At Heidelberg, many of our customers are happy to discuss the new installation of their Speedmaster press. The excitement and execution of large equipment installations are exciting for companies big and small.
However, it is rare to go back to an installation and report on the overall implementation of the equipment and discuss the ongoing impact of the purchase a few years later.
But that is exactly what we asked Data Communications Management, with locations throughout Canada, to discuss. In April 2015, the company installed and commissioned a Speedmaster CX 102-6+L press in their “Center of Excellence” facility as part of a new build-out that started in late 2014.
Two years ago, the parameters required by Data Communications for a new press set forth a daunting challenge:
Remove two older presses of similar configuration and replace with one press
Incorporate the total production of both machines and leave available capacity for growth (current capacity was based on 24Hr/6-day crewing on both older machines)
Do so within a budget that had to fit into the overall move to the new facility.
As Ken Mateshaytis (Calgary GM) states, “Once we made the decision to reduce our 70 X 100 presses down to one machine, the numbers had to work. There was no going back. If targets were not achieved, the mission would have been a failure and result in lost customers, lost credibility and lost revenue.”
Heidelberg worked hand in hand with the Data Communications Management team to fully understand the total impressions required, the job change times needed to achieve these impressions, and the proper level of automation needed to produce the results.
The research concluded in the end that a Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102-6+L was the right match. Capable of producing at 16,500 IPH and equipped with AutoPlate Pro fully automated plate changing system, Inpress Control inline colour and register measurement, Wallscreen intuitive operating system with Intellistart and Preset Plus feeding and delivering, Heidelberg felt that the press would reach and exceed the expectations put forth.
Now, two years into the installation, how are things looking for Data Communications?
“At this point, the press has produced 85,000,000 sheets,” says Ken. “The plan was for 40,000,000 per year, so we are 5,000,000 ahead of goal. Don’t forget the part about additional capacity. We are in a good position. The operators love the user friendliness of the machine, they call Intellistart ‘auto pilot’ and that makes them more efficient every day. They are under pressure to perform, but it doesn’t show.”
The average run length on the CX 102 is around 6,000 sheets with job change times at 8-12 minutes depending on complexity.
Leigh Busch, Vice President National Operations, also likes to point out, “We have realized that there is efficiency in the one press operation and workflow. Removing the redundancy of the second 40 inch machine was concerning, but ultimately forced us to be more efficient all around. Being consistent leads to being predictive in production, which is much better for planning throughput.”
One example of this is that the press operators now have the capacity to produce their own plates. “The automation on the press opens up time for the guys to perform other tasks, reducing touch-points in throughput and creating efficiencies” explains Ken. “In this way, the operators now have the flexibility to organize the shift to suit the most efficient approach, which ultimately leads to increased throughput”.
The Speedmaster CX 102 was a small part in a larger three year Journey for Data Communications Management. Currently, they operate seven large “Centers of Excellence” across Canada, employing some 1,400 people. Plant specialization is a key driver, and the company has retooled accordingly. Recent acquisitions have broadened and fulfilled sections of the market that were deemed important to their client base. In the print output segment of the business, 50% is offset, 30% is digital and 20% is flexo.
“We Do What We Say We’ll Do”
The “motto” that hangs at the entrance of the Calgary Center of Excellence states: “We do What we Say we Will Do.” Leigh Busch holds that motto close to his heart, and when making a final comment on how the Speedmaster CX 102-6+L has performed since it arrived on site, he states, “It does what Heidelberg said it would do, and then some. That is unusual in large equipment sales these days. Additionally, the uptime, press availability and net output are all a testament to the service follow-up post installation.”
At Data Communications Management, nothing stands still for long. This indicates exciting times ahead for one of Canada’s largest information providers.
Ray Fagan Sales Specialist, Sheetfed, Postpress Packaging, Digital, Product Management