Rotherhithe, London-based SPM Print has invested 850,000 in a new Speedmaster XL 75-5 plus coater to replace two older SM 74-5 presses.
The new XL 75 press, which will be delivered next month, has been specified with Heidelberg's on-press colour measurement system Inpress Control, which operations director Mark Sayer said would allow the company to "close the loop" in its JDF workflow and provide "a massive time saving" on makeready.
"We've got Prinect Prepress Manager and we've just installed the rest of the Prinect workflow, so together with Inpress Control that gives us closed loop JDF all the way from our Tharstern MIS to print and back again," said Sayer.
"Inpress Control is an expensive extra but we saw it as the final piece in the press of our dreams and the press was the final piece in the jigsaw to give us closed loop control from the MIS through to production and then feeding job info back into the MIS again."
In addition, Sayer said that he expected makereadies on the new press to fall dramatically - from up to 45 minutes on the £3m-turnover company's 1997 and 2000 model SM 74 presses to just five minutes on the XL 75-5.
"With Prinect and Inpress Control it sets up the sheet size, pressures and ducts automatically so as soon as you finish one job, you click a button and it sets up for the next," explained Sayer.
"It also scans every sheet - it compares four sheets for each colour then alters all four colours every 16 sheets, so you haven't got to take a sheet out, scan it on the bench and wait for the press to adjust itself anymore - all of that is done on the fly.
"This press will run to ISO standard throughout the print run, from the first sheet to the last."
According to Sayer, SPM took the plunge on a new press after spending the best part of a year scrutinising its options. The choice came down to replacing one of its older presses with a newer secondhand press, or replacing both with the XL 75-5 plus coater.
"Having seen what the XL was capable of in terms of speed and makeready it was really no contest. We do a lot of short-run work, so makeready is a big factor and so is drying time - but because the new press has a coater unit we can turn the paper over and print the other side straight away," he added.
"The increased running speed - while it's less of a factor on the short runs - will come into play when we do longer runs; we tend to run 10,000 to 12,000sph on our old presses, where the XL will do 15,000sph.
"At the moment we run one press 24/7 and one on days, but with the time saving on the work we have at the moment we think we can do everything on the XL on a long double-day shift, but we'll still be open 24/7 for the short turnaround work we get from the City."
Future investment is likely to come in the finishing department, which is the one area where SPM doesn't yet have JDF-enabled equipment. "That'll be the final step, which we'll probably look at in a couple of years" said Sayer.Tweet
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