The first will arrive in January, the second in March and there is an option on a third machine assuming the first perform as expected. They replace two older Stahls and two MBOs at the Derbyshire business.
The TH82-P folder achieves an 18,000sph throughput by shingling sheets and using air to keep the sheets apart during the folding process. Linear speed is reduced, but output is increased using this method. The folder requires no special imposition to reach these speeds.
Unsurprisingly it has become one of the big hits for Heidelberg this year. For Buxton the folders will handle a portion of the work for 60 million publications a year, printed on four B1 XL perfectors with CutStar sheeter.
Managing director Kirk Galloway says: “ It is vital that our postpress equipment can unfailingly meet our exacting requirements. Having seen the advance in technology with the new Stahlfolder TH82-P first hand at Drupa and, following extensive paper trials in Germany, we believe the time is right to invest.”
The investment also increases the automation levels in the business as it strives for green buttons operation as much as possible. It changes the skills profile required and Galloway explains that staff affected by the reduction in equipment will be able to retrain and add to the flexible working practices that the magazine printer espouses.
He continues: “Generally, prepress and press have developed into a skilled but ‘button pressing’ business assisted by computerised programmes and external surveillance. Postpress has also leapt forward technically but has retained more of the craft skills and knowledge of handling a miscellany of substrates that only comes as a result of long experience and highly prized manual skills but the introduction of these new folders with these technologies is changing this.”
Equally prized is the opportunity to run the new folders, creating a store on the shopfloor. “It is as if we were putting a brand new Maserati on the shop floor,” says Galloway.
Buxton Press is replacing four folders with two of the new TH82-P Stalls, featuring shingle feed to enable them to keep pace with the XL106 sheetfed presses. Buxton also has outline plans for a third of the high-speed folders.