Federn Brand relies on WorkForce Pro

Federn Brand relies on WorkForce Pro

Federn Brand relies on WorkForce Pro

Federn Brand was one of the first medium-sized companies in Germany to choose inkjet technology for its offices. The company has remained loyal to the range ever since, and consistently uses inkjet printers in its offices and production sites.

The spring is one of humanity's oldest inventions and was prized even in prehistoric times for many uses. Even today, in a world full of electronic devices, springs can still be found in a vast range of products.

If you're looking for an expert in this versatile component, you'll quickly discover Federn Brand, as this German company is a world leader. Thanks to its expertise in producing high-quality spring products, it has become a medium-sized business that today employs around 800 people in branch offices in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Buyers of its products include well-known international companies from the automotive, construction and manufacturing industries. Federn Brand's stringent quality control for its products and services can be seen at all levels of the company. That's why Epson's WorkForce Pro inkjet printers were chosen to print documents in both factories and offices.

"We were looking for the most reliable systems possible for our everyday printing tasks in the offices and manufacturing sites," says Harald Uenzelmann, IT Manager at Federn Brand. "Applications at the manufacturing sites are especially challenging because the atmosphere there is very dusty and the temperatures are often high. Laser printers are much too unreliable for us in that environment."

Pioneers of inkjet in the office

Federn Brand was one of the earliest adopters of Epson inkjet technology among medium-sized businesses in Germany during 2010.

The printers ran absolutely faultlessly and all the documents they produced met the company's exacting quality requirements. The unusual nature of a business inkjet printing solution at that time was demonstrated by the fact that visitors from Epson Japan came to Federn Brand while the printers were in use, wanting to learn first-hand about Brand's experiences with the machines.

In February 2014, they were upgraded to the latest WorkForce Pro inkjet printers. These were welcomed into the offices as well as manufacturing sites, thanks to their modern design and multifunction capabilities, with fax and document scanning.

Now a wide range of high-performance WorkForce Pro inkjet printers can be found at Federn Brand, perfectly tailored to their various intended purposes. In addition to eight monochrome WorkForce M4590DNF printers, there are now also 30 WorkForce Pro 4595DNFs as 4-in-1 multifunction printers, five single-function WorkForce Pro 4095DN printers and one model from the 5100 series – a WorkForce Pro 5190DNF.

Federn Brand asked for something from their systems suppliers, Green IT, that hadn't been requested before. "We were the first large customer of Green IT to choose inkjet across the board," says Harald Uenzelmann, "Although they did offer inkjet solutions, laser printers still dominated the range. But because of our good experiences with Epson, we wanted to continue using inkjet printers."

Green IT – the printing IT company chooses inkjet

"It's true that up to that point, laser printers had been the dominant technology for us when it came to printing in offices," adds Jan Schriewer, Consulting Manager at Green IT. "Although we'd already worked with inkjets in the workplace before, Federn Brand's request for the WorkForce Pro was our first true acid test of these products. Because it's our company philosophy to focus on using sustainable, environmentally friendly technology, we too were quickly won over by the WorkForce Pro. The reduction in power consumption with inkjets compared to laser printers is enormous, and in addition, the low running costs and reliability of the WorkForce allow us to pass on very good deals to our customers through our cost per page concept. We've had very good experiences with the WorkForce devices in use, and this product group is now an established part of our portfolio."

Everyday tasks and special duties

Printing requirements in Federn Brand's offices are expanding every day. The WorkForce Pros are required to deliver a volume of up to 3,000 pages of smearproof, waterproof prints per month, which the WorkForce Pro machines handle with ease. Thanks to its versatile interfaces, the WorkForce Pro has also been integrated seamlessly into the existing IT network.

All printers at Federn Brand are controlled via three print servers, and the company has chosen to allow autonomous access by users. "We basically have no restrictions on printer use for staff," continues Harald Uenzelmann. "Anyone can print their documents on any printer here."

In the manufacturing and quality assurance departments, requirements are completely different from those in the offices. While the quality assurance department mostly prints test reports for spring batches, in the warehouses it's mainly stickers, shipping documents and work orders. Up to 4,000 pages per printer per month are printed here – around two thirds in colour, the rest in black and white. Colour printing plays a special role in production and shipping, and every printer in this department must be able to reproduce a wide palette of colours.

"Many of our customers like to see the springs manufactured for them labelled with particular colours in order to make it easier to integrate them into the local ERP systems at their sites. This means it's important that a particular red specified by the customer for this purpose, for example, is printed in exactly the right shade."

The most challenging placement for a WorkForce Pro at Federn Brand is right next to an annealing furnace, which heats the steel prepared for the springs so that the material can be bent into the specified spring form. It's not uncommon for the thermometers here to show a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius, and the concentration of dust and other particles in the atmosphere is enormous.

"We are of course aware that this WorkForce Pro is, strictly speaking, being operated outside its specified limits, particularly because of the high temperature – but the printer doesn't seem to be aware of this and simply gets on with its job," smiles Harald Uenzelmann.