Schwarzach am Main, Germany

Benedict Press

Modernizing Benedict Press and prioritizing sustainability with automated, process-free platemaking


Founded in 1923, German Benedictine monastery press with end-to-end production of books and other high-quality print


Modernize platemaking operations to prioritize environmental sustainability while maintaining premium print quality

Kodak Solution

SONORA Process Free Plates

TRENDSETTER Q800 Platesetter

"We always consider the environmental aspects before making any investment decision, and thanks to the SONORA Plate we're now completely chemistry-free all the way to the press."
Michael Blass, Production Manager, Benedict Press
Benedict Press Trendsetter Q800
Left to right: Prepress Manager Dietmar Michel, Production Manager Michael Blass, Digital Sheet Assembly and Costing Manager Manfred Weidinger
Benedict Press staff
Left to right: Former print shop manager Br. Alfred Engert OSB (Ordo Sancti Benedicti), Abbot Michael Reepen, Production Manager Michael Blass
Benedict Press pressroom
The abbey printer's pressroom houses large sheet-fed offset presses
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Founded by Benedictine monks in 1923, Benedict Press is operated by Germany's Münsterschwarzach Abbey and continues a centuries-long monastic tradition of high-quality print production. The abbey maintains a strong commitment to environmental responsibility across all operations, and their print shop has worked with Kodak to optimize production sustainability.

The Business Need

In keeping with the rules of their Benedictine Order, the Münsterschwarzach Abbey in central Germany operates several businesses and workshops employing both abbey monks and secular staff. One of its most successful enterprises is Benedict Press, with a team of 25 people specializing in end-to-end production of high-quality books, art catalogs, posters, and more. For the last 20+ years the abbey has prioritized sustainability, becoming effectively carbon neutral by converting all operations to renewable resources and enacting a variety of other green practices. Benedict Press was certified in 2019 under the European Union's ambitious Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), and they've continued sustainability efforts, especially in their resource-intensive offset operations, while maintaining extremely high quality standards for flagship services such as premium art and church guides. In recent years they've partnered with Kodak to further reduce their footprint and modernize production for optimal efficiency.

The Kodak Solution

Benedict Press had been using an offset plate that was “chemistry-free” but still required wet processing with a chemical clean-out finisher. In mid-2019 they decided to go even greener, replacing those plates with KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates—which eliminated the last remaining chemicals from their workflow, as well as the water and energy used by the processor. The SONORA Plates were an easy swap, requiring no production changes, and delivering excellent print quality on all four sheet-fed presses. Removing the processing step made platemaking faster, but there was still room for improvement: the abbey printer's 15-year-old KODAK TRENDSETTER CTP was exceptionally reliable but fully manual in its operation. To speed up the process and make it easier for staff, they upgraded to a new KODAK TRENDSETTER Q800 Platesetter. It provides fully automated plate loading and unloading from a Single Cassette Unit fed by two trolleys, each holding up to 120 plates with slip sheets, as well as inline punch.

The Outcome

Thanks to Kodak technologies, Benedict Press's platemaking is both faster and more sustainable, without compromising their top-quality needs: the SONORA Plates let them print with a fine 300 lpi screen using highly pigmented inks. And their upgraded TRENDSETTER Q800 model brings not only labor-saving automation, but also excellent energy efficiency, requiring only about 770 watts while imaging. The abbey press has successfully adapted their traditional craft to the modern era. Most importantly, they truly live up to the abbey's values of environmental care and can showcase that commitment to their like-minded customers.

"We're passionate TRENDSETTER users. That platesetter was the best possible publicity for Kodak because it kept going without any problems for all those years and never once let us down. That's why we definitely wanted another Kodak."
Michael Blass, Production Manager, Benedict Press

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