Rehau AG + Co.

Secure and conve­nient prin­ting from the SAP system

The customer

For energy-effi­cient cons­truc­tion, the use of rene­wable ener­gies and water manage­ment, as well as for mobi­lity and future living, REHAU initiates sustainable contri­bu­tions to solving tomorrow’s ecolo­gical and economic chal­lenges. Exper­tise and inno­va­tive spirit have made the company the leading system and service provider of polymer-based solu­tions in the cons­truc­tion, auto­mo­tive and indus­trial sectors. A passion for the fasci­na­ting, unli­mited poten­tial bene­fits of polymer mate­rials is a basic prere­qui­site for REHAU to be successful as a leading premium brand world­wide. More than 18,000 employees around the globe achieve growth and success for REHAU at over 170 locations.
  • Sector Plastic processing
  • Task Output manage­ment for print jobs, central printer monitoring
  • Top chall­enge Joint printer manage­ment across diffe­rent platforms
  • Solu­tionAKI Prin­Taurus Commander, UniS­pool and QSynchronizer
  • Top benefit Simple, central printer manage­ment also for SAP; no more lost prin­touts; send prin­touts as PDF email attach­ments via script

The task

Prin­ters are extre­mely important at REHAU for produc­tion control, among other things; for example, deli­very notes, parts lists and loading lists have to be printed out for the haulage compa­nies. “If the prin­ters don’t work properly, the trucks stand in our yard and don’t know what to load. Of course, this must not happen,” explains Dieter Kochut, Senior Engi­neer Corpo­rate IT-Infra­struc­ture at REHAU. “We work for the auto­mo­tive industry and deliver just-in-time and just-in-sequence, so the latency times are very tight.” If the printer land­scape causes trouble, major problems are pre-programmed.

Curr­ently, REHAU runs more than 1,500 prin­ters from one main supplier and various other manu­fac­tu­rers – but for the future, the company plans to conso­li­date the printer land­scape and switch to larger multi­func­tion devices. The polymer specia­list needs about 30 million sheets of paper per year for prin­ting and copying. “This ranges from normal office prin­ting to SAP and prin­ting from the host envi­ron­ment,” says Kochut. 

Due to the high importance, REHAU wanted to install a profes­sional print manage­ment system. This was because the Windows print cluster used was simply too time-consuming to handle in terms of printer manage­ment. In addi­tion, the system did not offer any moni­to­ring func­tions. “We were looking for a way to opti­mise the hand­ling of problems with prin­touts – when a requested prin­tout was not printed out,” explains the IT expert.

In addi­tion, other func­tions such as moving spool files between prin­ters were also desired. In addi­tion, the solu­tion had to be able to convert print files to PDF and then send them by email.

The solu­tion

At REHAU, the spool output comes from a wide variety of source systems – Host, Windows and SAP. Accor­dingly, the new spoo­ling system had to be able to process all these print data streams correctly. In a selec­tion process, output manage­ment systems from various suppliers were examined. “Four solu­tions were comple­tely over­sized for our needs ‑that was not inte­res­ting for us,” recalls Kochut.

The intel­li­gent print manage­ment solu­tion Prin­Taurus from AKI, on the other hand, convinced us with its diverse func­tions and its modular struc­ture – it can be freely assem­bled as needed. Prin­Taurus works across manu­fac­tu­rers and ensures economic, conve­nient and secure prin­ting in printer land­scapes of all sizes. The Prin­Taurus Commander acts as the control centre and single point of control. It enables easy admi­nis­tra­tion of the printer network with an intui­tive graphical user inter­face. “The desire for an easy-to-use inter­face for moni­to­ring and defi­ning prin­ters in the Windows envi­ron­ment and for spool manage­ment were decisive factors in our decision to use Prin­Taurus and the UniS­pool and QSyn­chro­nizer modules.”

UniS­pool is a UNIX-based manage­ment tool for mana­ging print servers, prin­ters, print files and users for SAP and UNIX systems. The solu­tion reduces the manual admi­nis­tra­tion effort, enables smooth processes as well as perma­nent control and has a sophisti­cated Graphical User Inter­face (GUI). The module’s range of func­tions can be expanded consider­ably with scripts.

The QSyn­chro­nizer provides an over­view of the entire SAP prin­ting envi­ron­ment. Conflicts with incor­rectly defined output devices are displayed in diffe­rent views and can be resolved consis­t­ently across systems with intui­tively struc­tured wizards. In addi­tion, the module iden­ti­fies “printer corpses” and provides infor­ma­tion on how to remove them. Using multiple selec­tions, mass changes to para­me­ters can be imple­mented within a very short time. Using the copy & paste func­tion, entire print envi­ron­ments of an SAP appli­ca­tion can be conve­ni­ently distri­buted to other SAP instances – even retrospectively.

After the decision was made in favour of AKI, the project was quickly imple­mented: “The imple­men­ta­tion of the AKI products went smoothly,” recalls Kochut. “There were no problems at all. Although some of the scrip­ting was quite deman­ding, it was imple­mented so well by AKI that the scripts are still running today – virtually without any change.”

After the imple­men­ta­tion, an intro­duc­tory work­shop was suffi­cient to get started; in the mean­time Kochut trains the colle­agues himself if neces­sary … With Prin­Taurus and UniS­pool, REHAU moni­tors two spool systems and confi­gures prin­ters in the SAP systems. Around 1,200 prin­ters are defined in each of the two Windows 2008 spoo­lers; the QSyn­chro­nizer is used for printer defi­ni­tion in eight SAP systems.

Since the commis­sio­ning of the AKI solu­tion, the printer manage­ment runs like clock­work. “Prin­Taurus offers the user what Windows cannot, but the admi­nis­trator urgently needs!”, explains the senior engi­neer. If a prin­tout does not arrive in the output tray as desired, the admi­nis­tra­tors can iden­tify problems directly and fix them with the help of intui­tive wizards. No more prin­touts are lost. However, the IT expert parti­cu­larly likes the possi­bi­li­ties for prin­ting from the ERP system: “The SAP inter­face is a huge relief. Anyone who has ever had to create prin­ters under SAP in diffe­rent system land­scapes knows what an effort that is. With AKI, I can dupli­cate a printer in an entire land­scape with a mouse click and a few settings. That saves a tremen­dous amount of work.”

In addi­tion, REHAU uses special scripts for UniS­pool. “We have noticed that many of our custo­mers (internal as well as external) no longer need or want prin­touts in paper form, and instead prefer to receive the infor­ma­tion digi­tally as a PDF attach­ment in an email. We have adapted our systems to this. Using scripts, we can now control from within the programmes whether a customer receives a physical prin­tout or an email with a PDF attach­ment. UniS­pool converts the print job into a PDF and reads the email address from the print pool. Then the email is auto­ma­ti­cally sent to the reci­pient. UniS­pool has thus become a central ‘data hub’ for us. The module really works excel­lently – thou­sands of mails are gene­rated and sent every day this way.”

Just by swit­ching from print output to PDF mail attach­ments, REHAU was able to save several thousand printed pages per month. This means that the AKI solu­tion has paid for itself within a very short time. All in all, the decision for the Prin­Taurus was a bull’s eye: “The solu­tion goes far beyond the possi­bi­li­ties offered by opera­ting systems – for example in terms of moving, repea­ting or archi­ving prints. We are also very satis­fied with the moni­to­ring. Today, we control our entire print output from the various systems via PrinTaurus.”

Kochut sums up: “Prin­Taurus has become indis­pensable in opera­ting – espe­ci­ally in the printer manage­ment of the SAP envi­ron­ment. In addi­tion, the support from AKI works very well. If we need support – for example with changes to the scripts or with updates – there is always a contact person available imme­dia­tely. That works really well.”

AKI Prin­Taurus and UniSpool

  • Single Point of Control
  • Manage­ment of print servers, queues, ports and drivers
  • Easy confi­gu­ra­tion of many printers/queues, ports, inclu­ding manual driver management
  • Open inter­faces before and after prin­ting to edit print files


  • Conve­nient printer manage­ment for SAP and UNIX inclu­ding spoo­ling system
  • Clearly struc­tured graphical user interface
  • Prac­tical addi­tional func­tions thanks to well thought-out scripts
  • Central moni­to­ring across loca­tions and opera­ting systems


  • Easily create and dupli­cate printer confi­gu­ra­tions under SAP
  • Conflicts with incor­rectly defined output devices are imme­dia­tely displayed
  • Intui­tive to use wizards
  • Mass changes of para­me­ters in the shor­test possible time thanks to multiple selections
“Prin­Taurus has become indis­pensable in opera­ting – espe­ci­ally in the printer manage­ment of the SAP environment.
Dieter Kochut

Senior Engi­neer Corpo­rate, IT-Infra­struc­ture, REHAU AG + Co.

The bene­fits

  • Highest print perfor­mance and reliability
  • Easy manage­ment
  • Single point of control – central admi­nis­tra­tion of the printer network with intui­tive graphical interface
  • Quick, straight­for­ward drag-and-drop inter­ven­tion for prin­ting problems
  • Saving costs, time and nerves


Tell us if we can support you. Get in touch with us. Without obli­ga­tion and at any time.

For direct enqui­ries you can also contact us by phone: +49 (0)931 32155–0