Heidelberg press acquisition prompts prepress spend at Healeys

Healeys Print Group has invested £75,000 in a raft of prepress software and equipment ahead of the installation of a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75.

The Ipswch-based printer, which specialises in short-run high pagination work, has installed the Heidelberg Prinect workflow system to help meet the increased output speeds the company is anticipating following the installation of a new five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75 plus coater, that it bought at Drupa.

The machine, which replaces a five-year-old Heidelberg CD74 five-colour, is due to be installed after Christmas, while the prepress upgrade was installed last week with staff already undergoing training on the new system.

The pre-media package includes the latest version of Prinect Remote Access for customers with simplified file upload and soft proof download processes as well as a ‘page-turning’ book proof system.

Additionally the Prinect Color Toolbox software provides proof, press and digital output monitoring capability with simple error correction. And two new Epson 7900 proofers, with built in spectrophotometers, for coated and uncoated stocks, will check proofs for ISO12647 compliance. Healeys has also improved its archiving system with the addition of two 5x3Tb NAS drives.

As well as the new Speedmaster the overhauled pre-media system will drive Healeys’ existing plant list, including two Speedmaster 52-2 machines, an Anicolor 52-4+L and Heidelberg Linoprint 901, which the company bought in October.

Healeys’ sales and marketing director Kelly Harris said the investment was needed to meet an anticipated boost in production and that the company now offered one of the best pre-media departments in the industry.

"We are a make-ready printer specialising in short-run high pagination work which means we have a high plate requirement and the XL-75 will slash our current make ready times from about 20 minutes to 5 or 10 minutes. It’s unbelievable."

Harris said that a major new contract win, which would begin in the New Year would see the company printing direct marketing materials that would require a "high spec pre-media department".

He added: "We would have struggled not to interrupt plate output if we had stayed with our previous infrastructure."

Harris said that in 2013, as a result of the new contract, the company would also be investigating "non-printing output" such as email marketing and different delivery methods for printed products.

He added: "We will remain a printer but we recognise that increasingly we will see a proportion of our work being other forms of media such as personalised emails and SMS messaging. A more sophisticated and powerful prepress enables that."

Harris anticipates that the investments will help Healeys to grow its turnover by up to 20% in 2013. "We punch above our weight and we have some pretty aggressive growth plans for 2013," he said.

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