10 September 2017 Print Companies

UK leads the way as Heidelberg rolls out new press

A UK printer will be the first in the world with LE-UV on the new Heidelberg Speedmaster CX75, but this will be the second installation of the new press in this country.

Two UK printers are among the first batch of orders for Heidelberg’s Speedmaster CX75, its new B2 press aimed at those that do not need the performance of the Speedmaster XL75, or perhaps cannot justify the investment needed.

There has been worldwide interest since the launch in China in the spring and Heidelberg describes sales as exceeding expectations with orders from across the globe. This includes the first machine with UV drying from Vale Press in the Cotswolds.

Heidelberg is planning to show the machine at an open house in Brentford in February next year and after two days of demonstrations, the four-colour press with LE-UV will be moved to the factory in Willersey where it replaces a five-colour Speedmaster SX74.

The company is space constrained, so dropping from a five-unit press to a four-unit machine makes sense, says managing director Tom Stowe. “Having LE-UV means we have dry sheets off the end of the press which eliminates the need for the fifth varnishing unit and the CX has a smaller footprint than the XL75 so this investment made sense.”

It already has a Speedmaster XL75 which it bought at Drupa last year and is extending the factory unit so that paper is stored in an extension and the new press can sit alongside the XL75. The difference in the machines comes down to speed, 15,000sph on the CX75 compared to 18,000sph on the XL75 and some of the internal technology.

The CX75 does not have Inpress Control, but has Easy Control to measure and recall settings for PMS colours. It means that makeready waste will be 60 sheets rather than the 20 used with Inpress Control.

The UV curing, however, adds another dimension, allowing the press to print on substrates that its standard press cannot and up to 600 micron boards.

However, Vale Press will not be the first with the new Heidelberg. That honour goes to the Color Co in Cheltenham which will take delivery of the press over the Christmas period.

The company is buying a five-colour press, replacing a five-colour SX74. “To accommodate our expansion plans we considered the new Speedmaster XL 75,” says Ashley Wainwright, managing director. “Although there is large step up in cost from our existing press, the Speedmaster CX75 fits the middle ground and will give us key advantages, not least the ability to handle high quality work across a wider range of substrates and with increased output.”

It anticipates a 30% increase in output, reaching almost 30 million impressions a year through more automated makeready through Intellistart and Autoplate. Improved inking power will allow the company to print heavier solids at speed and the ability to handle 600 micron substrates extends the scope of what can be printed.

Heidelberg UK sales director Jim Todd says: “We are very excited about the prospects for the Speedmaster CX75 and we are glad that the Color Co recognises its potential. The touchscreen technology and intuitive Intellistart 2 software will make it a press that will be attractive to all. It is also a press that uses less energy and minimises waste but it is its exceptional inking power, print quality and output that will make it most attractive. It sits perfectly between our top of the range Speedmaster XL75 and the Speedmaster SX74.”

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Tom Stowes, Vale

Tom Stowes, Vale

Vale Press will become the first company in the world to install the new Speedmaster CX75 with LE-UV when the replacement for its SX74 arrives in February after Heidelberg UK's open house.

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