ESP COLOUR IS COMMITTING itself to B1 production, and will replace its pair of Speedmaster XL75s with a five-colour XL106 in October this year. The move is calculated to increase capacity by more than 20% on a like for like basis on its average print run of 2,500 sheets thanks to halving make ready times to 2 minutes.
However ESP plans to change shift patterns to lift its operating window from 112 hours per week to 144 a week, pushing the capacity increase still higher. Managing director Anthony Thirlby has run the numbers on its system and reckons that with its current product mix, the XL 106 becomes more competitive than digital beyond 130 sheets.
THE NEW PRESS IS FULLY SPECIFIED with coater, Inline spectrophotometry, Autoplate plate changing and rapid blanket washing technology. Thirlby comments: “The technology that is now available such as accelerated blanket washes and software developments means we can cover all aspects of our customers run lengths through the Speedmaster XL 106 platform.
“The XL75s have been an integral part of our commercial strategy to date. However, with the cross to breakeven on work at 100 sheets across the two formats, the move to XL106 will increase capacity and recovery by over 20% on a like for like basis per operating hour. “
THE COMPANY RETURNED TO B1 printing last year with installation of an XL105. After working to perfect the consumables with Stehlin Hostag on inks and coatings, the packaging quality blankets and so on, ESP has been managing to match the 3 min 50 seconds makereadies on the XL75s. In 16 months of operation, the XL105 has notched 100 million impressions, 30 million in the last three months.
As the company’s depreciation policy there is no additional cost to changing the B2 presses after three and four years. “It enables us to maximise the opportunities we have,” says Thirlby.
THE MOVE COMES AS ESP'S Colour Hub begins to drive volumes through its inhouse developed web to print system. This provides a direct link to its Kodak Prinergy production system and its Tharstern MIS.
He adds: “The printing market is quite simplistically divided into the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’. Those who have invested in recent times are well positioned to deliver market requirements. Those who have not will struggle to recover their position. The focus has to be on Return on Investment and keeping ahead of the technology curve.”
Anthony Thirlby says: “The printing market is quite simplistically divided into the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’.
"Those who have invested in recent times are well positioned to deliver market requirements.
"Those who have not will struggle to recover their position. The focus has to be on Return on Investment and keeping ahead of the technology curve.”