Thiekötter Druck is the first technotrans customer to start using the new generation of the omega.eco process chiller.
The long-established company Thiekötter Druck from Münster has been using cooling and temperature control solutions from technotrans SE for decades. In 2018 the family-run print shop decided to invest in a new digital web printing press in combination with another cooling system from its partner of many years. When a short time later the Sassenberg-based company sought a customer for the field testing of the new generation of its omega.eco process chiller, the existing system in the print shop was then quickly replaced however. This was because Thiekötter recognised the potential of the the new omega.eco, not least because the efficiency gain was right in line with the company’s own objectives in relation to the efficient use of resources and sustainability. The print shop became a pilot user for the process chiller. The Münster company is now already convinced of the performance and savings offered.
Thiekötter Druck GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1879 in the Westphalian city of Münster and since 2014 has been run by the fifth generation, Anja and Daniel Thiekötter. The main area of business of this family-run company, which has 50 permanent employees, is advertising products. In this field the print shop produces, among other things, flyers, posters, brochures, postcards, calendars, labels and pads. In addition, package printing accounts for a sizeable share of sales. Since 2002, offset printing has been supplemented by digital printing in the range offered by Thiekötter. This segment is becoming ever more important on the basis of increasing demand for economic short print runs and personalised print products. The proven offset process might still deliver results of a higher quality and accounts for a major part of the company’s sales, but is too laborious for low quantities and hardly commercially viable any more, says Daniel Thiekötter. “Our most recent major capital investments have all been in digital printing. Along with the flexibility offered, the short setup and delivery times and the possibility of direct finishing are the big advantages of the process.”
When the old Indigo digital printing press was to be replaced by a new sheet-fed digital printing press in 2017, Thiekötter decided to use a technotrans cooling solution for this field for the first time. Up to then the liquid technology specialist from Sassenberg had previously only supplied the print shop with cooling systems for offset printing – for a very long time, too. “When I first pitched in at work when I was young, there were technotrans systems in production even back then. This relationship now goes back more than 20 years. Given our satisfaction with the products, I absolutely wanted to use technotrans cooling units again for digital printing as well,” says Daniel Thiekötter. Which is why Thiekötter opted for the omega.k process chiller which was the latest version at the time. In 2018 the print shop ordered a further model of the cooling unit as part of the expansion of production with a new digital web printing press. The background to the investment was primarily the growth in demand for self-adhesive roll labels, which Thiekötter was only able to continue meeting on a flexible basis with a new machine.
Sustainability and economic efficiency go hand in hand
What the print shop did not know at the time was that this cooling system was not be in operation for long. This was because within just a few months of commissioning, technotrans started looking for a field testing customer for the new omega.eco generation and found the ideal partner in the long-established print shop. After all, protection of the environment and sustainability are a key component of Thiekötter’s corporate policy: The use of green electricity from 100 percent renewables, prudent use of paper and continuous reduction of CO2 emissions are just some of the measures being actively pursued by the company. Thanks to increased energy efficiency the new cooling solution from technotrans is contributing to the realisation of this objective and significant cost savings. “The existing cooling system worked perfectly but the new omega.eco enables us to not only reduce our environmental footprint while achieving increased performance at the same time, we also benefit from significant energy savings,” explains Daniel Thiekötter. “It is really good to see that economic efficiency and protection of the environment can go hand in hand.”
At the core of the omega.eco are speed-controlled main components for operation – compressor, cooling air fan and cooling water pump. The combination with the highly efficient microchannel technology also makes it possible to significantly reduce the mass of the refrigerant charge. The proprietary and highly precise control system allows the chiller to adapt to varying operating loads and ambient conditions. “The product is ideal for partial load operation, which is essential in practice because it is really seldom the case that cooling units are operated continuously in a single operating point only,” explains Holger Mehls, Key Account Manager at technotrans. Depending on the cooling output required by the printing process, the compressor and the fans are controlled fully automatically on a continuously adjustable basis. This increases the system efficiency, thereby ensuring a high energy-saving potential. Thiekötter saves several thousand kilowatt hours annually thanks to the new omega.eco. In addition, this new technology also increases the precision and dynamics of the temperature control system which, in turn, results in highly reliable thermal management during operation.
Further development to meet increasing requirements
The field testing of the new process chiller is in line with the technotrans strategy of consistently optimising its cooling technology. “As the saying goes: Only the best is good enough. We naturally want to offer our customers only the best possible technology and to react quickly to the increasing requirements of the industry,” stresses Mehls. Power density and bespoke configuration as topics are now more important than ever these days – in other words, cooling capacity which is as high as possible in a compact unit which is tailored to highly specific applications. The company’s expertise lies in bringing individual high-performance components together in an efficient cooling solution and equipping it with proprietary and custom-tailored control software. The results are cooling systems which are precisely tailored to what are to some extent widely different applications.
The installation of the new process chiller was completed in next to no time, such that downtimes at Thiekötter were restricted to a minimum. Daniel Thiekötter is highly pleased with the cooperation between the companies: "The collaboration with technotrans ran perfectly. We have known each other for so long and are completely open in our communication with each other.” Local proximity is also a big advantage, he says, with employees quickly on site when there is any need for coordination. “The service is outstanding,” says Thiekötter. On the basis of the positive results, Thiekötter plans to keep the unit after the field test. The print shop sees the purchase as an investment for the future. “In this case the period of amortisation does not necessarily have to be as short as possible. Our printing presses see five to seven years of service and we need efficient cooling for that long as well. Over the long term we will therefore definitely benefit,” says Daniel Thiekötter.
For further information, please visit www.technotrans.com