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Innovation, creativity and perfect quality, as well as the deployment of state-of-the-art production equipment, have allowed Falkland Press in Letchworth, England to succeed and grow. Last year, the company invested more than EUR 3.5 million in digitized production workflows with new machines from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) in order to make its three areas of business – commercial and packaging printing as well as the “Printed Easy” web-to-print shop – even more efficient. Since the end of last year, the drupa generation Speedmaster XL 106 six-color press with coating unit, which can operate using conventional as well as UV or LE UV inks and coatings, has been deployed in production. This version is the first of its kind in the UK market. To make materials handling more productive, postpress had already been enhanced with two joggers and two stack lifters for the Polar cutting machines and a fully automatic Stahlfolder TH 82 folding machine. A total of four Stahlfolder machines are now used in production.
The company, which has been in business for 35 years, operates in the fields of offset and digital printing. Its premises cover an area of 4,000 m² and its 48 employees generate sales of EUR 6.5 million.
“We chose the Speedmaster XL 106 as, with this press, we can push further ahead with digitized print production. We also want to maximize the substrates and the range of jobs we can handle,” says Jon Lancaster, Managing Director of Falkland Press. “The press copes easily with packaging printing jobs, such as folding cartons for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food, which amount to 20 percent of our sales. Furthermore, we can also complete commercial printing jobs, such as books, flyers, brochures and business stationery, as well as very short runs for our Printed Easy web-to-print shop, both of which make up 40 percent of our sales.” Falkland Press thus achieves high flexibility as they can print on coated and uncoated substrates in a wide range of grammages and even on plastics and foils. “We are continually developing our production processes towards adopting a web-to-print and automated production approach. Our aim is even shorter throughput times without quality compromises by means of autonomous printing.” For example, the company has already been able to take full advantage of the “Push to Stop” concept with the production of signatures for books and the individual job queues are processed automatically. The makeready times are less than three minutes in most cases.
Perfectly timed and coordinated thanks to digitization
Falkland Press is one of the most efficient print shops in England and has been able to increase sales by 18 percent over the last few years. And this is even more impressive when one considers that significant changes have been made. The company replaced the Speedmaster XL 75 five-color press with the Speedmaster XL 106 because the larger format gives more flexibility and higher throughput. Depending on the job, the press can either use conventional or UV and LE UV inks. The suitable method is decided by the substrate used, the speed, the throughput time or the needs of the job in hand. It is the ambition of Jon Lancaster to foster a “digital mentality” across the plant, and to network and automate the processes as much as possible. The company also has a four-color Speedmaster SX 52 in its press room. The print shop operates in three shifts, 24 hours a day for five days. This will be increased to 24 hours a day for six days in March this year.
This is exactly where the new Speedmaster XL 106, with its high degree of automation and digital processes, comes into its own. It is perfectly equipped with the Wallscreen XL, the new and intuitive Intellistart 2 operating software, AutoPlate XL 2 for simultaneous plate changing and blanket washing, and Prinect Inpress Control 2 for even faster and more automated inline color and register control. For UV and LE UV production, Falkland Press uses Saphira consumables which are optimally tailored to the press and achieve the best quality results.