12 July 2015 Print Companies

Optichrome moves to XL75 as B1 press is moved out

Woking printer Optichrome has settled on a Heidelberg XL75 as automation paves the way for extra productivity.

Optichrome has ordered a five-colour Speedmaster XL75 with coater as it moves from a three press operation based on two Roland 705s and an Speedmaster SM74 to a single B1 and single B2 operation.

Advances in press technology since buying the Rolands have allowed the Woking company to take a fresh look at its requirements. “This new press represents a new breed of press and was chosen only after extensive research. We have been running two B1 presses and one B2 but the advances in press technology mean that with the XL75 on board we can move forward with just one B1 and one B2 press,” says group managing director Natalie Stephens. The company has over the years been one of Roland's leading sheetfed customers, from the early days of Parvas through to the Roland 300 and Roland 700. The Roland 705 has been sold to a company in Turkey.

The company’s mix has also moved towards digital where it has invested in Xerox Versant 2100s this year to join its Kodak Nexpress and Xeikon 8500. Digital now accounts for 50% of sales. It has also installed a Duplo DC646 with inline folder to support the digital business.

As part of the investigation into which way the company would move on litho, a team from the company visited the Heidelberg factory and new Print Media Centre. Operations director Richard Bond predicts: “Inpress Control and Pressroom Manager software will help to halve our makeready times and improve our overall productivity. Our ultimate goal is to have ISO 12647-2 colour certification.”

And true to the ethos of data exchange set by company founder Ted Stephens, Optichrome is also investing in Prinect Pressroom Manager linking that to the overall business system.

The press is due for installation next month and will be followed by on site training followed by taking the XL Performance training day that Heidelberg runs at its UK headquarters in Brentford. This aims to instill best practice techniques to ensure that make ready and automation features are maximised.

The company plans to run Heidelberg’s Saphira consumables on the press.

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Natalie Stephens

Natalie Stephens

Natalie Stephens, group managing director, says the XL75 represents a new breed of press. It will replace one of the Roland 705 B1 presses and a B2 machine, yet is expected to increase productivity for the Woking print and media business.

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