Following its acquisition of S&C Labels in Huddersfield earlier this year, Print-Leeds is investing more than 3.5 million Euros in a new press and CtP system from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). This move comes ahead of the centralisation of its operations in Leeds, Yorkshire, where a building programme is increasing capacity from 10,000 sq ft to 19,000 sq ft. The press arrives at the end of November and the business transfer will take place over the Christmas break.
A Speedmaster CX 102-7+L with Prinect Inpress Control will be 80% used for labels work but will also handle some of the Print-Leeds plastics printing, primarily POS and promotional work. It will be fed by the new Suprasetter 106 CtP device that the company is adding.
The average run for the labels business is 20,000 sheets, much of the work for the beer, water and food industries. The plastics orders tend to be much shorter, averaging about 1,000 and frequently including lenticular work. Previously Print-Leeds has used B2 technology so this will enable them to handle larger B1 sheets when necessary.
Managing director of Print-Leeds Rod Fisher says the company looked widely at its options and visited a competitor in Germany but came down in favour of the Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102. This press replaces an 11 year old Speedmaster CD 102-7. Its seven units are not untypical for the wet labels market where specials are widely used and the coater can handle both UV and conventional coatings to give gloss and matt finishes.
"We are looking for perfection on the run and it is for this reason we have elected to have Prinect Inpress Control," says Mr Fisher. "On older presses you can see fluctuations in quality and I have certainly seen variations across labels on supermarket shelves. We want perfect and predictable results. Customers will undoubtedly benefit from superior quality as a result of this investment."
The Suprasetter 106 replaces an eight year old Topsetter and gives the company the B1 format plates they will now require. The system will keep all the presses fed with plates to enable the factory to continue to run 24/7.
"Heidelberg has been extremely good," says Mr Fisher. "They do what they say they will do and when they say it will happen, it does." Next year the company, which is an early adopter of Prinance, will upgrade to the Prinect Business Manager. The 11 year old company has made two acquisitions in three years and doesn't rule out other purchases in future if the fit is right. The company currently has a turnover of about £5m and employs 40 staff.
Established in 2001, Print-Leeds is a specialist printing house providing wet-glue label, UV litho on plastics and digital print. The label division produces wet glue labels - wrap-around, square cut, punched and tube wrapped - which can, if necessary, be hot foil stamped or embossed. The labels are printed using UV or conventional inks with a gloss or matt varnish and are predominately for the beer, water and food industries. The UV litho on plastics division is renowned for printing onto difficult materials, such as rigid and flexible PVC, polypropylene, mirri boards, lenticular and self-adhesive substrates. The majority of its work is point of sale and point of purchase - wobblers, shelf strips, duratrans, self-adhesives, plastic packaging, binders and folders, membership cards, mouse mats and floor mats. The digital print facility represents further investment in the latest technology and complements the rest of the business, producing large format banners, stickers, kiss-cut stickers, vinyl lettering, decals and canvasses, as well as standard size posters, exhibition displays, signage, stationery and general promotional print.
Print-Leeds managing director Rod Fisher does not doubt, that customers will benefit from the superior quality of the new equipment.