UK printer to install first drupa-specification Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-5+L in the world

Elle expects 320 hours more print capacity per year with its latest Heidelberg Speedmaster installation due in March.

The Elle Media Group (Essex, UK) still uses a Speedmaster XL 106-5+L, which has produced over 210 million sheets in three years. This press will be replaced in the Spring of this year by a Speedmaster XL 106-5+L – the world’s first serial drupa 2020 specification press. Elle expects over 300 hours more print capacity per year compared to its previous model. The company has an in-house creative studio and is the leading charity greeting card publishing house in the UK. The group continues to be Heidelberg’s most productive operation in Europe on a straight-configuration press. The business regularly produces over 7 million impressions on one press per month with an average run length of about 4,000, and an average a make-ready time of just over 3.2 minutes. The new industry benchmark press will be delivered to the Elle Media Group in March, and will continue with its businesses strategy of deploying the latest technology to ensure the lowest operating cost per sheet, as well as making certain that the right capacity is available for its growing greeting card publishing division as well as its commercial print customers.

With this investment, the company continues to adapt its service structure to ensure that technology enhances its customers experiences at all times, Elle added. With a full suite of Prinect products, the shop’s transition into a fully working ‘Smart Print Shop’ and Heidelberg ‘Push to Stop’ user has been accelerated through the continued drive and delivery of its production team. With Heidelberg Push to Stop technology, jobs are autonomously changed over without operator intervention and will continue to print or fold until the operator interrupts it. The numbers from Prinect Smart BI, both in terms of output and quality, showed that this key investment would deliver the required ROI in what remains one of the most competitive markets in print worldwide.

“We had been evaluating this investment for over 12 months. We knew with the output levels we were producing, and the fixed operating costs in place, that our investment cycle would need to be decreased to ensure that we sustained our existing cost per sheet,” said James Cuthbert, Managing Director at Elle Media Group. “This was the primary driver for the investment, combined with the increase in capacity for the same overhead due to Intellistart 3 – ensuring one minute improvement on current performance which will give us another 320 hours of available press time per year ,to ensure that we maximize the opportunities being presented to us.”


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.