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Many magazine and online printers in the commercial printing sector, who have large runs or gang runs and standardized workflows, are looking for solutions to reduce paper costs and improve productivity. One of these is the Ross4Marketing print shop in Denver, Colorado in the USA, which was founded by Eric Ross about 40 years ago. Since then, his company has developed into one of the largest full service providers for marketing of restaurants and franchise chains and has more than 50 employees. The company puts its trust in machines from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) in order to ensure the high quality required for its customers. “Our experience with an eight-color Speedmaster XL 75 perfecting press and the CutStar 74 stretches back for ten years,” reports Eric Ross. “For this period, we have taken advantage of the benefits, such as up to 20 percent lower paper costs, fewer feeder stoppers, perfect register and improved overall productivity, allowing us to supply our customers both faster and with high quality.”
The decisive factor for purchasing a new Speedmaster XL 75 was Ross4Marketing’s ability to have it equipped with the new CutStar 75 roll sheeter. “Under no circumstances would we now buy a press without a CutStar; we expect the new CutStar 75 to facilitate even more savings and even better productivity,” says Eric Ross. “This is the answer to the industry trend of more and more makereadies and lower piece counts. We need to gang jobs together in a cost effective manor. The new Heidelberg XL 75 was the answer. Our XL 75 with AutoPlate and inline press controls hangs 8 plates, in perfect color and register every four minutes with about 150 sheets of makeready.”
Built on the basis of the CutStar 106, Heidelberg experts developed the new roll sheeter for the 50 x 70 format. The entire system has been used for production in Denver since July 2018, together with the existing Speedmaster XL 75. The machines are integrated via the Prinect print shop workflow. Saphira consumables, optimally tailored to the machines, help ensures high quality printed products. To simplify the process, Ross4Marketing orders the materials from the Heidelberg eShop.
The CutStar will be used virtually 100 percent of the time on both Speedmaster XL 75 presses with average run lengths between 15,000 and 20,000 sheets running grammages of 90 to 250 g/m2. The current annual paper turnover amounts to approximately 1.2 million euros. The family company Ross4Marketing has made a name for itself in the direct mailing, online printing and database management sectors — serving both local and also Fortune 1000 companies. Typical applications are restaurant marketing products, such as menus, promotional fliers and postcards, as well as outer packaging for food. “Our peak times are when the football and baseball season starts and we print the advertising campaigns,” explains Eric Ross. „And it then makes a real difference that the Speedmaster XL 75 with the CutStar produces 15,000 sheets per hour without any interruptions.” The system runs in two shifts. Thanks to new contracts and additional customers, the company is growing and has invested in the new Speedmaster XL 75-8-P+L.
“The CutStar 75 is consistently geared to customer requirements in this format and uses the modules and technologies of the CutStar 106, the most successful roll sheeter in its class”, explains Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Digital Technology at Heidelberg. “This customer-oriented solution provides many advantages for the user and is evidence of our technological leadership also in this important area of productivity and customer benefit. With the CutStar 75, we are the only manufacturer that offers an inline roll sheeter in 50 x 70 format, and thus support industrialization here also”. The roll sheeter product portfolio is now complete, and the CutStar is available for all model series: from the Speedmaster XL 75, CD/CX 102, SX 102 and XL 106 to the CutStar launched last year for the XL 145 and XL 162 large-format presses.
Since the introduction of the roll sheeter in the year 2000, more than 400 CutStars have been installed worldwide and Heidelberg is the market leader in this sector. One focal point is the growth market of labels, in particular in-mold labels (IML). The global IML market is growing at an average of around 4.3 percent with the primary focus on food packaging. With CutStar, customers can process thin paper and foils that can become statically charged. Intake from the roll and then cutting into sheets just before the feeder results in stable sheet travel and uninterrupted production. Virtually 60 percent of the new CutStar applications are in the IML market. The main markets for the CutStar are Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Spain, UK and the USA.