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Modern Litho Focuses on Short-run Work with Speedmaster Press

March 4, 2013
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KENNESAW, GA—March 4, 2013—Expectations were high when Modern Litho (Jefferson City, MO) took delivery of an eight-color Speedmaster XL 105 long perfector with CutStar sheeter, Inpress automated color control, and AutoPlate XL last summer. More than six months later, the company’s initial expectations and early impressions have been confirmed, and the company is well on the way to fulfilling a long-term growth strategy focused on short-run, quick-turn production.

Within two months of installation, the new press had logged more than six million double-sided impressions, demonstrating greater productivity than that of all three existing presses it had replaced, and making the already-thriving company more competitive on an ever-growing volume of short-run work. Today, both productivity and quality remain consistently high, with the eight-color XL press registering 28.7 million double-sided impressions to date, with a total of 38 million projected for its first year in operation.

“We originally budgeted for 3 percent growth, but actually grew more than 10 percent in 2012 with sales of $17.6 million,” said company president Darrell Moore. “We couldn’t have done it without the new press. It’s everything we hoped for and more.”

Among the problems Modern Litho hoped to resolve with the addition of a second Speedmaster XL 105 was the backlog created when jobs intended for its existing presses stayed on plate too long—up to three or four days in some cases—before moving to press. Since the new machine was installed, “Our bindery now gets the job much earlier in the cycle. That takes away a lot of the stress we’ve been dealing with.”

Pleased as he is with the productivity of the new press, Moore reserves special praise for Heidelberg’s integrated inline color measuring system Prinect Inpress Control, which he credits with keeping the company’s quality consistently high and with helping to slash makeready times by up to 25 percent with much less start-up waste.

“Not only can we come up to color within 100 sheets, but we can maintain it for the entire run without stopping the press,” he said. “You can’t compare functionality like that to a pressman with a densitometer, no matter how talented he may be.”

Other key stress-busters include the CutStar sheeter, which reduced paper costs and increased paper feeding productivity, and AutoPlate XL, which works in tandem with Inpress Control to reduce makeready times via fast, convenient, simultaneous plate-changing. Additional savings come from Inkline Direct, which automatically feeds the press from large-capacity drums of ink, lowering ink costs by about 15 percent.

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