Annan & Bird Lithographers, a Consolidated Graphics, Inc. company in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has purchased a 64” Speedmaster XL 162 VLF press from Heidelberg. The 6-color model features Prinect Inpress Control in-line color measurement and control, as well as an aqueous coater.
“The purchase of the new 64” Heidelberg is a further testament to Annan & Bird’s commitment to answering our customers’ demands to improve quality, support brand integrity through repeat consistency, and shorten turn times, all while reducing the environmental impact of print,” said John Bird, president of Annan & Bird.
Faster makereadies and higher production speeds yield higher output only if a new press can be maintained and serviced efficiently. Via Heidelberg’s Prinect Press Center, Annan & Bird will be able to access all press and peripheral information with Remote Service 24/7, enabling continued production while the press is being monitored by the “e-Call” self-monitoring system. The company’s new VLF press also comes with a complete three-year service coverage afforded by Heidelberg’s Systemservice 36plus program.
“Annan & Bird is excited about the arrival of our new Heidelberg; we are confident that the Speedmaster XL 162 will provide us the ability to produce higher quality work in a shorter amount of time, satisfying our customer’s most demanding deliveries,” Bird said.
A Collaborative, Fact-Based Approach
Heidelberg’s Business Consulting Team worked closely with Consolidated Graphics to perform a comprehensive, fact-based analysis of Annan & Bird’s overall productivity.
Typically, after reviewing a customer’s plans for capital investment, Heidelberg’s Business Consulting team can often recommend the most economical equipment choice by calculating the likely savings that can be achieved by replacing older, less productive presses with a new machine. Because Annan & Bird’s Production Audit was based on actual data retrieved from the company’s own MIS, results of the analysis were notable both for their objectivity as well as for their practical application in the selection of the Speedmaster XL 162 in a configuration that would best meet the company’s needs.
“This was a data-driven process. We used our own data and job files to highlight the differences between presses and reveal the best choice for Annan & Bird, and in the end all that analysis simplified our purchase decision,” said Ric Davis, Executive Vice President, Purchasing and Operations for Consolidated Graphics. “This strategic investment further strengthens our offset printing capabilities, and in particular, boosts Annan & Bird’s commitment to its packaging business.”
In addition to considering run length, number of units and other variables, detailed product testing conducted during two visits by Annan & Bird to Heidelberg’s Hall 11 in Wiesloch, Germany, were key to selecting the 64” press. There, Heidelberg was able to demonstrate the XL 162’s capability to pull disparate jobs quickly and accurately into color and register at 15,000 sph without slowing or stopping the press, thanks largely to Prinect Inpress Control, Heidelberg’s in-line register and color measurement and control solution. Visits to the factory also afforded Annan & Bird an opportunity to assess key functions responsible for the XL 162’s revolutionary productivity, including the single-suction belt feeder and central suction tape for reliable sheet separation; simultaneous wash-up of the blanket and impression cylinders; and AutoPlate XL for fast plate changes in all units in less than 2.5 minutes.
With the new press due to be installed this spring, training of Annan & Bird personnel will start early at the customer facility via simulator, followed by classroom and shop training at Heidelberg’s North American Print and Packaging Technology Center in Kennesaw, GA, as the company prepares to take delivery of the new machine.
“As run lengths shorten and customer demand for speed and quality intensifies, Heidelberg’s VLF Series presses are big enough and fast enough to handle the largest jobs, as well as versatile and nimble enough to make quick changes and custom runs standard procedure,” said Joerg Daehnhardt, Director, Sheetfed Product Management for Heidelberg USA. “With this purchase, Annan & Bird joins the vanguard of packaging printers and converters who have chosen Heidelberg technology to help them meet the challenges of a market in flux.”