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First Speedmaster XL 145 in Operation at FREUND GmbH

Press release from the issuing company

(June 30, 2008) The official commissioning of a Speedmaster XL 145 at FREUND GmbH in Georgsmarienhütte just a short time after drupa marks the successful debut in practice of the new format class from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). FREUND GmbH, which is celebrating its centenary this year, is the first company to use the new generation of presses form Heidelberg. When taking delivery of the XL 145, the Managing Partner of FREUND GmbH, Karl-Heinz Freund, stressed the close relationship with Heidelberg. "We have enjoyed a very successful technology partnership with Heidelberg for a number of years. The company has the most comprehensive range in the industry, delivers top quality, and provides its customers with added value and an exemplary service," he enthused. Freund went on to reveal that the company had been waiting for Heidelberg to move into the large-format class for these very reasons. Werner Albrecht, Chairman of the Management Board at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH, also referred to the long-standing cooperation between FREUND GmbH and Heidelberg, stating "The handover of the Speedmaster XL 145-6+L, elevated and equipped with logistics, is a perfect example of this mutual trust."

New format class from Heidelberg
The Speedmaster XL 145 and the Speedmaster XL 162 are the ideal complement to the upper end of the Heidelberg sheetfed offset portfolio. The presses have been designed primarily for use in the packaging printing and industrial publishing sectors. This new generation of presses offers customers outstanding advantages in terms of user-friendliness, makeready times, high plate throughput, and synchronous washup processes. This enables productivity increases of up to 20 percent over similar presses. The 102 x 142 centimeter (40.16 x 55.91 inch) and 120 x 162 centimeter (47.24 x 63.78 inch) formats being offered cover more than 75 percent of the entire large-format market.

The new large-format presses have been designed to meet the specific requirements of the packaging printing sector. The new portfolio extends the Heidelberg one-stop supplier concept for folding carton production - with prepress, press, and postpress solutions all being supplied from a single source. The 102 x 142 centimeter format of the XL 145 press is currently the most popular format in the packaging printing sector. Analyses carried out by Heidelberg show that the three centimeter (1.18 inch) larger print sheet supported by the XL 145 (106 x 145 centimeter or 41.73 x 57.09 inch) delivers around ten percent more space for nesting individual repeats on the sheet. The packaging printing sector is also making increasing use of the 120 x 162 centimeter format - the format of the new XL 162. Both presses are manufactured on a standardized platform.

The workmanship, durability, and print quality of the new presses match the Heidelberg standards that customers have come to expect. Several configurations are available for processing substrates ranging from 0.06 to 1.6 millimeters (0.0024 to 0.063 inch).

Both presses will be capable of operating at a production speed of up to 15,000 sheets per hour. As with all presses, this maximum print speed is determined by a range of parameters. The most important of these include the quality of the materials, substrates, inks, and coatings used, as well as the temperature and humidity.

There are currently some 3,000 presses installed with 102 x 142 centimeter and 120 x 162 centimeter formats, a number boosted by an additional 1,000 or so new printing units every year. The key regions are currently central Europe and the Middle East (50 percent), North America (30 percent), and Asia Pacific (20 percent), particularly Japan and China. Italy leads the way on the European market for large-format printing with more than 20 percent. This relates primarily to letterpress printing, which has traditionally enjoyed a high share of the print industry in Italy.

Packaging accounts for a large share of the print jobs (around 50 percent), followed by letterpress (20 percent) and commercial printing (also 20 percent). The remaining ten percent is made up of various smaller-scale applications.

FREUND GmbH - a 100-year success story
It was 100 years ago that Friedrich Freund founded the company that laid the foundation for the FREUND Group. In its centenary year, FREUND is keen to carry on the strong tradition of innovation with continued specialization of production at its sites. Key milestones include the opening of the Nordhausen plant with its Asitrade system for manufacturing corrugated board on May 31, 2008 and the installation of the new XL 145 press from Heidelberg with its 106 x 145 centimeter sheet format in Georgsmarienhütte in May 2008.

The FREUND Group employs a workforce of 300 at its four sites in Georgsmarienhütte, Krefeld, Dresden, and Nordhausen, and generates annual sales of 44 million Euro.

At its headquarters in Georgsmarienhütte, the company produces special packaging made from solid board.

The Krefeld plant prints in the 100 x 70 centimeter (39.37 x 27.56 inch) format, producing straightline folding cartons made from solid board and blanks for automatic packaging machines, i.e. folding cartons that are not glued but delivered to customers immediately after die cutting.

The plant in Dresden specializes in the manufacture of displays, while the one in Nordhausen produces packaging made from laminated corrugated board around the clock. The Group has invested a total of nine million Euro in new buildings and equipment, creating 50 new jobs in the process. The Nordhausen plant’s planned sales figure for 2008 is 14 million Euro and the production capacity is 24 million sheets per year - enough to cover around 5,600 soccer fields!

In April 2008, the Asitrade corrugated board installation with inline laminator for offset printed board was commissioned in Nordhausen. This makes FREUND one of a small number of suppliers in Germany with the ability to manufacture corrugated board in-house and an inline postpress operation.

Last year, 17,000 tons of solid board and 17,000,000 square meters of corrugated board were processed at the four sites. The Group’s regular customers include a large number of well-known names such as Storck, Coppenrath & Wiese, Johnson & Johnson, Fronhoffs, Schne-Frost, Fuchs-Gewürze, Tetra, and Homann.