W&G Baird installs Speedmaster XL 106-8-P as part of £4m investment

Jez Abbott and Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, February 26, 2016

W&G Baird has made a bumper £4m investment – backed by the Bank of Ireland - that includes a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-8-P with Inpress Control 2 and a Kolbus KM600 perfect binding line.

Northern Ireland enterprise minister Jonathan Bell will officially launch the press, which is currently being installed at the firm’s Antrim, Northern Ireland-based factory, on 4 March.

The business hopes that the press will produce the work currently done by two Speedmaster 102 10-colour presses while also significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

The decision to buy the Speedmaster XL 106-8-P included site visits to six existing customers.

“Each of them told us that they would never buy a press without Inpress Control in future,” said W&G Baird managing director Patrick Moffett.

Other features include the UK’s first Autoplate XL 2 that will be driven from the latest version Pressroom Manager, a workflow that will link in with prepress for now and with the company’s MIS longer term.

Technotrans has supplied ink.trac, a bulk inking system that will run with Flint vegetable-based inks.

W&G Baird said the press would bring significant economic and ecological benefits.

“With the help of Heidelberg Germany we measured the annual output from our two Speedmaster 102 presses and then mapped them on to the XL 106 press. The results were extremely impressive,” said Moffett.

“We estimate we will reduce paper usage by 217 tonnes which delivers a reduction in CO2 emissions of 276 tonnes and equates to a saving of around 3,200 trees per year.”

He added: “The energy required to produce the work will be down 18%. This combined with IPA alcohol and ink usage reductions means that the total annual saving in CO2 emissions on the XL press will be over 350 tonnes.

“We are committed to W&G Baird becoming more energy efficient and in particular keeping CO2 emissions down.”

The Kolbus KM600 perfect binding line, which can produce both EVA and PUR products, was installed in January. The machine, which replaced a 1996 Muller Martini, was bought to speed up production and enable the company to keep all perfect binding work in-house.

“We were spending about £150,000 a year sending binding work out, which was increasing in volumes by 10 to 20% year-on-year,” said Moffett.

W&G Baird supplies sectional work including magazines, books, educational products and commercial work. The firm, which was established in 1862 and has sales offices in Dublin and Nottingham, also runs a 10-colour KBA Rapida 105.

The business has 95 staff and a turnover of £11m and it is hoping the new investments, which also include two Stahl TH96 folders, will boost its turnover by £1m.

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