Digital printing on demand: Mister Druck customer story.

About Mister Druck

In an effort to make Mister Druck a leading name in the field of digital printing, owner Rune Slembrouck has implemented a series of changes since he founded the business in 2017. Among the most important changes were replacing the milling cutter with a laser cutting machine, as well as developing his own customer portal software to allow customers to track their order status. These decisions played an important factor in the growth of the company, which grew from a sole trader to having 22 employees in just 2.5 years. 

Mister Druck provides on-demand digital printing on large-format plate and roll materials to resellers and chain stores. The company uses a number of board materials to create digital prints including foamex, aluminium composite, hollow chamber, polystyrene and acrylics, as well as other materials such as balsa plywood. In addition to this they also print on roll materials such as PVC tarpaulins. The team are able to offer these products in a range of different sizes, ranging from 10 x 10 cm to 3 x 1.5 m to supply resellers and chain stores to fulfil customer or branch advertising requirements. 

The challenge

The need for change came from a customer proposal. A large contract for the creation of acrylic products, Slembrouck knew that the project would not be feasible using his milling cutter as it was not fast enough to meet production requirements and the quality was not what was required by the customer.

Due to the nature of the technology, the milling cutter creates a range of debris during processing including dust, chips and can even scratch the material being processed. Not only is the build-up of dust in the environment unpleasant, it quickly builds up due to the static charge of the acrylic sheets. The dust and debris would also have prevented the material being printed efficiently, as a requirement for printing is zero dust inclusions under the full surface white printed acrylic.

This left Slembrouck wondering how he could efficiently increase production capacity and while improving cutting quality. This led him to look at laser technology as a suitable solution for the company.

The Trotec solution

The SP3000 laser cutting machine from Trotec enabled Mister Druck to exclusively produce acrylic parts from whole sheets. The laser software optimises the job distribution on the plate surface to minimise waste.  The whole plate is then printed, and finally the individual jobs are cut out of the plate using the laser cutter.

The laser enabled us to achieve an enormous increase in turnover, as it was only through the laser that we were able to accept the offered acrylic product order. The required product quality without dust inclusions and the required production speed can currently only be achieved with the laser. The SP 3000 Laser Cutter thus contributes to the growth of Mister Druck.

Rune Slembrouck
Mister Druck GmbH

The advantages of laser cutting

The change to laser technology had a very positive effect on the business. One such example is cost savings in maintenance. The maintenance costs of a milling machine with the same capacity utilisation as the laser machine can be up to € 4,000 per month, while Trotec laser machines are virtually maintenance-free.

What's more, milling machines are unable to produce the products which are currently in high demand from Mister Druck. The geometry of the milling cutter means that fine details cannot be milled, while the mechanical forces exerted during processing can cause products to break. The contactless laser cutting process minimises wasted materials while ensuring operator safety. 

The SP3000 laser cutter also allowed Slembrouk to increase his production volume of acrylic from 10 m² per week to currently 1,200 to 1,500 m² per week (about 30% of total capacity). Alongside this increase, he was also able to reduce the wasted material rate for acrylic from 2 m² (at 10 m² production volume per week) to less than 10 m² (at 1000 m² production volume per week). Meanwhile, the reject rate in the entire company is far below 1 percent with a total daily production volume of 5,000 m².

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