Proteus Packaging is First U.S. Printer to Run Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145August 27, 2009
“We made it clear from the get-go that we had high expectations for productivity and makeready,” said Tim Wayman, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our old iron was slow to set up and too sluggish to keep up with today’s market demands. Our original calculation was that the XL 145 would absorb in two shifts what our two older 50” machines were doing in two shifts apiece. Based on the XL 145’s performance so far, that’s still the plan,” he said. “After only three months in production, we already are netting 10,500 sph and expect to achieve a consistent net run rate (including blanket wash-up and makeready) of 12,500 sph by the end of this year.” With a top speed of 15,000 sheets per hour, the XL 145 is one of the fastest machines of its size on the market.
Proteus runs 10- to 30-point paperboard exclusively, so the performance of the XL 145’s Preset Plus feeder was of paramount importance. “Our expectation was that we would be able to run these types of substrates without challenging the feeder or causing unnecessary stops and starts, despite deficiencies inherent in the material,” Wayman said. “Even at high speeds, the feed table with central suction belt adjusts automatically to the format and printing stock, greatly minimizing our makeready times.” Likewise, he said, “Prinect Inpress Control permits faster inking up and eliminates the need to stop the press for sheet pulls and color measurements, dramatically reducing our setup waste.” Finally, given its size and the types of materials it consumes, “The press is also very quiet,” Wayman added. “It’s amazing, really.”
Proteus’ pressmen received extensive training on the new technology at Heidelberg’s state-of-the-art Print Media Demonstration Center in Kennesaw. “We were very impressed by how efficiently and thoroughly Heidelberg’s people handled training,” Wayman said. “This not only provides a major advantage for our pressmen and the productivity of our shop overall, but also accounts for the speed with which we were able to move from the training phase into live production.”