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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Heidelberg Speedmaster provide real world benefits

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, GA -- In the midst of an extended economic downturn, longtime owners of Heidelberg’s peak-performance Speedmaster XL 105 can point to the real-world benefits of access to the fastest speeds and highest level of automation available in sheetfed offset printing.

Embrace the Label, Exceed Expectations
“Like it or not, clients interpret the products we supply as commodities,” said Jack McGrath, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at DS Graphics, Lowell, Mass., which installed a 10-color Speedmaster XL 105 perfector with Inpress Control last October. “That scenario is complicated by the need to provide the same quality faster, less expensively and with greater efficiency, all while demonstrating a sensitivity to environmental concerns.  It’s a tall order for any printer, but fortunately one that the Speedmaster XL 105 perfector is uniquely equipped to address.”

According to McGrath, Heidelberg took the quality issue “much, much deeper” by rethinking the way sheets are turned in the perfecting unit. “Heidelberg engineers came up with a football-shaped turning unit that doesn’t stress the sheet on the turning edge,” he said. “As a result, we don’t have to slow down the press to perfect. It’s an engineer’s dream, compared with conventional turning systems.” Moreover, the XL 105’s ability to prepare both sides of the sheet simultaneously cuts makeready to around 400 sheets, reducing makeready waste by 300 to 400 percent, and “enabling us to pass on those savings to our customers.” Finally, integrated Prinect Inpress Control locks in specifications for color, measuring process colors, spot colors and register in the print control strip. Corrections are automatically forwarded directly to the Prinect Press Center for adjustment, eliminating any need to stop the press for makeready or monitoring of the production run and delivering maximum productivity.

The net effect of enhancements like these? “From a business ownership perspective, my customers are in business to make money, just as I am,” McGrath said. “Thanks to our XL 105 perfector, we now embody value for our customers on four levels: efficiency, shorter time to market, reduced waste and lower costs. Clients understand the value because they can see the savings, and I can make more money in the process. If you’re going to be a commodity, you’d better be the best at what you do.”

Efficient, versatile Heidelberg technology “hasn’t just helped us do better in businesses, but to do business better,” McGrath concluded. “The Speedmaster XL 105 perfector is a wonderful addition to the market at a time when the industry sorely needs it.”

Productivity3
Three is a magic number for Moquin Press, Belmont, Calif. Having installed a trio of Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 presses since 2005, President Greg Moquin understands the benefits of the XL 105’s comprehensive automation as well as anyone and better than most, and has positioned his capabilities for maximum competitive effect.

“It’s no contest for us to go up against a 40” conventional perfecting press and win the job,” Moquin said. “It happens all the time. We’re printing faster, our makereadies are faster, and we can take advantage of the XL’s larger sheet size by running more up on a sheet when necessary. Every time we put in an XL 105, our productivity increases by 50 percent over a conventional press” in the same format class. Because he can produce more work in less time, he also can make up in volume what he may have to concede on price. “I can afford to be aggressive because I know I can get the job done quickly,” he said. The brutal pace is not for sissies: Each of Moquin’s XL 105s runs across two 12-hour shifts per day at its full rated speed of 18,000 sph, turning out a staggering array of products on a wide range of substrates that now includes plastic, thanks to the integration of 4 interdeck UV on the company’s newest XL.

Moquin is eager to dispel any notion that he is prepared to sacrifice quality for the kind of productivity his business demands. On the contrary, for color-critical work, the XL 105 “holds color fabulously well,” Moquin said. “The Speedmaster XL 105 is a made-to-order solution for a business like ours.”

Care and Feeding of A Hungry Press
In the printing business, “Speed gives you power,” said Taylor Blackwell, owner of Walker Printing in Montgomery, Ala. Blackwell knows whereof he speaks, having owned and operated a 4-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 for the past two years, during which the company has experienced a dramatic reduction in overtime.

“The XL 105 is a hungry press that enables us to turn work faster and produce more jobs in less time,” he said, citing one recent instance when one of Walker’s largest customers came to the company with a request to shrink the time it took to produce a monthly publication from five days (including prepress) to three, also including layout. Thanks to the speed and makeready efficiency of the XL 105, “We were able to print the job in 24 hours and meet this important client’s expectations,” said Blackwell, who no longer dreads being slammed with several big projects at once that must be completed in a short period of time. “The XL 105 is more than twice as productive as a conventional 40” press,” said Blackwell, who runs the XL 105 at 18,000 sph consistently over the course of two eight-hour shifts per day.

While Blackwell concedes that it sometimes can be a challenge to keep the machine as busy as it wants to be while the market is soft, he also notes that the XL 105’s speed has made Walker competitive on additional low-end publication and catalog work as web run lengths decrease. Proving that you can teach an old dog some new tricks, 60-year-old Walker Printing currently is entertaining a possible foray into packaging, “since we already have the capability with our Speedmaster XL 105,” Blackwell said.

 

 

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