Venn Holdings orders Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 state-of-the-art B2 litho printing press for JDP's Whitchurch factory, installs HP Indigo 100K B2 digital press to grow its business; JDP adds 11 new staff members to support its rapid growth

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April 5, 2022 (press release) –

Venn Holdings has made a significant investment in state-of-the-art B2 litho technology with the purchase of the UK's highest-spec Speedmaster XL 75 yet for JDP.

The new 18,000sph Speedmaster is configured with four colours plus coater and Heidelberg’s Push to Stop technology, which allows makereadies to be carried out in just one minute. It also has Inpress control, Autoplate XL and Intelliline.

The press will arrive at JDP’s Whitchurch factory in late October and will replace the firm’s existing five-colour XL 75, which is eight years old.

“It will be the first new generation XL 75 in the UK,” said Venn co-founder Anthony Thirlby.

“Our B2 focus is working out for us. We now have the same hourly rate and labour costs on every device, which gives us great flexibility.

“I’m more than confident we can be competitive against B1 through cost-efficiency,” he added.

Heidelberg product executive Matt Rockley said the new press would be a “superb fit” for the business and quipped: “The XL 75 certainly will be the ‘Speedmaster’ operated by the masters of speed!”

The Speedmaster represents an investment of around £1.2m, and Thirlby said the firm expected to work with finance partner Compass Business Finance again on the deal.

He said JDP would hit 200% growth by the end of this month, and was on track for turnover of £7.5m.

The firm installed a HP Indigo 100K B2 digital press three months ago.

JDP has taken on 11 new staff support its rapid growth, taking the total to 32.

Cheryl Corbett, who worked with Thirlby at ESP Colour and Pureprint, has joined as group systems manager for Venn.

The firm is combining workflow tools from Heidelberg and HP with its own Ventura in-house operating system.

Thirlby said JDP was winning work in a market where jobs are increasingly being placed on short turnaround times.

“When we bought the business it was handling 250 orders a month, now we’re up to 1,400. We have about nine working days’ visibility on litho, and about three or four days on digital,” he added.

Thirlby and former colleague Andy Rae set up buy-and-build venture Venn Holdings in March, when they acquired John Dollin Printing Services, subsequently rebranded as JDP.

Thirlby said the group was also close to finalising its second acquisition.

Heidelberg's new generation Speedmasters would have been launched at Drupa 2020, if the show had gone ahead.

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Jason Irving
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