First Speedmaster at Smurfit Kappa Group

Press release from the issuing company

Is also the First Large-Format Press from Heidelberg in the Benelux

  • Speedmaster XL 162 produces high-quality packaging and displays in the Netherlands
  • Maximum automation and minimal makeready times enable short runs
  • Sustainable printing thanks to low waste and heat recovery

This year's November sees some important events to celebrate at Smurfit Kappa Zedek in Deventer in the Netherlands - the 50th anniversary and the start of a new era. By this time, a Speedmaster XL 162 six-color press with coating unit from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) will have started production. This is the first Speedmaster press in the whole of the Smurfit Kappa Group and the first large-format Speedmaster XL 162 press in the Benelux countries. The Group has until now used only presses from another German manufacturer.

Smurfit Kappa is one of the world's leading suppliers of paper-based packaging, with around 38,000 employees in over 31 countries and sales of over EUR 7 billion in 2011. Since 2008, Smurfit Kappa Zedek has been realigning its strategic focus and concentrating increasingly on high-quality corrugated board packaging and the growth potential of display stands.

Maximum automation and ultra-short makeready times enable short runs

"We were looking for a highly automated press with minimal makeready times and maximum quality, as we have lots of job changes but hardly any repeat jobs," explains Jeroen Dirne, Plant Manager of Smurfit Kappa Zedek. Following extensive testing in Wiesloch-Walldorf with the company's own print jobs, a decision was made in favor of the Speedmaster XL 162. This involved printing sheets, mounting them on corrugated board, and comparing the results using an internal benchmark software program. "The figures speak for themselves - we went to Heidelberg with our print jobs from day-to-day operations without advance warning and the press needed only 190 sheets for the OK sheet - in other words, fewer than for our existing presses," says Marketing Manager Gerbert de Ruiter. "The makeready times are 15 to 20 minutes for the new press and therefore much less than our current 30 to 40 minutes."

The new Peak Performance press has an extensive range of equipment - its six inking units give it flexibility for numerous applications with spot colors, as many brands such as Kraft Foods employ their own CI colors. With seven IR and hot-air slide-in dryer modules, sheets can be produced at a speed of 15,000 per hour even for higher levels of coating. The fully automated non-stop feeder is elevated and features a direct interface for a dedicated logistics connection. Green printing - a key aspect at Smurfit Kappa - is also put into practice. Prinect Prepress Interface and Prinect Inpress Control, which controls color and register on the fly, ensure waste is reduced to a minimum. At the same time, the Speedmaster XL 162 supports heat recovery.

"We also opted for Heidelberg because its offering is accompanied by a comprehensive service agreement. With Remote Service, e-call functions, and the helpdesk, we feel we're in safe hands with this investment," explains Dirne.

A new foundation is being cast for the new press and the layout planning arranges for the pressroom being closer to prepress. The prepress department was automated with a new Suprasetter 162 CtP platesetter at the start of 2011. Another Suprasetter 162 - the 4,000th press in the Suprasetter series - has also been in operation at the Smurfit Kappa Van Mierlo branch in Turnhout, Belgium, since last year. Some preparations still need to be made until the new Speedmaster XL 162 is installed, which will then replace an existing press. The Speedmaster is being transported overnight from Wiesloch-Walldorf to the Netherlands with thirteen low loaders and a special permit. Each printing unit weighs 21 metric tons and the delivery alone weighs 35 metric tons.


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