A very special thing happens when you arrive at Premier Printing in Winnipeg, Manitoba around 9:00 am every day. The entire production floor is gathered together, along with the management team. Continuous improvement practices are discussed by having daily employee meetings reviewing metrics and awarding innovative employee improvements. All are “rowing the boat” in the same direction. It is a testament to process improvement and a breath of fresh air.
In the new competitive world of printing, every opportunity for streamlining is investigated. At Heidelberg, it is seen in the ever increasing variants in press configurations. More and more companies are buying equipment based on what their business data reveals. It is all in the numbers.
Case in point is Premier Printing’s most recent investment of a Speedmaster XL 106-4P— a highly automated press featuring AutoPlate Pro fully automated plate loading, Prinect Axis Control Spectral measuring device, and dynamic sheet brakes. The press is driven by the new Press Center XL featuring Intellistart 2 operating software, allowing for the “autonomous” processing of jobs at a speed of 15,000 sheets per hour.
Premier Printing is a highly skilled and efficient manufacturer of school agendas, as well as general commercial printing. When “agenda” season hits, the plant must double production and meet stringent deadlines. This created a backlog on their current presses— a Speedmaster XL 105-10P and a Speedmaster SM 74-8P+L. The new Speedmaster has filled the gap for the 2/2 signatures that are typical in this business.
“AutoPlate Pro is a gift,” states Tom Bennet, Special Projects Manager. “Agenda run lengths are 300 – 1,500 per form, so we are performing up to 150 plate changes per day. Job changes on the 4P were as low as 1½ minutes. Keeping plates coming is the new challenge.”
Another large productivity improvement is the installation of a TH 82-P Stahlfolder with PFX feeder. Capable of running signatures at 18,000 pieces per hour, this folder has doubled the amount of throughput in their busy finishing department.
(Photo includes from left to right: Ted Gortemaker, Operations Manager,
and Dan Lemoine, Operator)
Ted Gortemaker, Vice President of Operations at Premier, says “This new folder is a game changer. Of all the areas in our plant, folding was the real bottleneck. The ease of operation, set up and throughput is amazing. Watching skids of print disappear is stunning. Using the pallet feeding and Palamedes stacking table has greatly reduced the operator work level required.”
Premier Printing employs 75 fulltime staff and up to 120 part time staff joins in during agenda season. The recent investment in high-tech products from Heidelberg allow for a work-life balance that is important to the management team at Premier.
Ted states, “Our motto is ‘Grow people and serve the Customer.’ Happy employees will serve our Customers better. Everyone wins.”
Heidelberg is proud to be a partner to such an organization.
(Featured photo includes from left to right: Danny Miller, Operator, and Ted Gortemaker, Operations Manager)
Sales Specialist, Sheetfed, Postpress Packaging, Digital, Product Management