Municipal Utility Prints with Inherent Data Protection

The Holzheizkraftwerk in Ludwigsburg, SWLB


In May 2018, the new European data protection law became binding. Companies have put a lot of effort into making their websites GDPR-compliant, introducing double opt-ins for mailings, etc. Data protection violations also threaten to occur when printing to central printers and copiers, which are often in publicly-accessible corridors or open-plan offices. A risk, which the joint municipal utility of the German towns of Ludwigsburg and Kornwestheim recognized – what if an employee prints out invoices or payrolls and is not physically present at the printer to receive them? Any person outside the company could theoretically access this confidential information.


Personal Printing, ThinPrint’s pull-printing solution, was chosen by the municipal utility company to ensure printing processes were GDPR-compliant. The ideal tool means employees no longer select one of the 13 large copiers when printing, but send their jobs to a central print server, which only provides two printers – B/W print and color print. Each employee has a small chip on their key ring and no matter when or which device they use, their print job is triggered by a quick scan of this chip which authenticates their identity and ensures they receive the document directly in their hands.


Around 250 such chips are in use in the municipal utility organization. Not only do they secure printing in terms of data protection, they also make it easier: “Which printer did I choose again?” is a question no longer asked. “If they don’t immediately trigger the specific print job, many users also think again about whether the viewing a document on the screen is enough for them. In the long term, this saves us printing costs,” explains Adrian Hampp, IT Specialist at Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg Kornwestheim. Personal Printing’s Tracking Engine is also helpful for the IT department. “For the first time, this gives us a clear overview of just how busy individual printers are.” says Adrian Hampp.


Industry: Public Utilities
Solution: ThinPrint Personal Printing
Environment: Windows 7-10, Server 2012 R2, dedicated Personal Printing Server

The Company

Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim (SWLB) is a regional municipal utility company with around 360 employees. As an environmentally-oriented company, SWLB is driving forward the local energy revolution and supporting both cities in their efforts to position themselves as best as possible in terms of sustainability – for example in the European Energy Award. Once again in 2019, Ludwigsburg received the gold award, making it one of seven particularly successful municipalities in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Municipal utilities score particularly well when it comes to new generation technologies. In 2010, the then most modern and largest wood-fired combined heat and power plant in Baden-Württemberg went into operation. And in 2020, Germany’s largest solar thermal plant will go into operation in the Ludwigsburg and Kornwestheim district. The company is distinguished in particular by its broadband expansion in Ludwigsburg, which was launched in 2017 – the most important high-speed infrastructure in order to become a smart city.

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