B3 to B2 upgrade

Falconer targets growth with new B2 Heidelberg

Falconer's XL75-6+L will arrive in December 2024
Falconer's XL75-6+L will arrive in December 2024

Falconer Print & Packaging has set its sights on growth, having beefed up its capacity with a brand-new B2 Heidelberg press and near-new Heidelberg gluing line.

Based in Elland, north of Huddersfield, Falconer will take delivery of the new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75-6+L mixed operation press in December 2024.

Colin Pow, sales and marketing director at Falconer, told Printweek that the company had plenty of room for the new kit, having just opened a new 1,400sqm secondary site a “stone’s throw” from its 1,600sqm factory.

Replacing a Heidelberg SX 52 five-colour B3 press, the new six-colour will help ramp up productivity, not least through the jump to B2.

Able to print both conventional and UV inks, the press will open up the market for new business, Pow said.

“It gives us a wider offering. People who want conventional inks can have them, or if they want the UV quality, it’s there – it just really opens up lots of capacity for us.

“There have been times in the past two years where deliveries and keeping up with orders has been challenging – so we needed more capacity for our clients. No matter what happens, with this [press], we’re covered.”

“We’re delighted that Falconer chose Heidelberg as their business partner for this investment, which is testament to the strong working relationship, in both sales and post sales service and backup, we have both enjoyed and benefitted from,” said Phil Buttress, head of sales for Heidelberg UKI.

“We are certain that the new investment will help Falconer Print & Packaging to achieve significant growth and reach new heights of productivity.”

The new press will run alongside Falconer’s six-colour B2 CD 74 from its original site; gluing will transfer over to the new secondary site, with the firm’s near-new Heidelberg Diana Smart 80 folding carton gluer joining a Diana 115 – both capable of braille embossing – and Bobst Fuego to ramp up finishing capacity.

The investment in new machinery and site has been several years in the making, Pow said, with Falconer searching for a suitable site for nearly four years before the right one came on the market.

Now, with both room and new machinery, it is time the business expanded, he said.

“It means we can be more new-business focused, without letting any of our clients down. Whatever they throw at us, we can grow with them, rather than being constrained by size, time, and the number of print hours we had – now, it would take a long time, and a lot of business to fill both presses,” he said.

New business, he added, would be vital to that growth given a drowsy market.

“I wouldn’t say we’re quiet – but we’re probably not where we were last year. I’m trying to fix that with a new business drive.

“We’ve just brought on a new sales guy as well, so we know what we have to do to fill the machine, and we’re trying to do it.”

Falconer employs 71 staff, turning over around £9.1m last year.