On a recent visit to Munich , I was pleased to be invited to visit a very innovative print and finishing company -Stigler Gmbh - based in the north of the city next to the Messe MOC venue. I had seen some of their work before and had been introduced to them by Herman Will who publishes Novum – World of Graphic design. They had created a fantastic black and copper front cover which showcased their ability to produce intricate examples of cut and shaped card. So I was expecting to be impressed. However, I was wondering how such a company might be relevant in the modern world of print and particularly in the ‘Industrial Print’ space that we are currently focused on?
Firstly what struck me about this friendly, family run company was the technology available to them.
They had recently installed a MGI-jet varnish machine. One of only 2 sold in Germany and made by a French manufacturer. The revolutionary printer was producing high quality varnishes ( similar to screen print finishes ) with single pass inkjet. Of course, they are still testing and discussing trials they had done on acrylic and wood, but from what I could see the end result looked good!
Whilst on the other side of the factory floor, the business was busy with various ‘jobs’ using some old but highly productive Heidelberg machines . These machines were built to last and they have!
They are still running after 50 years, doing the job they were built for, long before the Beatles had even started playing to small audiences in the Reeperbahn in Hamburg.
This makes you think about the challenge which faces Heidelberg today. Built to last ! How can they continue to sell new machines ? Is it necessary to constantly innovate their technology, when it lasts so long? How do they operate in our ‘throw away’ society?
When you consider the challenges for Stigler, they face different issues. They have a range of creative Post press enhancements that they offer for the printed product that continues to amaze the customer. But they don’t tend to know the final customer. Typically their direct customer is the printer who then supplies the finished product to the end user. But often the printer doesn’t even mention that the clever stuff has been done by Stigler.
And Stigler can do lots of clever stuff. Just the kind of clever finished effects that appeal to the marketing and creative customer. Working with glass, plastic, acrylic, metal, card and wood they can really do some amazing stuff! Maybe for Stigler, its time to look for additional new customers? Or maybe their new machine will lead them to new customers by offering a more complete product and service. Whichever route they take, we know times are a changing!