Leicester printer Streamline Presswill take delivery of a five-colour plus coater Heidelberg Speedmaster XL106 in February. And the company intends to make full use of the technology available on the Push to Stop press.
The new machine will replace two older generation Speedmasters yet deliver a 20% increase in productivity. Managing director Mark Lockley says: “This press reduces our makeready times and waste and improves our overall productivity so is right for the short to medium runs we are expected to turn around at pace.”
The company installed an XL75 with Inpress Control at sister company Baxter & Co two years ago and has been impressed with the impact that the technology has made on waste levels and colours consistency. The technology that comes with the new B1 press will take automation a step further.
The core idea is that job sequence is loaded into the set up of the press so that an operator needs only to position plates in the guides for automatic plate changing and then press a button when a previous job has completed. The press then runs through a wash up and plate change sequence, adjusting settings if a different format of paper is needed and then running up to the colour profile for the next job. The operator needs only to change the pallet at the feeder.
The company plans to take full advantage of this capability, organising a number of working groups to ensure that the opportunities are not missed.
Operations director Alan Squire says: “We visited Elle Media and were impressed by their results but we also got great tips on implementation that will help us be better prepared for the press and the cultural change.”
Elle Media is the UK’s leading exponent of lean manufacturing and is achieving OEE levels in excess of 80% for commercial sheetfed print work, having replaced a 12-colour B1 Speedmaster with a six-colour XL106. The Brentwood company has optimised workflows and emphasised training to ensure that it can operate at this level of effectiveness.
“It is not only in the pressroom that the mindset must change so that the flow of work from proof to press is very slick and quick. We have working parties looking at every aspect of the business to see what we can do even better. There is genuine excitement about this investment throughout the team.”
Like Elle Media, Streamline uses a Tharstern MIS and will link the data from the press into the MIS to guide decision making. “We want to ensure that we are truly world class and operating at maximum efficiency,” says Squire.
Delivery of the new XL106 will be the start, not the completion of the project to turn Streamline Press into one of the UK's most efficient print businesses. The Leicester company, owned by Mark Lockley, above left and with operations director Ian Squire, plans to make full use of Heidelberg's push to stop technology.