Acquisitive printer expands litho and finishing capacity

By Sarah Cosgrove, Monday 22 June 2015

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A Welsh printer is to install its third Heidelberg Speedmaster XL and the UK's first Promatrix 106CS die-cutter after taking on staff, a building and work of a company which went into administration.

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The UK’s first Promatrix 106CS die-cutter will be installed at Zenith Media next month

Commercial printer Zenith Media, in Pontypool, has invested in its third Speedmaster XL and its second new B1 press this year, a highly specified Speedmaster XL 106 – additional machines rather than replacements. The newest will be delivered this summer. Existing Speedmasters have proved very popular with print staff, the company said.

Operations director Mark Partridge said: “The first five-colour Speedmaster XL 106 with coater was supplied with Inpress Control and its performance has been very impressive with average running speeds of between 16,000 and 18,000sph and makeready times reduced to six or seven minutes.

“Colour is up and running with up to 50% fewer waste sheets and the quality is improved.”

And in July £4m-turnover Zenith Print & Packaging in Treforest, north of Cardiff will take delivery of the UK’s first Promatrix 106CS die-cutter.

The Promatrix 106CS is the first new machine brought to market following the partnership created between Masterworks and Heidelberg. Zenith Media, which is a trading name of Zenith Print & Packaging, will install this one machine to replace two existing B1 die-cutters, a Sanwa and an Asahi.

Managing director of Zenith Print & Packaging Ken Bell said: “Makeready times will be much reduced and running speeds of up to 8,000sph will be much quicker than our existing machines. The Quick Lock and fine adjustment stripping frames will be of massive benefit along with the pneumatic locking of the Quick Lock chase.”

The Promatrix will run stocks from as low as 90gsm up to 2,000gsm solid board and 4mm corrugated and run lengths will vary greatly, from 500 to 500,000.

The company will use the machine on products for coin and medal collectors and retail applications which include gift, cosmetic, medical, electrical and high-end food and drink sectors.

The investment followed expansion from a 2,000sqm site to a 11,000sqm, site, which is both larger and has a more convenient layout than the previous building. The company has taken on more than 60 staff since September, bringing its headcount to over 100, of whom 70 of which are in production at the Pontypool site.

Both the staff and the new building were previously connected to MWL Print Group, which ceased trading on 29 August and was subsequently liquidated. Its 113 staff lost their jobs. Zenith Media also took on some of its business.

Clients include education, government, hotels, car companies and universities. The whole Zenith Group, which comprises Zenith Media, Zenith Print and Packaging and C3 Imaging is aiming to grow turnover to £25m by the end of the current financial year, a company source said.

The Zenith Group has been steadily growing through acquisitions for the past few years. It bought C3 Imaging in July 2012, five months after it exited a company voluntary arrangement.

In October of that year it took on the assets and premises of insolvent Welsh print business HSW Print, after it went into administration owing £853,000 to more than 80 creditors. 

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