Rost Werbetechnik switches to Ricoh’s eco-friendly AR latex inks to boost green credentials, print whiter whites, and cut costs

Based in Berlin, Germany, Rost Werbetechnik GmbH is a medium-sized print service provider that supports commercial clients from design all the way through to the delivery of finished items. The company provides a wide array of products and services,

including large format printing on flexible and solid materials, 3D stands, Point of Purchase displays, textiles, clothing, screens, banners, and vehicle wraps.

For more than 30 years, Rost Werbetechnik has helped companies to promote their brands, showcase their products, and make a positive impact. Specialising in digital large format printing on paper, fabrics, and foils, the company works with retail businesses, advertising and marketing agencies, events companies and trade fairs, museums and galleries, and more.

Previously, Rost Werbetechnik used large format devices that relied on solvent-based inks, but this approach had several drawbacks. Containing high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and with a strong odour, solvent inks are not an environmentally friendly technology. Printed items require a one or two day drying and outgassing phase before finishes such as lamination can be applied, and production areas rely on dedicated ventilation systems to maintain air quality. The inks also create significant maintenance workloads, with devices needing everyday cleaning using expensive specialist fluids — all leading to higher operational costs.

Rost Werbetechnik chose to replace solvent based printing with aqueous resin (AR) latex inks with low chemical emissions, before visiting the Ricoh Hanover site to view large format latex printers in action. Impressed, Rost Werbetechnik selected a RICOH Pro™ L5160 which provides traditional four colour printing (CMYK) plus white as a fifth colour. This was soon followed by the purchase of a RICOH Pro™ L5160e, with six colour hexachrome printing (CMYK plus orange and green) which recently won a 2022 EDP Award, highlighting innovation and excellence in production printing.

Peter Rost, Managing Director of Rost Werbetechnik, explains: “The demonstration enabled us to trial some typical jobs on the Ricoh large format latex devices, with excellent results. We were especially pleased with the colour configurations and the performance of the white latex inks. We knew then that Ricoh was the right partner for us.

“The time was right for a new strategy that would increase print speed and productivity and reduce maintenance times. Most of all, we aimed to implement an eco-friendlier approach that would benefit the environment and help us appeal to clients, who are increasingly keen to make ethical purchasing decisions and want to know their items are printed in a sustainable way.

Ricoh engineers worked on site at Rost Werbetechnik to install the devices and train users, before fine-tuning performance, preparing materials, and configuring ICC colour profiles to match the company’s requirements. Ricoh also provided Rost Werbetechnik with access to the Ricoh eShop, enabling the company to log onto the online portal to purchase additional inks quickly and conveniently whenever supplies run low.

Today, the Ricoh large format latex printers sit at the centre of Rost Werbetechnik’s operations. The company uses the devices to create a range of advertising and marketing and interior décor applications, printing onto materials such as monomer and polymer vinyl, transparent films, poster paper, and wallpapers. Both short and long production runs are possible, with the option to complete jobs overnight using unattended printing.

The six colour RICOH Pro™ L5160e printer has proved especially useful, as Peter Rost confirms: “Many of our clients have very specific requirements for brand colours on their advertising materials, including one company with a unique orange logo. With the RICOH Pro™ L5160e, we can achieve super-precise colour reproduction, ensuring sharp, vibrant graphics for our clients.”

With Ricoh’s large format devices and AR latex inks, Rost Werbetechnik has successfully created a business model founded on environmental sustainability. Ricoh’s latex inks have minimal odour and hold the Greenguard Gold Certification, which means they are scientifically tested to contain very low levels of VOCs. This eco-friendly approach boosts the company’s appeal to clients keen to work with a partner with proven green credentials.

The fast-drying latex-based inks eliminate the need for the two-day drying and outgassing processes, enabling immediate finishing and delivery to clients in shorter turnaround times. With no need to run special ventilation systems to disperse solvent gases, Rost Werbetechnik gains additional cost savings, too. Similarly, unattended overnight printing lifts productivity and helps the company to manage growing volumes with ease.

The move to Ricoh has also unlocked valuable efficiency savings for Rost Werbetechnik. The new Ricoh large format AR latex ink devices require much less maintenance and cleaning than the old solvent printers, freeing skilled employees to spend more time focused on production tasks.

Print quality is also consistently high with the Ricoh digital large format devices. Leading edge Gen5 printhead and variable droplet size technologies enable Rost Werbetechnik to deliver precise colour matching and exceptionally sharp levels of detail on client jobs. Furthermore, Ricoh’s white latex-based inks are much easier to manage and use, and offer superior performance and stability compared to solvent based equivalents.

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