LEAMINGTON SPA PRINTER THE Warwick Printing Company is buying new with the installation of what will be the UK’s first Speedmaster SX 102-8 perfector in July.
The move caps a period of growth for the magazine printer which handles around 70 B2B and special interest monthly and bi monthly titles and some 150 A5 format community interest magazines. It also produces commercial work and book printing and has more than doubled sales to £5.6 million over the last four years.
WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW PRESS, the company will decommission one of its two SM 102-8 perfectors, both ten years old, and will sell its four-colour coating SM 74. Nevertheless there will be a net increase in productivity through cutting make ready times and improved colour consistency. Previously the company policy was to buy secondhand rather than new, but managing director John Young explains that the argument in favour of new was compelling.
He says: “It is the speed of makeready on the SX 102 that was convincing. Currently it is about 45 minutes on our SM 102s. But on the new press, which will have Autoplate Pro and Inpress Control automatic colour and register adjustment, it will be just 15 minutes, so as we average 420 eight unit plate changes per month we will create over 200 hours capacity each month. In addition we will use 100 sheets less per make-ready which equates to a saving of £30,000 in paper costs per year and the 80% improvement in running speed will give a significant benefit to productivity.”
HEIDELBERG INTRODUCED THE SX version of the Speedmaster at Drupa last year as a press combining the format and engineering from the Classic Speedmaster with electronics and make ready features from the XL range of machines. And while Warwick looked at the flagship XL 106, the decision was made to stay with the 102 format to enable plates to be used on either press.
The productivity gains will produce 50% more work off one press than the machine it will replace and energy bills will also be cut. This will not be delivered on a plate. The company has been recruiting on its sales side and is looking to add managers in finance and on the operations side to boost the management strength.
THE CHALLENGE, HOWEVER, IS TO avoid squandering the advantages that the new press provides. Young explains that changing the mindset of both management and staff will be the biggest challenge. “This press arms us to increase productivity and regain a competitive edge but we need to adjust to the ability to set up three or four jobs ahead of the one we are working on and to trust Inpress Control over manual colour checks and the efficiency of Prinect Pressroom Manager which will link into our prepress and Tharstern MIS system,” he says.