Brodnax expected to save $230,000 this year with Heidelberg’s Speedmaster CD 102 with X-Package

Co-owners Jim Singer (left) and Mike Campbell.
Brodnax co-owners Jim Singer (left) and Mike Campbell.

Brodnax Printing (Dallas, Texas) is seeing substantial savings since installing a new hybrid UV Speedmaster CD 102-6+L with X-Package from Heidelberg earlier this year. The new CD 102-X replaced a 1999 Speedmaster CD 102 and runs alongside an older Heidelberg SM 102. Installed in January 2017, the new press has increased capacity by 50%, and Brodnax offset sales have already grown by 20% in the first quarter of 2017 alone. “Buying from Heidelberg for the past 15-plus years, we already knew the mechanical advantages of the machine, but we greatly underestimated the digital advantages of this machine,” said Jim Singer, Brodnax co-owner. “Our pressmen are simply blown away – one pull for sellable colour and 4-minute make-readies. We were used to 35-minute make-readies on our older machine.”

Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-X.
Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-X.

On just the first press run, Brodnax ran a job that historically took 13 hours to run on its older machine. With the new CD 102-X, the team was able to complete the job in just under 6 hours. In addition to increased automation, the new hybrid press can switch between conventional and UV printing. As a result, Brodnax has now pulled more than 50% of the work off of their older machine. “When we were researching this press, people told us that changing over between conventional and UV would be long and laborious. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. This machine has more than exceeded our expectations as far as changeover times are concerned,” Singer added. The Speedmaster CD 102 with X-Package can deliver up to 40 million impressions per year. “On a cost-per-sheet basis, it beats any competitive press – maximizing the profit potential of its output,” said Heidelberg.

While Brodnax, in its 60th year of business, has purchased multiple new presses from Heidelberg before, they were originally intending for this latest purchase to be a used machine. According to Singer, “When we were looking at the numbers for the CD-X, it was actually a no-brainer. This machine pays for itself.” After just three months of production, Brodnax is on track to save $140,000 in make-ready waste and $90,000 in labour costs by the end of this year. Due to the increased throughput of the press, Brodnax had to purchase a Polar pile turner to help get sheets through the press faster. Additionally, the new press created a bottleneck in their finishing department. “We couldn’t cut the sheets fast enough,” said Singer. “Whenever you invest in new technology in one part of your business, it’s going to affect something downstream.” To ease the load for their operators, Brodnax purchased a Polar stack lift and jogger for their existing Polar cutter. The additional automation has increased throughput in the finishing department by 80%.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.