John Roberts signs first Heidelberg subscription contract in the U.S.

John Roberts, a 65-year-old commercial printing, packaging and marketing services provider located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has signed the first Heidelberg subscription contract in the United States and expects to improve both print quality and overall productivity. Its subscription contract includes a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-6+L as well as Prinect software, Saphira consumables, parts, performance consulting and service. Everything will be provided by Heidelberg for a monthly fee based on the number of printed sheets the shop produces each month. Heidelberg will also work with John Roberts to analyze its current operations and establish goals for improved production and reduced cost-per-sheet. It’s expected that 30 contracts for Heidelberg’s new subscription model will be concluded worldwide during the financial year 2018/2019, said the OEM.

From left are: Scott Zorn, VP of Operations at John Roberts; Michael Keene, CEO; Marnie Janezich, President; Emily Schultz, Director of Client Services, and Mark Carlson, Executive Vice President of Sales.

“We’re excited to be the first company in the United States to benefit from the Heidelberg subscription program,” said Scott Zorn, Vice President of Operations at John Roberts. “We’ve always been a huge believer in Heidelberg. Now, we’re taking it to a new level with Heidelberg subscription and creating a true partnership. With the consolidation of consumables, service support and performance meetings, we know that this subscription model is going to be great. We already have a great relationship with Heidelberg, but we plan on this relationship evolving further. In order for us both to be successful through the Heidelberg subscription model, we need to improve our efficiencies on the press. With this partnership and all the services that come along with it, there’s a lot of opportunities for both of us,” he added.

Replacing two older Heidelberg presses, it’s estimated that the Speedmaster XL 106-6+L will help open 30% more daily capacity for additional jobs. With maximum production speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour, the “peak-performance press” can handle complex job changes “at the fastest speeds possible.” The press also includes Prinect Inpress Control 2, which allows the XL 106 to deliver the first measureable result in less than 60 sheets, and is ready to start printing in less than 1 minute. Equipped with “Push to Stop” technology, the Speedmaster’s jobs can be autonomously changed without operator intervention. The press can continue to print until the operator interrupts it. This software system dramatically reduces the number of operating steps in a job change and also enables all operators to achieve uniform results.

Michael Keene.

“With the new XL 106 with ‘Push to Stop’ technology from Heidelberg, we’ll be able to increase productivity and create additional sophisticated printing applications with added-value opportunities for our customers,” said Michael Keene, Chairman and CEO of John Roberts. “We take great pride in staying ahead of the competition, and this equipment will deliver the highest quality at optimum performance.” While the new technology of the XL 106 alone will increase John Roberts’ productivity, Heidelberg’s subscription program goes well beyond just providing equipment. The company will also be supplied with Saphira Consumables, performance efficiency services, and training that are all tuned to their applications. Monthly performance efficiency meetings with management from both companies will analyze John Roberts’ KPIs, comparing them to benchmarks from other printers in the industry. These meetings will continuously help set and track their ambitious production goals.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.