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First long perfector Speedmaster SM 102 with Prinect Inpress Control to be installed in UK

Press release from the issuing company

Precision Colour Printing will be the first company in the world to take delivery of a Speedmaster SM 102 long perfector with Prinect Inpress Control, the inline spectral measurement device that allows the press to automatically adjust the colour quality throughout the run.

The company's ten-colour B1 press will be delivered in July. As part of The Claverley Group - a newspaper, commercial print and publishing software business - it has a strong heritage of innovation. The group titles Wolverhampton Express & Star and Shrophsire Star were the first newspapers in the UK to adopt a computerised classified advertising system in the 1960s which subsequently led to them establishing their own software publishing company together with ownership of a retail outlet division.

Alex Evans, managing director of Precision Colour, will reduce overheads and increase profit with the help of the new Speedmaster SM 102 ten-colour machine.

Precision Colour Printing is the group's commercial printing arm specialising in business to business magazines, servicing print management companies and direct mail but with some work also in the tourism and leisure, public sector and newspaper sectors. This business alone, with its operation in Telford has a turnover of £32m and employs 270 people.

Alex Evans, managing director of Precision Colour printing likens the presses to a bag of "liquorice allsorts" - name a make and you may find one here. "Cost, opportunities at the time, availability, market demand, flexibility; these have determined each purchase. We always look at our requirements within the existing sales portfolio and what might be developed. We are also influenced by service levels, preventative support, the stability of partners and the opportunity for partnership building," he says. "Heidelberg was right for us as a durable market leader with a well established press that other users verify does what it says on the tin."

The logic of the buy is clear. It replaces a five-colour Mitsubishi which has run around the clock to produce 20 million sheets a year. The SM 102 long perfector is not only twice the number of units, meaning single pass production, but a step change in output so the company can run it on a 12 hour day to attain the same volume. The press will run with one full time operator and a shared assistant.

"It's a press that will help us reduce overheads and increase profit. We will use this press primarily for high volume cover work and short run (typically 5,000 to 8,000) magazines with grammages most often of 80 to 100gsm but ranging from 65 to 130gsm on occasion," says Mr Evans.

"We handle about three multi-section magazines per shift so 25 makereadies per 24 hours would be quite normal. Prinect Inpress Control will allow us to get to print fast and to have reports of the colour control throughout the run, potentially eliminating the need for on press passes, which will save our publishing customers time and money."

Already the company holds ISO 9001 quality, ISO 14001 environmental accreditations and Chain of Custody certifications but over the next 18 months it hopes to add IS0 18001 Health & Safety and ISO 12647 colour control ratings.

"In certain sectors it's now becoming a necessity to have ISO12647 in place to win business. With Prinect Inpress Control we don't have to stop and pull running sheets. We will reduce makeready times and waste, maximise production plus providing colour reports at the end of each job," says Mr Evans.

Operators are undertaking colour training at Heidelberg UK's national showroom in Tamworth prior to the installation of the press. The operators are pleased with the prospect of new investment in their department and a press where the colour control is easy. They will also enjoy good working conditions as the SM 102 is specified with water cooled peripherals to create a standardised working environment. Waste heat will be taken out of the building in summer and redirected to heat other parts of the building in winter, saving energy.

"We take pride in the cleanliness of our Telford site and we like the aesthetics of the new machine. It fits in look as well as being a logical business buy. We did view the XL 105, of course, but its overkill for our requirements. "