Industrial printing is a lesser-known sector of the printing industry that involves printing the operating elements of devices of all kinds, from laundry machines and smartphones to IT systems. Industrial printing jobs in automotive engineering, for instance, include printing on tachometer discs or even the heating tracks of rear windows with electrically conductive silver. Ritzi Industriedrucktechnik GmbH is one of the leading companies in this field in Germany.
For around 50 years the team, headed by Managing Director Marius Ritzi, has been printing special orders in screen, pad and digital printing with runs of between 10 and 500 copies – mainly on plastic, stainless steel and aluminium, and frequently on glass. Curved components are also printed. Control foils require the embossing of keys, and antimicrobial varnishing is also available for medical devices.
The large number of demanding jobs in very short runs would be enough of a challenge in itself. But products in the automotive industry, say, must be delivered just in time, so avoiding mistakes is a priority.
This places high demands on order management, which simply cannot be mastered without the appropriate software. “First we tried our luck with an enterprise resource planning system, but soon reached the limits,” says Marius Ritzi. “That’s why we decided to switch to an MI system.”
Ritzi and his team looked at a number of systems, including those designed specifically for industrial printing. “It was a frustrating experience,” Ritzi recalls. “Many of the applications offered an enormous range of functions, but the usability was simply lousy. Often you didn’t even know where to click to achieve this or that. In addition, in view of all the specialties in industrial printing, the functional area of costing was often not well solved.”
Another shortcoming of the candidates was that none of their solutions was a real cloud app, which is what Ritzi needed so he didn’t have to buy an extra server for the MIS.
After Ritzi finally came into contact with Keyline from Crispy Mountain, he was soon convinced. “Keyline delivers far more than a conventional MI system. It supports the efficient management of a print business across the entire value chain in a holistic approach.” Nevertheless, Keyline is “not a software juggernaut that has to be set up for six months before you can think of something like a return on investment,” according to Ritzi.
Keyline is built in the product-oriented way the Ritzi team works. “You open Keyline and don’t feel uncomfortable; everything is immediately easy to understand,” says Ritzi, who describes the interface as “neat.”
Referring to his company’s strategy for implementation, Ritzi says, “We actually did it the hard way. An employee in the office sat down and simply started working with Keyline. First we focused on billing, then calculations, and so on. After a short time there were only very specific questions to be answered by ‘the Crispies’.”
Today, the pioneer Ritzi mentioned, as well as Ritzi himself in the office and three employees in production (working with iPads) use Keyline. The “good old job bag” is finally obsolete. When jobs are changed, for example, the relevant data is updated directly at the machine and is immediately available companywide.
Keyline has become the “single point of truth” in the company and the backbone of all processes, from order taking to final costing. And the centralized provision of always up-to-date data leads to fewer internal queries and even greater efficiency.
Ritzi Industriedruck is also taking advantage of the openness of Keyline and has integrated Keyline with Candis, a cloud-based application for accounting.
Ritzi also appreciates that users can have an influence on future functionality since developer Crispy Mountain always has an open ear. And because it’s a cloud-based application delivered in the SaaS model, new features are immediately available with no update effort. “We appreciate the continuous development of Keyline,” says Ritzi. “The Crispy Mountain team is constantly adding new functionality to help us digitize our business, so our decision to go with Keyline was a huge step forward.”