The configuration of the machine means that the press can produce medium format sheets at speeds of up to 18,000 per hour in up to eight colours and a coating on one side of the sheet, or up to six colours and coating on one side of the sheet plus two colour printing and coating on the reverse - a reverse printing product offering that the company is marketing under the "Benson Verso" name.
Commenting on this latest addition to the Benson Gateshead press line-up, Andrew Pybus, General Manager of the company's two North East sites, said: "This is the largest investment that the group has made on a single press, and we are looking forward to its arrival here in the North East in 2014.
"Printed packaging continues to grow in its complexity. Customers seek to gain the maximum marketing potential from their cartons. We need to stay ahead of the game and this press will give us additional capabilities, both in the number of printing units that can be utilised for single sided printing, and in the ability to print on both sides of the sheet in a single pass."
Commenting on the decision to invest once again in Heidelberg printing equipment, Mark Kerridge, Managing Director of Benson Group, said: "Our three most recent investments in Heidelberg presses for our Bardon operation have given us a performance edge, and our customers have been delighted with the results. The reliability of the equipment, coupled with the back-up service from Heidelberg, has helped us to produce more printed sheets than ever before. We look forward to more of the same from this latest investment."
Jim Todd, Sales Director of Heidelberg UK, said: "Benson Group has recognised the strength of the Speedmaster XL product and with this configuration for Gateshead has created a clever solution that enables them to offer something different to the market and to broaden the appeal of their packaging solutions. This is a very unusual Speedmaster XL 106 with a print-coat-perfect-print-coat configuration. It can offer eight colours straight or six-back-two and with coating on both sides. Packaging with information or marketing material inside the box is a growing trend, and Benson Group, as usual, have been quick to equip themselves to meet this need."
About Benson Group
Benson Group is one of the UK's leading privately owned printed folding carton suppliers, producing packaging product for both the food retail and healthcare industries for a wide range of UK and European customers.
The business manufactures packaging product at four production sites covering in excess of 400,000 sq ft. Benson Group continues to grow and expects to achieve annual sales for the current financial year in excess of £120 million. Food and beverage processors are the main customers at Bardon and for the company's two North East facilities in Newcastle and Gateshead. The fourth site in Crewe serves healthcare and consumer care markets. In recent years, investment in new plant and equipment across the four sites totals in excess of £22 million. The group employs over 900 UK based employees across all four production sites.
Benson Group creates packaging for many well-known companies, brands and retailers. Key account clients across the Group include Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Greencore, and Samworth Brothers. The company is an approved supplier for all of the UK's leading retail chains. Food and healthcare packaging is exported to customers in countries throughout Europe.