Phoenix-based O’Neil Printing installs Stahlfolder KH 82 from HEIDELBERG to boost its signature folding efficiency; equipment is 'missing piece' it needed in its transformation journey that began in 2020 with new facility, HEIDELBERG Speedmaster CX 102

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KENNESAW, Georgia , December 15, 2023 (press release) –

During the last three years, O’Neil has successfully transformed from a traditional commercial printer to a technology-leading company focused on innovation, automation, and efficiency. To help achieve its goal, the Phoenix, AZ based company purchased productivity boosting software and equipment from HEIDELBERG at all stages of production including Prinect Production Manager, a Speedmaster CX 102, and an automated POLAR cutting system. O’Neil, needing to fill a “missing piece” in its transformational journey, recently installed a Stahlfolder KH 82 from HEIDELBERG to boost its signature folding efficiency.

A Beautiful Trifecta

Founded in 1908, O’Neil is the self-proclaimed “oldest start-up in Arizona” thanks to its efforts to completely reinvent and reimagine the way it does business. This change included modernizing both its production capabilities and its facilities by moving into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility just outside downtown Phoenix in 2020. “Our new space is a remarkable, clean, efficient facility that we were able to design from Day One,” says Jon Krenkel, Production Manager at O’Neil. “These last few years of change have been a challenging but fun ride.”

In 2020, O’Neil also replaced three older presses with a new Speedmaster CX 102 – doubling its press productivity in less than a year. The new press’s speed, coupled with the outstanding productivity of the company’s fully automated POLAR cutting system that Krenkel says “blows everyone out of the water,” underlined an obvious weakness in the company’s otherwise highly efficient operation. According to Krenkel, “Seeing our CX print upwards of 15-16,000 sheets per hour and watching our old folders ‘clack’ along at just 5,000 was very difficult for me. Nothing was moving fast enough.” Needing to automate and increase the speed of its signature folding, O’Neil replaced two older buckle folders with a Stahlfolder KH 82 from HEIDELBERG.

Folding 12,000 sheets per hour and equipped with enhanced automation features, the KH 82 has drastically improved the throughput at O’Neil. The company’s bindery folds upwards of 1,000,000 16-page signatures during its peak yearbook production season. In previous years, it would man both buckle folders with multiple operators for two shifts, sixteen hours a day. This year, O’Neil was able to produce the same quantity of signatures using just one operator on one daily shift for eight hours with the KH 82. Many of the productivity improvements stem from the machine’s touchscreen and ability to make quick adjustments on screen and save jobs for recall later. “Makeready on our old folders was worse than nails on a chalkboard,” says Krenkel. “Now, you can go from one folding scheme to the next, pull it up on screen, and within minutes, you’re up and running the next job.”

He adds, “The KH was truly the missing piece to being able to maximize our efficiency plant wide. Now, it’s like a beautiful trifecta – the cutter can cut as fast as the press can print and the folder can fold as fast as the cutter can cut.” While the combination folder is specialized for signature folding, Krenkel says O’Neil will sometimes fold something as simple as a letter fold on its KH 82. “You wouldn’t think it makes sense, but it’s just so fast, it’s amazing.”

Looking to continue to hone its efficiency company wide, O’Neil tracks metrics like makeready, run speed, and output on the KH 82 thanks to the machine’s integration with its Prinect workflow. “Connectivity is key,” and is in part, why the company continues to purchase from HEIDELBERG. Additionally, Krenkel says, “The support we receive from HEIDELBERG, and the partnership our companies have created is second to none. Obviously, we purchase from other manufacturers, but HEIDELBERG sets the bar for all of them.”

About O’Neil

Some of the most passionate, motivated people work at O’Neil Printing. Why? Well, for starters, its employees own and operate the company. That makes every employee a very demanding boss. The team at O’Neil takes responsibility for whatever its does with integrity and heart. Like its customers, O’Neil loves print. And like its customers, its team knows that its work is a craft, not just a commodity. With competitive pricing, O’Neil also takes the time to understand the soul of every customer’s brand. It’s demonstrated in the work, and in the faces of the people at O’Neil Printing: the most responsive, service-driven group in the industry.


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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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