The beginning of the Ellerhold success story dates back 30 years. In 1987, in Zirndorf near Nuremberg, Germany, Frank Ellerhold founded a printing company, which produced silkscreen printed posters. Today, Ellerhold is a pan-European Group achieving a turnover of 84 million euros in 2016 with more than 630 employees.
As Maximilian Ellerhold, Frank's son, explains, the history of the company, which has been operating as a public limited company since 2005, is strongly influenced by the experimentation of his father. New technology has always been an incentive for him to gain advantages and use them profitably for the benefit of the customer. One example was digital printing, which had been introduced to the company in 1993.
In 2006, label printing became a part of the company portfolio, and since then, this market segment has been further expanded. One of the main reasons for this expansion was the impact of digitization on poster printing. In large cities, new technologies, such as large-format LED screens, are sometimes used instead of billboards. In contrast, packaging and labels are not replaceable by digital media because they also have physical functions to fulfil.
Three years later, with the acquisition of Berlin-based Goetz + Müller GmbH, the label product area was expanded to include high-quality finished labels, e.g. for spirits. Finally, in 2014, a third label printing company came along, when Frank Ellerhold bought the company Offset Ketels, near Glücksburg, out of insolvency.
Ellerhold Group made the next major leap in development in 2016 by commissioning two identical Nilpeter MO-4 combination presses for the two locations in Glücksburg and Zirndorf. The focus is on the use of offset in combination with other printing processes and extensive finishing options. The presses have eight printing units, five of which are offset. All printing units may optionally be equipped with flexo or screen-printing. For high-quality finishing, two FP-4 flatbed hot foil and embossing units are integrated. All common finishing techniques, such as hot and cold foil, embossing, and lamination, are possible.
A special feature is the equipment of an inline measuring and control system from Lithec. This is the first time the system has been used on a Nilpeter press. The system ensures low waste rates, an important factor with regards to high material costs of some adhesive materials, and also supports employees during machine operations.
The two brothers, Stephan and Maximilian Ellerhold, who form the management board of Ellerhold AG, consider label production to be an important part of the company future. Their focus is on high quality, value-added labels, e.g. for the beverage market, especially for wine and spirits.
The significance of the project to the Ellerhold Group was seen in the decision-making process. Both business and production managers at the two locations, Zirndorf and Glücksburg, were involved in scrutinizing the advantages and disadvantages of the three shortlisted press suppliers. The election of Nilpeter’s MO-4 was unanimous. The MO-Line offered the right overall concept for the special requirements at both locations.
The focus was mainly on important benefits such as setup and job run times. In addition, Ellerhold presented the press manufacturers with extremely complicated designs to test the printing quality. Nilpeter was able to meet all expectations. Ultimately, however, the many options within value-added inline printing made the difference for Nilpeter.