Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) has installed the first Heidelberg press at its Belfast operation, a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106.
The press replaces two Manroland 700s. Operations director Alan Porter said the press's inline camera capability, which can detect print discrepancies and send defective sheets into a waste container, was a particularly attractive features.
Installation took place on 23 March and was followed by a three-week training period for staff unfamiliar with Heidelberg presses.
Porter said: “Our motivation for bringing in the Heidelberg was when we recognised a shift in the market towards shorter run lengths. We needed a press that could reduce lead times and makeready, plus we needed the quality to be just right first time.
“From our research, it is our understanding that this machine is the first European installation with a sheet ejection system.
“One key feature that was a deciding factor for us was that makeready can be initiated for one job as the previous one is still going, seriously reducing our lead times.”
The six-colour press runs at speeds up to 18,000sph and has been configured with double coaters. It runs Autoplate XL2 and Hycolor Multi Drive technology, which is designed for fast and simultaneous plate changing and wash-ups.
Inpress Control 2, a closed-loop colour system, measures and adjusts colour on the fly and the 106's sheet ejection feature is powered by Prinect Inspection Control, which features PDF verification.
MPS Belfast has sold one of its two Manrolands, with the other set to be sold in the near future. The Speedmaster joins a Komori LS40 sheetfed offset press at the premises, alongside four Bobst die-cutters and a mix of Bobst and Heidelberg folder-gluers.
Porter said he hoped the new press would give his business, a subsidiary of Westrock MPS Group, a “competitive edge” in a market further demanding faster turnarounds.
MPS Belfast employs 170 staff on a single site and produces healthcare cartons for the pharmaceutical sector. MPS itself runs on 19 sites across the UK, with an additional three in the Republic of Ireland.