The Bühler three-roll mills, at the headquarters of Epple Druckfarben AG in Neusäss near Augsburg, Bavaria, efficiently and evenly disperse pigments into endless, almost hypnotic streams of color.
The fascinating thing here is that only four basic colors are produced: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK for short). The “K” actually stands for the term “key plate”, which is used to align the cyan, magenta, and yellow color-printing plates. It is these four basic colors which theoretically enable the creation of around four billion color tones that form the foundation of what Epple calls, the “essence of passion” – its company motto.
These colors bring beauty to art, books, calendars, magazines, and even the eye-catching packaging of goods and foodstuffs. “We produce around 10,000 tons of printing ink a year and deliver to all continents,” explains Dr. Carl Epple, member of the Executive Board who is responsible for development and innovation at the company. Some of this ink goes to Switzerland, or more precisely to the galledia group ag publishing house in Flawil, just minutes from the Bühler headquarters.
This in itself would be rather unspectacular if it weren’t for the fact that galledia group prints the diagram magazine for Bühler, which in turn supplies Epple with process solutions for the production of the printing inks. But more about that later.