One of the country's oldest printers is taking delivery of its second Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 to take advantage of the latest technology in areas such as colour control.
Witherbys, which has traded since 1740, is due to install the new five-colour model with coater in mid December. It will replace a five-colour Speedmaster 74.
The first Speedmaster, a six-colour XL 75, went in two years ago and was another straight swap, for a six-colour SX. The London company also runs two GTOs and finishing kit such as a Stahlfolder CH 56.
Witherbys' 35 staff produce high-end, short-run catalogues for art galleries and other West End clients as well as marketing and reports for City customers. It has a turnover of £3.5m.
Managing director James Greene said: “We have an ongoing replacement cycle and keep machines for seven or eight years before switching.”
The list price of the new Speedmaster is around £1.2m and at about 15,000sph, the press is slightly faster than the model it will replace at the end of the year, Greene added.
“The new XL 75 won't dramatically increase capacity, but that's not why we bought it,” he said. “We are a progressive company and like to keep up to date.
“The latest Heidelberg is better in areas such as image control technology. It gives us increased efficiency, fast setup and quicker production.”
Like the first press, the new Speedmaster XL 75 has Axis Control, enabling the company to record and re-use specific Pantone colours. There is also an IR dryer at the end of the press, which will run on double day shifts to produce brochures and auction catalogues.