Kennesaw, Ga. – Bertelsmann Printing Group USA (BPG USA), one of publishing’s premier book printers, has recently purchased a new Speedmaster XL 106-6P+L from Heidelberg for its Hicksville, NY location. The press, complete with the most up to date Speedmaster technology, was purchased with Heidelberg’s Subscription Smart plan, which includes extensive Performance & Consulting services – ensuring the press consistently runs at peak performance.

Optimization is Key

BPG USA’s new XL 106 will replace several older presses at its Hicksville plant, which produces covers, jackets, and inserts for book production. “Optimization is the key word for us,” said Christof Ludwig, CEO of BPG USA. “When replacing several presses with one machine, you want to ensure that you’re going to see significant improvements to overall productivity and efficiency.” Prior to purchasing the XL 106, BPG USA, which is part of Bertelsmann Printing Group headquartered in Germany, looked to its colleagues in Europe, who have several Speedmaster presses installed in various locations. “When we saw the success of these presses in Europe,” said Ludwig, “we created an internal project team to determine if installing a similar press in Hicksville would help our overall production.”

In addition to optimizing internal processes, the advanced technology and automation capabilities of the new press will aid in the company’s goal of enhancing customer experience. “The XL 106 is going to help with overall customer satisfaction by helping us provide on-time delivery and high-quality products,” said Jorge Velasco, President and COO of BPG USA. The press features autonomous Push-to-Stop technology, AutoPlate Pro, and a completely new operating philosophy, the Heidelberg User Experience, which together with the patented Intellistart 3 and other assistance systems, ensure short makeready times and the best possible support for press operators. Additionally, this is a carbon-neutral press, which means CO2 emissions that are generated during press production are compensated for by purchasing climate protection certificates (Gold Standard).

While technology played a role in BPG USA’s decision to purchase the new XL 106, Ludwig and Velasco say that the Subscription Smart plan was a true deciding factor in purchasing from Heidelberg. With Subscription Smart, BPG USA will pay a fixed monthly rate for an agreed “pay-per-outcome” print volume and have access to Heidelberg’s Performance and Consulting services. Prior to purchasing the XL 106, BPG USA worked alongside Heidelberg colleagues to set goals for what it wants to achieve as far as makeready times, speeds, and waste. “All modern machines are full of advanced technology,” said Ludwig, “but Heidelberg provides the whole package, where we continuously work together on long term goals. Heidelberg is committed to helping us determine how can we do better and where we can improve.”

The new XL 106 is set to install in June of this year, and BPG USA is anxious to get it up and running as quickly as possible. After installation, Heidelberg experts will work together with BPG USA’s team to analyze the company’s KPIs, processes, and benchmark data to provide insights about areas for potential improvement – ensuring the company is always producing at maximum productivity. “When you purchase a new piece of equipment, you are taking a calculated risk,” said Velasco. “The Subscription Smart plan provides sort of a safety net – knowing that Heidelberg is there to make sure our press is consistently performing to its highest potential and knowing that we will have continuity of business.”

About Bertelsmann Printing Group USA

Bertelsmann Printing Group USA is recognized as one of the publishing industry’s premier printer of book components; creating some of the most recognizable, award-winning book jackets, covers and inserts. High security is offered for embargoed products to protect intellectual property. A leader in creating “special effects” for many book jackets, covers and album jackets, BPG USA also has extensive experience in the production of Specialty Packaging and in multimedia Home Entertainment Products. The company’s expertise in other commercial printing projects is also recognized throughout the industry.

Image1 includes, left to right: Jorge Velasco, Chief Operating Officer, Bertelsmann Printing Group USA; Christof Ludwig, Chief Executive Officer, Bertelsmann Printing Group USA

Image 2 includes, left to right: FRONT ROW: Devon Phillips, Manager, BPG USA; Tim Cotter, Continuous Improvement Director, BPG USA; MIDDLE ROW: Steve McGahan, Director of Manufacturing, BPG USA; Marty Moran, Vice President of East Region Sales, Heidelberg USA; BACK ROW: Mike Progen, Account Manager, Heidelberg USA; Tom Cummings, Account Manager, Heidelberg USA


Erin Judge
Erin Judge
Media Relations
Heidelberg USA

Heather Banis
Heather Banis
Director, Marketing & Sales Excellence
Heidelberg USA