Carded Graphics, an award-winning folding carton and packaging company in Staunton, VA, recently became the first U.S. printer to install Heidelberg's internally integrated Prinect Inspection Control visual inspection system with inline RGB camera on its 7-color Speedmaster XL 105 hybrid UV press.
"We use it on every job as a measure of internal quality, which has definitely increased because we're catching defects early in the printing process," said company president Murry Pitts. "Together with our top-flight color management and the XL 105's 18,000 sph running speed, Inspection Control adds a significant dimension of value to the package we offer our customers. We think of it as an extension of the printing process. It not only raises our operators' confidence in the work they produce, it also makes their job easier."
Carded Graphics' version of Prinect Inspection Control uses two high-res RGB cameras with a combined resolution of 100 dpi, and is well suited for the company's mix of high-quality commercial printing, food, beverage, light pharmaceutical and medical device packaging. For highly sensitive markets and high-quality commercial printing, the system also comes in a version equipped with two 33MP/280 dpi black-and-white cameras. Prinect Inspection Control received a PIA InterTech Technology Award in 2010.
"We think of our Speedmaster XL 105 as the gift that keeps on giving," Pitts explained. "Like all of the technology enhancements developed for the XL 105, Prinect Inspection Control greatly enhances our process control capability. Our operators, who tend to be young and open to new things, are eager to utilize the advanced features of the press to improve our performance. Obviously, we want to control costs and add efficiency wherever we can."
Carded's customers also applaud the company's use of its new vision inspection system. "It raises their confidence in our process and products," Pitts said.
Carded Graphics provides high-quality folding cartons and packaging to some of the world's largest food, pharmaceutical and beverage manufacturers and suppliers. Consistent with its single-minded focus on process control, the company prefers to deal with Heidelberg as its single-source prepress and press provider to avoid time lost to vendor conflicts. Accordingly, the company also uses Heidelberg's full Prinect workflow (optimized for packaging), including Prinect Prepress Manager, Prinect Prepress Interface, and Prinect Image Control. Heidelberg Saphira Thermoplate PN plates are imaged on a Heidelberg Suprasetter 105 thermal platesetter.
Precision Graphics Scores with Speedmaster XL 105, Suprasetter 105, and Consumables from Heidelberg
Precision Graphics of Oregon, Inc., a full-service commercial printing and packaging firm, has added a 5-color Speedmaster XL 105 with aqueous coater to its all-Heidelberg pressroom lineup. The aim, said owner Ray Budd, is to step up Precision's production capabilities in order to enlarge its footprint in the packaging market. In addition to doing to work of the three early 1990s-vintage 40" and 29" presses it replaced, the new press gives the 45-year-old, one-shift operation sufficient added capacity to bring on a second shift as job volume increases.
The company images Heidelberg Saphira Chemfree plates for the new XL and its other presses-a pair of 6-color Speedmaster SM 102s-on a newly installed Suprasetter 105 platesetter with multiple cassette loader. "The Suprasetter is a cleaner, greener system that is making everyone around here smile," Budd said. The company also uses eco-friendly Heidelberg Saphira pressroom consumables. Intelligent networking via Prinect Prepress Interface seamlessly links all of Precision's Heidelberg presses with its prepress workflow system, reducing throughput time and limiting the chance of error. In the bindery, a pair of Heidelberg cylinder presses are still used for scoring, perfing, and die cutting.
Despite the recent economic downturn, business is picking up again, Budd said, adding, "We've always been in the black, and our profits have been high." The new Speedmaster XL 105 is the latest in a long line of Heidelberg presses to take the floor at Precision Graphics. "I know what works by now," Budd said. The company employs 23 at its facility in Tualatin, OR.
Chippewa Graphics Prepares To Expand into Pharmaceutical Market with Speedmaster SM 102 Perfector
Chippewa Graphics is a full-service, minority and veteran-owned commercial printer in Hew Hope, MN. The company recently installed a 2-color Speedmaster SM 102 perfector to help the company establish a larger footprint in the pharmaceutical insert market.
Chippewa Graphics already has a number of customers in the pharmaceutical and miniature insert market, but has been limited as to the stock thickness it could run on an aging, competitive press. That press has now been replaced by the Speedmaster SM 102. According to company vice president Robert Blackorbay, the new press will enable the company to run lighter-weight stocks from 27 lb. on up at significantly faster perfecting speeds and with less waste, thanks to quicker wash-ups and faster makeready times. The icing on the cake, added Blackorbay, is the three-year Systemservice36plus service package it received with the purchase, especially the time- and cost-saving benefits of Heidelberg's web-based Remote Service.
"Heidelberg continues to be a valuable partner and a key source of support for Chippewa Graphics," Blackorbay said. The company operates a raft of Heidelberg equipment, including a 6-color perfector w/inline coater Speedmaster SM 74, 4-Stahlfolders 30" to miniature, and a POLAR 92EMC cutter with jogger. Heidelberg's Saphira blankets and chemistry help Chippewa's pressroom run clean and green.
Established in 1981 and with 45 employees, third- generation family owned and operated Chippewa Graphics serves a primarily local clientele, but also ships to customers located as far away as Mexico, Canada, England, France and Germany. The ambitious, G7-certified Master Printer specializes in all types and quantities of multi-color printing, with capabilities that extend from design to fulfillment. The company provides digital printing, including VDP, wide-format, labels and POP display through its co-branded company, Skyblue Graphic Services. All of the company's activities are united by its objective to form lifetime relationships with clients by providing them with innovative, cost-effective print merchandising solutions throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Fidelity Printing Increases Cutting Capacity by 30 Percent with POLAR 115 Xplus
Fidelity Printing, St. Petersburg, FL lauds its recently installed POLAR 115 Xplus guillotine cutter for its programmability and outstanding ease of use. The new cutter replaces an aging Wohlenburg machine and joins a 20-year-old, 36" POLAR that "still runs like a champ," according to company president Robbie Hasson. Where the older cutter currently is reserved for the cutting and trimming of digital output, however, the new POLAR 115 Xplus machine is used to cut and trim the company's offset-printed, finished work.
"Not only does the POLAR 115 Xplus run 30 percent faster than our existing machine, but the programming (via the 18.5" touchscreen) is extremely user-friendly, and its ability to store and recall often-used templates is outstanding and saves a lot of time," Hasson said. The company's full-service bindery also contains a Stitchmaster ST 350 6-pocket saddlestitcher.
Fidelity Printing has served customers in the industrial, medical, educational, advertising and retail markets for more than 30 years. A period of rapid growth finds the company expanding in several different directions at once. In addition to offset and digital printing, including VDP, the company also offers, mailing and fulfillment, as well as PURLs and other web-based services.
"We're in the communication and distribution business, where printing is a critical element of our overall marketing mix, one that frequently drives everything else, up to and including our web-based services. Instead of simply asking our customers what they need, we also ask them how they plan to use it."
North Star Printing Makes Bold Move into Short-Run Packaging Market with Varimatrix Die Cutter from Heidelberg
North Star Printing, a high-end catalog printer in Spanish Ford, UT has taken a giant step toward expanding its presence in the Salt Lake City-area market for short-run packaging with the installation of a Varimatrix 105 CS (cutting and stripping) die cutter from Heidelberg. The installation ends the company's practice of outsourcing the majority of its packaging work, resulting in considerable annual savings for North Star.
"We were outsourcing the majority of our die cutting work to the tune of $20-$30k each year," Foster said. "Bringing it in-house likely will save us between $150 and $200k annually. It's an opportunity we wanted to pursue aggressively because no one else in the Salt Lake City area is doing short-run packaging at the moment."
The shift in focus came about, he explained, when North Star's salespeople went to the company's top 50 clients and asked them what they liked and didn't like about North Star's service, and discovered that many of them wanted to use North Star as a single source provider for their commercial and packaging work.
"We've refined our focus on short-run packaging for pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and multi-level marketing clients, for many of which we already do commercial printing," said Neal Foster, company president.
A longtime Heidelberg customer and one of the most "Prinected" print shops in the nation, North Star installed a Speedmaster CD 74 5-color press with aqueous coater and Axis Control color measuring system in 2009 to take advantage of its numerous Prinect modules. With the renewed focus on packaging, the company plans to optimize its extensive Prinect workflow for packaging. Other Heidelberg equipment in use at North Star includes a Speedmaster SM 74 8-color press, Printmaster QM 46 2-color press, Prosetter 74 SCL, Stahl ST 270 saddlestitcher, and a POLAR 92 X programmable paper cutter. The company also uses Heidelberg Saphira violet plates, as well as Saphira blankets, ink foils, fountain solution and press wash.
Founded in 1996, North Star Printing serves customers nationwide. The company, a G7-certified Master Printer, employs a staff of 24.