Kennesaw Ga. – Hammer Packaging has become the first North American customer to purchase Heidelberg's new Speedmaster CX 102 press. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company, among the largest and most forward-thinking producers of high-end package decorating in North America, chose a UV-capable Speedmaster CX 102-8+L with CutStar roll sheeter, Prinect Press Center with Intellistart operator guidance system, integrated Wallscreen, and Axis Control color measurement and control system. An integrated IST UV system utilizes the new Electronic Lamp Control (ELC) that will enable the system to operate at very low energy consumption and take up 50 percent less floor space.
The CX 102 is the latest in a long line of "firsts" for Hammer Packaging, among them, the 2004 installation of the first sheetfed offset press-an 8-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-with CutStar, an inline sheeting unit.
"Technological leadership is the cornerstone of Hammer Packaging's business philosophy. Our objective is to invest in leading-edge technology and innovations that elevate our capabilities and drive down our operational costs," said Louis Iovoli, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. "The pending installation of Heidelberg's first-generation CX 102 platform permits us to take advantage of gains in technology to configure a press that will enable us to meet our customers' package decorating demands at the lowest possible cost."
At Hammer Packaging, a core philosophy has been to reinvests 10 percent of annual sales back into "new technology" the following year. "My philosophy has always been to lead the industry - not follow it," said Jim Hammer, president of Hammer Packaging.
"Hammer Packaging has once again demonstrated its future-oriented investment strategy with its purchase of the first Speedmaster CX 102 in North America," said Jim Dunn, president of Heidelberg USA. "As Heidelberg continues to develop the innovative solutions that will help our customers to thrive, progressive companies like Hammer Packaging will benefit from peak performance presses that will enable them to improve yield, reduce waste, and deliver the superior print results their clients demand."
Following its evaluation of the press at the Heidelberg factory in Wiesloch, Germany, Hammer Packaging selected the Speedmaster CX 102 primarily for the trouble-free speed and efficiency with which the press handles the 2 to 3.2 mil film stock that is a staple of the company's application repertoire.
"In the film category, the CX 102 will expand our capacity and improve our redundancy during peak periods," Iovoli said, noting that the addition of CutStar will make the printing of film "even more cost-effective, based on the way it controls the sheet as it feeds into the press."
Positioned between the Speedmaster XL 105 and the CD 102 and targeted to high-end commercial, label and packaging printers, the Speedmaster CX 102 represents a new market segment in the 40" format. It makes key components of the Speedmaster XL platform available in the popular and well-established CD 102 format for the first time. Once the press is installed, Hammer Packaging expects that reductions in makeready time and set-up waste will further validate its choice.
"With new equipment-especially in the packaging world-you need to have the assurance of predictability that will minimize inconsistencies in quality from job to job and run to run, even at the highest running speeds," Iovoli said. "Our two existing CD 102s have always performed precisely as billed, and we anticipate the same results with the CX 102, which is built out of the same platform with the transfer of key high-performance features of Heidelberg's flagship Speedmaster XL 105."
Roughly 70 percent of Hammer's capacity supports the production of litho-based labels for the food and beverage industry, with web offset and flexo-printed labels accounting for the rest. The company is also world's largest producer of premium seed packets. Customers include Gatorade, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and many other well-known brands. The $100 million company employs more than 400 people at three plants in the Rochester area, and is consistently named to the Top 100 privately held companies in Rochester, and the Printing Impressions Top 400 printers in North America.