25 November 2017 Print Companies

Print-Leeds move to provide space for growth with extra Heidelberg

A second seven-colour B1 Heidelberg Speedmaster is on its way to a new factory for wet glue label specialist Print-Leeds.

Print-Leeds will complete a move to larger premises half-a-mile from its Pudsey premises over the Christmas break with the move of its seven-unit Heidelberg Speedmaster CX102-7-L.

This press will be joined by a seven-colour XL106-L and new Agfa platesetter to keep pace with the doubling of print capacity. The company is moving to one of two 2,800m2 units at a four-acre site in Bramley from a 1,750m2 unit that Print-Leeds configured to its own specification when the seven-colour press was installed in 2014.

“It’s a shame we had to move,” says managing director Rod Fisher. “But we had too many people asking us to do more for them and we didn’t have room to install a second press and function properly.”

It found the new site nearby making the move as pain-free as possible, though energy providers inevitably operate to their own timetable, says Fisher. Nevertheless the £5 million move and reinvestment should have the presses in place ready for operation at the start of January. There is praise for Heidelberg's commitment to making the installation possible over the Christmas break.

The company has already moved its Screen W3200 UV flatbed inkjet press from the mezzanine in Pudsey to a larger space on the ground floor of the new factory. Administrative staff have also migrated across.

The new litho press will run purely conventional inks while the CX102, which was configured as a hybrid machine, will remain as a UV press for much of the time. The company has a growing plastics printing operation which needs UV. However, it is growing demand for wet glue applied labels, in the main for the beverage sector, that is driving demand most. The artisan beer movement quickly exceeds the runs that are comfortable on digital self adhesive labels, and switches to the more cost effective litho process.

“We have just completed a first order for a brewery that is just a mile away,” says Fisher. “The popularity of their beer means that have had to go to the next level.”

Print-Leeds is also producing a growing volume of composite tube labels and labels for cans. But is also looking at expansion into the pressure sensitive sector. A room has been set aside for a press, whether digital or conventional Fisher has yet to decide, ready for investment in late summer next year.

Labels, like commercial print, is going to shorter runs and faster turnarounds. However, buyers continue to demand a high proportion of special colours, hence the need for a seven-colour press to meet these requirements.

The first crates with the new press arrive on 15 December, ready for the concrete base which is now in place. It will be running by 8 January, says Fisher. Then comes the task of tidying the building up and making it a match for the site it is leaving behind. “It was sold within a week,” he says.

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Rod Fisher

Rod Fisher

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