The first two machines are a Versafire EP, which will take on short run production of publications and catalogues, while the second is a five-colour Versafire EV which will be used for lightweight packaging work using its ability to print up to 470gsm substrates. The press can use its fifth unit for a clear toner or white. The company can add neon toner and security toner options at a later date.
The third machine is a four-colour Versafire EV which will be used for proofing and proof of concept print to relieve pressure on the litho presses. Each of the three new presses can feed long sheets to print a 6pp A4 brochure as well as banners.
The investment follows installation of a Speedmaster XL106-8-P press and a Speedmaster XL106-5 with coater and the ability to run with either conventional or UV inks. It has also taken its third Heidelberg Promatrix platen and the UK’s first Promatrix foiling machine. All are linked in a Prinect workflow producing commercial work through Zenith and Packaging through Zenith Print & Packaging.
The digital investment marks a big expansion of the department providing firepower for longer runs and for producing short run packaging. Zenith produces packaging for coin collectors and more where special versions and promotional work is increasingly important.
The company has been testing the scope of the new machines, running matt laminated sheets overprinted with the clear toner for example, before launching this capability to customers. It amounts to a big expansion in digital print capabilities which began with installation of Ricoh Pro C901 and C751 and then a Linoprint CV.
There has been earlier investment in finishing suitable for digital printing and the company is now looking at foiling and cut and crease options for the smaller format sheets.
The investment certainly makes Zenith the largest user of Heidelberg digital presses in Wales, and among the largest in the UK. “We have a really good relationship with Zenith,” says Chris Matthews, Heidelberg UK’s digital printing equipment business manager.
“They now have all presses connected to the Prinect DFE which is connected to every machine for printing and means jobs can be prepared through the Cockpit for any press.”
John Mooney, group manager director of Zenith, says: “By taking the Heidelberg digital presses we can run with their dedicated digital front end, have the advantage of their colour know-how and use our Prinect software to output as easily to the digital presses as we can to the litho presses.”
By Gareth Ward
Zenith is buying three Heidelberg Versafire presses, one the EV with fifth colour option to handle short run packaging. The company is comfortably the largest digital print customer in Wales, where it runs two Speedmasters and Promatrix finishing equipment.