Benson Gateshead makes £3.6m Heidelberg investment

Hannah Jordan
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Benson Group’s North East flagship site has made its biggest ever press spend on an eight-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL106 B1 perfector.

Pybus" The new machine can offer a fabulous range of finishes
Pybus" The new machine can offer a fabulous range of finishes

The press will be configured to produce medium-format sheets at speeds of up to 18,000sph. It will print in up to eight colours with a coating on one side or six colours and a coating on one side with two-colour printing and coating on the reverse. 

Currently in construction, the new press will be installed at Benson Group’s 11,100sqm Gateshead facility around the end of May, with operation expected to begin in July or August.

“The speed of this machine in perfect mode is fairly incredible and it can offer fabulous range of finishes which also gives us the opportunity to print ready-meal sleeves, reverse in one-pass,” said general manager of Benson’s North East operations Andrew Pybus.  

“New legislation coming out means retailers need to add more information on their packaging. Many of them have been downsizing their packs and will struggle to find place to put this information so we will be able to offer that to them without the cost of putting it through a press twice.” 

“This will also help take us into new market places like luxury goods, drinks, confectionery and cosmetics, which we have produced in the past, but haven’t done it with the seriousness with which we can with this press,” he added. 

Benson’s Gateshead and Newcastle sites currently house four and three Komori presses respectively and the new Heidelberg press will initially be an addition to this capability, according to Pybus. 

“We wanted to offer something different to the standard six colours and varnishes and this opens up lots of opportunity for us.  

“We are really excited about this, it’s a fantastic investment by the group and we are pleased it is coming to the North East. It reflects the good work our staff have done and they richly deserve this,” said Pybus. 

Benson is marketing the new reverse printing offering as Benson Verso. 

Managing director of Benson Group Mark Kerridge said: “Our three most recent investments in Heidelberg presses for our Bardon operation have given us a performance edge, and our customers have been delighted with the results. 

“The reliability of the equipment, coupled with the back-up service from Heidelberg, has helped us to produce more printed sheets than ever before. We look forward to more of the same from this latest investment.”

Benson’s North East division has also invested around £750,000 in a new Bobst 106 Expertcut, which will be installed on Monday as well as a £200,000 in a new Easy Tech ‘pick-and-place’ machine for rigid placing windows into cartons that will be installed tomorrow (15 January).

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