S&G invests £6.5m in two Speedmaster XL 106s

Jez Abbott
Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stephens & George (S&G) has ordered two Speedmaster XL 106 eight-colour perfectors at a cost of £6.5m due for delivery in February 2014 and February 2015.

The magazine, brochure and catalogue printer already owns two XL 106 perfectors (one eight-colour and one five-colour) and was the first UK printer to invest in the model when those machines were installed in May and October last year. 

The first of the new XL 106-8-Ps will operate alongside 228-staff S&G's existing kit, which also includes a two-colour Heidelberg SM 52 and a two-colour SM 102 ZP, while the second will replace a 10-colour Speedmaster XL 105.

The investment follows a recent supplier review at the Merthyr Tydfil-based company: S&G opted for the Heidelberg machines because of the manufacturer's colour control, management systems and good customer care, according to managing director Andrew Jones.

Jones said the investment could increase turnover at the £24m company by as much as £6m.

“We invest in the latest technology to service our publishing clients,” said Jones. “Putting in these extra presses will free up much needed capacity, give us more flexibility and give us quite a bit of headroom to develop the business.

“We run at capacity for a number of months a year and we need to increase our press firepower in order to give our customers the response and service they are used to. Especially busy months are September, October, November, December and March.”

Both Speedmasters will run at 18,000sph and will be equipped with CutStar reel-to-sheet technology, Autoplate XL plate changing and Inpress Control automated register and colour control.

Jones explained that falling average run lengths (from around 7,500 in 2011-12 to 6,500) prompted the company to specifiy auto plate changing to improve turnaround times.

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