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Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 Presses Springing Up from New York to New Hampshire


Company installs new presses at a variety of printers

In the northeast U.S., a recent spate of Speedmaster XL 75 installations evinces the growing popularity of Heidelberg’s market-leading XL platform in a flexible, half-size format.

About a year ago, Rose Press, Mt. Vernon, NY, brought in a 5-color Speedmaster XL 75 with aqueous coater and Prinect Axis Control to upgrade and replace an existing 29” 6-color Speedmaster DI press. The aim, as well as the result, of the installation was to dramatically boost the efficiency and throughput of the company’s pressroom in the wake of a significant increase in job volume.
“We’re experiencing a general upswing in business based on our reputation, great customer service, good pricing, and quality products,” said company president Pat Mondesando. “After the economic downturn, we’ve gotten our numbers back up, and are maintaining and growing our volume.”

With the new Speedmaster XL 75 in place, as well as the company’s existing Speedmaster SM 74, the company is well positioned to field whatever orders come its way on whatever schedule its customers in the educational, pharmaceutical, and financial markets demand. Not only does the Speedmaster XL 75 give the $8 million, full-service commercial printer “everything we need and then some,” Mondesando said, “But our longtime experienced pressmen also say it’s absolutely the best press we ever have run.”

In January, E.R. Hitchcock, New Britain, CT, took delivery of a 5-color Speedmaster XL 75-5+LX model with Prinect Axis Control to take competitive advantage of its Peak Performance running speed (18,000 sph), built-in efficiencies, and superior quality.

According to Ed Young, president, the new Speedmaster XL 75 is “incredibly productive. We’re down to six-minute makereadies from form to form.”

E.R. Hitchcock’s new Speedmaster XL 75 replaced a 1997 Speedmaster SM 74. The company retains a Speedmaster SM 102 2-color press; a 2-color 20” GTO; Topsetter platesetter; two POLAR cutters; two Stahlfolders; and an ST 270 Stitchmaster; along with assorted mailing equipment and digital sheetfed presses.

“You have to keep upgrading your capabilities,” Young said. “People aren’t willing to pay as much as they used to for printing, so you need a fast, efficient press to stay in business and remain competitive. There’s no way around it if you want to be successful.”

The 109-year-old, full-service commercial print and mail house prints a variety of marketing collateral, in addition to inserted and variable data-printed mail. Clients include universities, marketing companies, ad agencies and insurance-related businesses from Connecticut to Wisconsin.

Sheetfed offset printing occupies a small but crucial niche at Cummings Printing, a full-service, heatset web offset publication and commercial printer and mail house in Hooksett, NH. The company prints covers and miscellaneous component materials for medium-run trade journals, catalogs and special interest publications on a 5-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 with Prinect Inpress Control. The G7-qualified Master Printer reserves an existing Speedmaster SM 102 4/1 5-color perfecting press for 2-color work, scoring, and perfing.

Established in 1914, Cummings Printing was a local commercial print shop until 20 years ago, when the Cummings family gambled on a transformation to half-, and later full-web publication printing. Years later, that gamble seems to have paid off in terms of market reach and customer loyalty. The company today performs 90% web and about 10% sheetfed work for clients nationwide, and looks to maintain that balance for the foreseeable future.

“In light of what the Internet has done to the printing business, we’re in the right market now,” Cummings said. “Non-informational publications have done pretty well, and we look for that to continue.”

All Color Business Specialties, Ltd., a commercial trade printer located in Deer Park, NY, needed a press that would accommodate the fast-rising demand for 4- and 5-color printed products with full ink coverage, delivered on increasingly tight schedule. The company’s existing Speedmaster SM 74 already was running 24/7. The need for additional capacity gave rise to the company’s decision to install a Speedmaster XL 5-color press with Inpress Control, 18,000 sph Peak Performance package, aqueous coater, extended delivery and water-cooled peripherals.

Installed in May, the Speedmaster XL 75 established its credentials in short order. “We produced more than two million impressions in just the first six weeks of production,” said company president William Bogue. “Some of our makereadies have clocked in at under five minutes, and we’ve run close to 200 plates in a single day. We also found that we could set up and run 40,000 sheets in two-and-a-half hours. Not every job runs that fast, of course, but it sure is nice to have the capability. The bottom line is, we now can handle our rush work that much better because of the speed and efficiency of the new XL 75.”

Founded in 1959, All Color Business Specialties counts eight other Heidelberg presses, as well as multiple Stahlfolders, ST 90 and ST 100 saddlestitchers, two POLAR cutters, and two Heidelberg die cutters.