Danish flexography specialist TRESU takes great pride in its ability to offer highly customized printing lines to clients all around the world. Managing the development resources necessary to create specialized mechanical and software solutions for its rapidly growing clientele is a juggling act that TRESU has been able to master through close-knit collaboration with B&R and its modular portfolio of automation hardware and software.
Whether it's carton packaging for takeout food, six-packs of beer or one of the numerous other possible substrates – TRESU's exceptionally modular Flexo Innovator printing lines offer highly customized printing and finishing performance with an array of added-value options including back-side printing, cold foil, die-cutting, laminating, coating, embossing and sheeting.
The software platform and motors in these lines come from B&R, but that's not all the Danish flexography specialist gets from its Austrian automation supplier. Due to the extensive customization involved in each project, TRESU relies on a close and highly transparent cooperation with B&R that includes both project development and training.
Bringing together TRESU's 35 years of flexo know-how and B&R's automation expertise, this collaboration is a key element in TRESU's ability to provide its customers with innovative printing technology tailored to their specific needs.
TRESU delivers its modular printing solutions all over the world, fully customized to meet the end user's needs in terms of software and mechanical components. Increasingly, the company relies on B&R to supply these solutions. On the one hand, this is because B&R technology has proven best suited for satisfying the customers' most important parameters, which include uptime, speed, flexibility, available features and, not least, competitive prices. Beyond that, though, they also benefit from the worldwide recognition of B&R's products as well as its global support and service network.
According to Morten Støhs, Director of TRESU's R&D design and service department, when a new order comes in for a Flexo Innovator, they immediately go to work with developers from B&R to design and assemble it. "Not only do we look at the specifications required to complete the project, we also look at how we can optimize the machine to bring down the overall price," he explains. "Through consultation with B&R, we're often able to reduce the size of the motors used in the press, for example."
Dennis Flint Greve stands at the helm of TRESU's recently formed electrical and automation department where he is responsible for developing new solutions. According to Greve, one of the greatest advantages of working with B&R is that the two companies speak a common language in terms of product development philosophy.
With twenty system designers, software and electrical engineers dedicated to making TRESU's processes more efficient by standardizing its portfolio of printing components and options, collaboration with B&R helps TRESU achieve competitive advantages in a market notorious for intense competition for customers.
"Our machines are built with fully-integrated B&R solutions and are easy to program using Automation Studio," says Greve. "Our customers benefit from the flexibility this brings to their production."
Over the years, the partnership with B&R has developed far beyond the relationships TRESU has with other suppliers. "B&R has a product portfolio that stands out in a positive way, with flexible I/O modules that perfectly suit our needs," explains Greve. "Among other things, B&R has helped us minimize the size of our control cabinet," he adds, "which in turn has made it easier for us to come up with some great product designs for our customers."
With a rapidly increasing number of clients requesting TRESU machines, scheduling developer training around projects can be something of a logistical juggling act. Among the required initiatives is the intensive 10-week "Applied Automation Engineering Seminar" held at the headquarters of B&R Denmark.
When TRESU's developers are away completing a course, the company is able to rely on highly skilled developers from B&R. "This is helpful in several ways," says Greve. "It provides them with insight into our projects, while at the same time allows our developers to become familiar with B&R's products." With the two companies' developers so well synchronized, they are able to engage in constructive back-and-forth to solve difficult challenges.
The strategic cooperation between TRESU and B&R has resulted in, among other things, a high level of transparency throughout project planning and execution. "We operate with a shared pool of resources, and we're in constant dialog on how to make the best use of it," says TRESU CEO Søren Maarssø.
Maarssø sees the acquisition of B&R by ABB as a very positive development. "B&R joining ABB is advantageous for us – particularly in the American market. B&R emerges as a stronger supplier of both hardware and software." he says, pointing to B&R's full lineup of drive technology, controllers and integrated safety, all of which his company relies on to create compact, high-quality solutions.
"The cooperation with B&R plays a significant role in our development process and thus our time to market. We work very closely with them and can draw on their highly skilled developers while our own receive excellent training through B&R's courses."