DS Graphics in Lowell, Massachusetts, installs a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 8-color plus coater Peak Performance perfecting press with AutoPlate XL simultaneous plate changing, Prinect Inpress Control, to install second XL 106 10-color model in spring
September 18, 2013
– DS Graphics, Inc. (www.dsgraphics.com) in Lowell, MA, recently took delivery of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 8-color plus coater Peak Performance (18,000 sph) perfecting press with AutoPlate XL simultaneous plate changing and Prinect Inpress Control. A second XL 106, a 10-color perfecting model, will be installed next spring. Purchased at drupa 2012, the two presses are the first 18,000 Peak Performance perfecting models with coating sold worldwide.
"From an efficiency perspective, the Speedmaster XL 106 makes the press it replaced-a top-of-the-line competitive machine-look like a toy," said company president Jeffrey Pallis. "The XL 106 has the kinds of built-in efficiencies that are necessary for handling a highly variable workload entailing multiple job changes" across three shifts, seven days per week, he explained. "You don't have time to waste on makeready. You have to hit the ground running." In fact, the new press has been running at or close to 18,000 sph in straight and perfecting modes on all substrates "since day one," Pallis said.
The new XL 106 has allowed DS Graphics to expand its web to print production capabilities by significantly reducing its clients' time to market with increased makeready efficiencies. "The time-to-market impact of print communications using the XL106 has pushed the envelope in terms of production of static communications alongside their variable counter parts," Pallis explained. "As a result, we are able to provide our clients with just-in-time products in both the variable and static worlds."
What Learning Curve?
According to Pallis, after just one month in production, the new XL 106 is "ripping through the work," printing flawless wall-to-wall color including dense reds and blues on text weight stock at 18,000 sph in perfecting mode. "There's been no dimensional instability at all," he said. The new press also handles makeready in 15 minutes or less, and achieves saleable color 4/4 within 200 sheets at tight Delta E tolerances, thanks in large part to Prinect Inpress Control, which measures and controls color and register on the fly.
"By not throwing away 1500-3000 waste sheets per form-a common problem on the press we replaced," Pallis said, "the savings will add up over 12 months to where we're using just one-tenth of the paper we previously would have used. Instead of wasting time and material making ready, we're running that much more capacity." The net effect of these makeready enhancements is to give DS Graphics a significant productivity advantage against its competitors.
As if the speed and color fidelity of the new press weren't reason enough to celebrate its arrival, the XL 106 already is making DS Graphics look like a hero to its customers. Configured to run book and magazine covers 4/4 plus aqueous coating, the new press also is saving clients money by printing internal-facing pages without aqueous coating. Sheets are dry on arrival, thanks to mark-free travel through the perfecting unit. DSG's clients have taken note. "Our customers have said, 'You've made an investment that has a positive effect on the value of your services to us'. Feedback like that is priceless," Pallis said.
When the second XL 106 perfector is up and running next spring, the capacity of DS Graphics' pressroom will be more than twice what it was. In other words, said Pallis, "We would have had to purchase twice the equipment of an older generation to match the load these presses will be able to handle."
Established in 1974, privately held DS Graphics provides a multi-tiered platform of tools and solutions to help clients overcome increasingly complex "go to market" obstacles to business growth within an increasingly complex environment. The conservatively managed print, mail, and fulfillment-centered company has remained consistently fiscally healthy and has grown from revenues of $1.7 million in 1990 to near $40 million today. To date, the company has enjoyed 40 straight quarters of profitability, Pallis said, by investing in cutting-edge technology and providing top-flight customer service. DS Graphics also installed the first XL 105-10P in North America in 2008.