Zenith to install UV/conventional hybrid Speedmaster

Zenith Print Group is to install a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-5+LX3 that will run an unconventional hybrid of UV and conventional inks.

Set for delivery at the end of November, the B1 press will be installed at the group’s Pontypool base – Zenith Media. Representing a £2.75m investment, the Push to Stop hybrid will spend up to two days running UV packaging applications and the rest of the week on general print jobs, with an expected work rate of 40 million sheets per year.

In an effort to consolidate its printing efforts, Zenith will be installing the XL 106 to replace two Heidelberg machines – a CD 102 and an XL 105. Two other Heidelberg machines currently onsite are set to be replaced by another press after Zenith completes its next deal with Heidelberg in the coming months as it slims down its machine count.

The group installed a Speedmaster XL 106-8-P Push to Stop to replace two 106s in May.

“Our business is spread between a number of print avenues – packaging, general, large-format, digital, and more,” said managing director John Mooney. “We have decided to start bringing it all in from various locations to a single site and put our best equipment into high-quality print.

“We are very much a Heidelberg house and we like doing business with them – the value they provide, and the lifetime costs of the machines compares favourably to competitors, and service is always exceptional.

“As another Push to Stop machine, it will make operations much more efficient and also help to reduce our carbon footprint – both because the number of presses will be reduced but also because of its own reduced energy signature.”

The new press will be installed with coater configuration and Inpress Control for automatic inline colour integrity, as well as Autoplate Pro plate changing to allow operators to switch from UV to conventional without manual intervention.

Using a DryStar end-of-press UV drying system, Zenith will save up to 33% on energy usage by using two UV lamps rather than the traditional three.

According to Mooney, the new 106 will be part of an initiative to ensure the best quality of service for clients, with the intention to remain reliable as well as innovative.

He said: “We invest heavily in training – our best operators will be working on this and we make a point of having two fully-qualified printers working on a single press at any one time.

“While this is an interesting press, it is running proven technology – we always do a lot of research and are careful with what we buy but we are also often the first to use a lot of technology as it is important to always be pushing ahead.”

Zenith Media employs 100 members of staff at its 6,225sqm Pontypool base, as part of the wider 250-staff group. Zenith Print Group currently turns over £27m.


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