Belmont Press set to return to B2 with Speedmaster investment

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, August 28, 2015

Belmont Press is set to make its return to B2 early next year following an investment of more than £1m in a new 18,000sph Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 with Inpress Control.

The five-colour plus coater machine will be installed at the circa £16m turnover Northampton-based printer’s 4,650sqm premises in January. It will replace two older Speedmaster presses, a B3 five-colour and a B1 10-colour.

Belmont Press currently operates 12-, 10-, eight- and four-colour B1 Speedmasters and outputs about 300 million items of print a year.

Managing director Trevor Thomas said: “Our B3 press has been squeezed out by two digital presses on the one hand and the faster makeready, more flexible B2 Speedmaster technology on the other.” 

The press will be configured with Inpress Control spectral and register measurement tool and Autoplate Pro automatic plate change.

“We are continually on the lookout for equipment that will improve our productivity. We have been with Heidelberg since 1962 but we have had other presses. At the moment I don’t believe there is another press on the market to match the Speedmaster technology,” said Thomas.

“This investment gives us the benefit of coating that we want and need, in particular the speed of turnaround to allow us to respond quickly.

“Having B2 will free up the larger format presses to do the work that best suits them. The press will take some of the jobs that we put on the perfectors when they shouldn't be because they're too big for the job.”  

Belmont has also recently invested in a Heidelberg Stahlfolder with PFX feeder. This enables the business to stream feed the folder, which can increase productivity by up to 30% over conventional machines.

“This latest Stahlfolder has made an incredible difference to productivity and gives us 18pp sections instead of the usual 16pp,” said Thomas.

Belmont Press operates double day shifts across the week with a night shift to give 24-hour working on four of the days. Around 90% of its work is still produced litho, although it also runs two HP Indigo digital printers and a Roland wide-format device.

The company, which employs around 150 staff, offers litho, commercial and wide-format digital, print management and fulfilment services and much of its work is in the education sector.

The business regularly runs free Print Essentials Workshops to help print buyers develop new skills and keep abreast of technological developments.

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