Book printer Bertelsmann Printing Group USA's Hicksville, N.Y., plant adds new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-6P-L press, Subscription Smart contract that includes wide-ranging performance, consulting services with aim of boosting press productivity

Sample article from our Printing & Publishing

July 7, 2022 (press release) –

  • Subscription Smart performance promise is decisive factor
  • Bertelsmann is expecting greater productivity and improved customer satisfaction

(from left to right): Jorge Velasco, Chief Operating Officer, Bertelsmann Printing Group USA, and Christof Ludwig, Chief Executive Officer, Bertelsmann Printing Group USA.

Bertelsmann Printing Group USA (BPG USA), one of the publishing sector’s leading book printers, recently purchased a new Speedmaster XL 106-6P+L from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HEIDELBERG) for its site in Hicksville. Equipped with the latest Speedmaster technology, this press is being supplied in conjunction with a HEIDELBERG Subscription Smart contract that includes wide-ranging performance and consulting services with the aim of boosting press productivity.

Process optimization is key

BPG USA’s new Speedmaster XL 106 is replacing several older presses at the Hicksville plant, which makes jackets and inserts for book production. “The keyword for us is optimization,” says Christof Ludwig, CEO of BPG USA. “If you replace several presses with a single machine, you want to ensure the overall productivity and efficiency is much better,” he adds. Before purchasing the Speedmaster XL 106, BPG USA – part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group headquartered in Germany – was guided by the company’s investments in Europe, which included installing several Speedmaster presses at various sites and successfully operating them in conjunction with a Subscription Smart contract. “When we saw the success of these presses in Europe, we formed an in-house project team to establish whether installing a similar machine in Hicksville would be beneficial for our production as a whole,” explains Ludwig.

Besides optimizing internal processes, the advanced technology and automation options of the new press are set to assist the company with its goal of improving the customer experience. “The Speedmaster XL 106 will contribute to the general level of customer satisfaction by helping us ensure punctual deliveries and high-quality products,” says Jorge Velasco, President and COO of BPG USA. The press boasts autonomous Push to Stop technology, AutoPlate Pro, and a completely new operating philosophy – the HEIDELBERG User Experience – which, together with the patented Intellistart 3 and other assistance systems, ensures short makeready times and optimum support for press operators. This press is also manufactured on a climate-neutral basis. In other words, the CO2 emissions generated during the manufacturing process are offset by purchasing climate protection certificates (Gold Standard).

Subscription Smart contract is a good reason to buy

Even though the technology played a big part in BPG USA opting for the new Speedmaster XL 106, Ludwig and Velasco cite the Subscription Smart contract as the decisive factor that led to the decision to buy from HEIDELBERG. With Subscription Smart, BPG USA pays a fixed monthly rate for an agreed “pay-per-outcome” print volume and has access to HEIDELBERG performance and consulting services. Prior to purchasing the Speedmaster XL 106, BPG USA set targets in consultation with HEIDELBERG regarding makeready times, speeds, and paper waste. “All the latest presses are equipped with advanced technology, but HEIDELBERG offers an all-in-one package that includes ongoing collaboration on long-term goals. HEIDELBERG is helping us find out how we can improve,” says Ludwig.

Following installation of the new Speedmaster XL 106 in June this year, the HEIDELBERG experts will work with the BPG USA team to analyze the company’s KPIs, processes, and benchmark data so as to identify potential areas for improvement and ensure it always achieves maximum productivity in production. “When you buy a new printing system, you’re taking a calculated risk. The Subscription Smart contract is a kind of safety net, because we know that HEIDELBERG will ensure our press consistently achieves its full potential so we can continue to run our business,” says Velasco.

About Bertelsmann Printing Group USA

Bertelsmann Printing Group USA is recognized as one of the publishing sector’s leading print service providers for book components. It produces some of the best-known book jackets, covers, and inserts, including award-winning products. A high security standard is ensured for embargoed products to protect intellectual property. BPG USA is a top provider of special effects for numerous book jackets, book covers, and album covers. It also boasts wide-ranging experience in the production of special packaging and multimedia home entertainment products. In addition, the company has gained industry-wide recognition for its expertise in other commercial printing projects.

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Jason Irving
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