Birmingham, Ala.-based PrintSmart installs new Speedmaster XL 75-8P+L from HEIDELBERG to replace a Speedmaster CD 74 perfector; since installation, company has doubled its production of wide-format signage, business cards and more

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KENNESAW, Georgia , October 4, 2023 (press release) –

Looking to modernize its print production, PrintSmart, a commercial trade printer located in Birmingham, AL, recently installed a new Speedmaster XL 75-8P+L from HEIDELBERG. The new press, installed earlier this year, replaces a twenty-year-old Speedmaster CD 74 perfector and has doubled production at PrintSmart.

“Staggering Throughput”

Serving printers and customers throughout the Southeast, PrintSmart prints a vast range of job types throughout a daily shift. “We’re producing everything from wide format signage to business cards and everything in between,” said Jared Thornton, President of PrintSmart. Previously equipped with a CD 74 perfecting press, the company began experiencing an increasing amount of downtime and necessary maintenance due to the machine’s age. Seeking a more efficient and higher quality solution to handle frequent job changeovers, PrintSmart installed a Speedmaster XL 75-8P+L earlier this year. The new press, which is also equipped for potential UV production, has not only eliminated marking issues but has doubled the company’s print capacity.

PrintSmart’s XL 75 is an upgrade in speed and technology for the company thanks to HEIDELBERG’s intelligent User Experience and patented Intellistart 3 system that provide support for operators during the press run and automatically determine the makeready processes required for jobs to be produced. While impressed with the press demonstration by HEIDELBERG’s “seasoned” press operators – producing three jobs in less than fifteen minutes – at its Print Media Performance & Training Center in Kennesaw, GA, Thornton was skeptical the press could produce the same results in less “perfect” conditions. “Everything there is set up for success, but now that the press is installed here and running our jobs, it’s doing everything we were promised. The speed and throughput are staggering.”

Also equipped with Prinect Inpress Control 3, the industry’s leading inline spectrophotometer that measures and controls color and registers on the fly, the XL 75 has significantly reduced both makeready time and waste compared to the company’s older press. “No other manufacturer has technology that comes close to Inpress Control,” said Mark Wheeler, Plant Manager for PrintSmart. “Thanks to the efficient makeready process and consistent print quality, we recently produced a job that used to take us a day and a half in less than five hours.”

Running at its top speed of 15,000 sheets per hour – even during makeready, the XL 75 is enabling PrintSmart’s operators to swiftly change from one stock to another with minimal adjustments to the press or feeder. Recently, Thornton said, PrintSmart’s press crew was able to “painlessly” perform almost 100 plate changes in one shift. Although more paper has to be loaded into the machine due to its increased throughput, the operators “just put the paper in the press, hang the plates, tell it to go, and it just prints without stopping. There are no more headaches. Their hearts are much happier,” he added. In fact, since installation, one of PrintSmart’s veteran pressmen chose to delay retirement so he can continue to run the new XL 75.

New Business, Competitive Pricing

Additionally, the XL 75’s efficiency has helped PrintSmart become more competitive with its pricing – even against larger 40” shops. “With our enhanced speed and throughput, we can hit the aggressive price points we want and still be profitable,” said Spero Vourlotis, CFO of PrintSmart. Seeing an influx of new jobs for both existing and new customers, the company, he added, has been able to capture “a lot of new business that we wouldn’t have been able to go after previously.”

PrintSmart also credits HEIDELBERG’s thorough training from Press Instructor, Mark Moler, as the basis for its success with the machine upon start-up. Equipped with many HEIDELBERG presses, POLAR cutters, Stahlfolders, and Suprasetter CtP, PrintSmart, who also uses Prinect Production Manager and Saphira Consumables, continues to turn to HEIDELBERG as a single source for many of its products because, according to Thornton, “If something goes wrong, there’s no finger pointing. Everyone just jumps in to fix the issue.” Many members of HEIDELBERG’s team, particularly PrintSmart’s Consumables Sales Representative, Mike Starnes, “go above and beyond to work behind the scenes in the best interest of the customer. HEIDELBERG never fails to do the right thing.”

About PrintSmart

When all is said and done, printing is not just presses and paper, techniques and technology. Printing is the people that make it happen. It’s their expertise and experience, dedication and determination that bring the tools of the trade to life. PrintSmart is a team of people committed to the satisfaction of its partners and their customers.


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