe became a reference brand in Germany, like the car manufacturer BMW, before celebrating its 50 millionth photo book one year later, reinforcing its uncontested leadership in the market, the company now employing nearly 3,500 people in 11 countries... Cewe, a differentiation strategy based on UV varnish and hot foil stamping Leader of the photo book on the Internet, Cewe has always differentiated itself by the simplicity of use of its online software and by a very high quality level.

However, this level of quality, which distinguishes Cewe photo books, was not enough to reinforce the German company's leadership and create a real breakthrough in the market, as Michael Bühl, Technical Director of the Eschbach site (Freiburg im Breisgau) explains: "To consolidate our position as Europe's N°1 photo book manufacturer, we had to innovate once again. The working group in charge of this project came to the conclusion that we needed to enrich our books with additional effects, and that UV varnish and hot foil gilding were unique differentiating elements on the market. Producing millions of books, each one different from the next, in particularly short lead times, at the best value for money, we realized that traditional solutions couldn't apply."

Digital finishing, a response to market expectations

After studying the different solutions available on the market, Cewe quickly chose the JETvarnish technology from the French manufacturer MGI.

"Our specifications were based on 4 key points", explains Michael Bühl, "Firstly, that we could rely on a truly operational industrial solution, with a proven track record in both UV varnish and foil stamping. Secondly, that this industrial line could handle all our products/formats, and could be integrated into our production flow, so as not to lose productivity, while offering a high level of varnish and foil stamping quality. Last but not least, that the chosen manufacturer would have an efficient after-sales service and an R&D department attentive to our needs, given the strategic importance of this investment for Cewe. In all these areas, MGI met our expectations, which naturally led us to equip ourselves with the JETvarnish 3D Evo."

Victor Abergel, Vice President of MGI, makes no secret of his satisfaction: "From the very first contacts with Cewe, the strategic challenge represented by the switch to digital finishing for the leader in Internet photo books was a tremendous motivation for MGI's teams. The integration of the JETvarnish 3D Evo into the production workflow at the Freiburg site demonstrates the benefits of our variable data management solutions. By means of a bar code printed on the sheets to be finished, this integration automatically enables on-the-fly parameterization of the finishing operations to be carried out, whether for varnish or foil, even going so far as to control the thickness of the varnish to be applied, and the oven temperature! This real-time control of the JETvarnish 3D Evo, by means of variable data, guarantees a very high level of productivity, to the highest quality standard."

Extremely easy to implement on a daily basis

Installed in October 2017, MGI's JETvarnish 3D Evo was immediately integrated into the production process at the Eschbach site, where it was one of the key pieces of equipment, winning over operators with its ease of use, as Michael Bühl explains:

"The start-up of the JETvarnish 3D Evo went very smoothly, and our operators very quickly got to grips with this new press, which is very easy to operate and maintain, requiring, for example, only one and the same varnish, both for the UV varnish and the foil hook. Its integration into our production workflow has proved highly efficient and has enabled us to differentiate ourselves in the photobook market. The results of our transition to digital finishing are very positive, and have encouraged us to imagine new developments, particularly for Oldenburg."

Victor Abergel is delighted by this prospect: "We at MGI are very proud to contribute, on a daily basis, through our technologies, to Cewe's success. This success demonstrates the strategic importance of finishing in the graphic arts industry. It confirms the relevance of our solutions in markets as diverse as commercial printing, packaging, publishing and web-to-print."