Heidelberg: Print Shops Reaping Cost, Production Benefits with CutStar Sheeter
HEIDELBERG, Germany—May 22, 2015—Welsh print shop Stephens & George is the proud owner of the 300th CutStar sheeter from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). The sheeter was delivered to the company’s Merthyr Tydfil branch together with an eight-color Speedmaster XL 106 perfecting press. Heidelberg launched the CutStar at drupa 2000 and introduced further developments adapting the sheeter to the new press design at drupa 2012.
"We purchased our first CutStar in 2003 and have bought nine others since then," said Andrew Jones, managing director of Stephens & George. "With the new machine, our pressroom now has four Speedmaster XL 106 long perfecting presses with CutStar and a Speedmaster XL 105-5+L. To optimize productivity, three of the presses operate at 18,000 sheets per hour," he added.
Founded 103 years ago, Stephens & George has 230 employees and generates sales of 25 million pounds (around 37 million dollars). Magazines and other regular orders account for 40 percent each of production, with standard commercial work making up the rest.
"The main benefit of the CutStar as far as we’re concerned is that reel stock costs less than sheets of paper. The variable cutoff length optimizes paper usage and increasing the machines’ capacity utilization also cuts productions costs," stresses Jones. "A Speedmaster XL 106 with a printing speed of 18,000 sheets per hour equipped with CutStar, Prinect Inpress Control color measuring system, and AutoPlate XL simultaneous plate changer boosts our capacity by up to 30 percent," he revealed.
CutStar combines low costs of reel stock with flexibility of sheetfed offset printing
Depending on the model, the CutStar processes reel stock on the Speedmaster SX/CX 102 and XL 106 in widths of 480 to 1,060 millimeters (18.90 to 41.73 inches). The required cutoff format is infinitely variable between 40 centimeters (15.75 inches) and the machine’s maximum sheet cutoff length. The sheeter can be used with paper ranging from 40 all the way up to 300 grams per square meter and foils as thin as 50 micrometers (0.002 inches).
Depending on the country of purchase, reel stock costs an average of seven percent less than sheet stock. The main markets for the CutStar are the U.K., the U.S., Japan, Belgium, Poland, and Germany, followed by Canada and France. Two-thirds of CutStar units worldwide are installed with long perfecting presses. A total of 75 percent of presses equipped with the sheeter are used for commercial printing and the rest at print shops specializing in foils.