Kennesaw, GA – AMP Printing and Graphics needed a flexible press that could deliver the precisely color-matched, litho-printed components of the coordinated cross-platform marketing projects for which the Dublin, CA-based printer is well known.
To secure its market leadership, the company installed a 10-color Speedmaster XL 106 aqueous and UV double-coating and 5/5 perfecting press from Heidelberg in May, becoming the first company in the San Francisco Bay Area to do so. It also became the first worldwide to install the Speedmaster XL 106 in a double-coating configuration, commonly referred to as the L-P-L technology, which enables printing, coating, perfecting, printing, and coating-all in a single pass.
“We made up our minds to retool our pressroom in order to work faster and more efficiently while growing the business,” Vice President Jeff Main said, at the time. “The new press represents the potential for substantial growth in sales and profits for us.”
Five months into production, AMP’s Speedmaster XL 106 is well on its way toward realizing that potential: the company has joined a vanguard of users worldwide that are realizing the remarkable time, labor, and material savings associated with makereadies of 10 minutes or less, simultaneous plate-changing in less than two minutes, and ultra-reliable color and register control on both sides of the sheet. The Speedmaster XL 106, which the company can run as a straight 10-color press or a 5/5 L-P-L double-coating machine, now leads a versatile ensemble of digital, grand-format inkjet and litho capabilities that help AMP’s clients fulfill their marketing campaigns.
“Clients can count on us to do the whole project without sourcing around to multiple providers,” Main said.
The net effect of the XL 106’s makeready efficiencies is that the press can be much more competitive on run lengths that range, in AMP’s case, from 1000-2500 on the low end to several hundred thousand on the high end. Once plagued with productivity issues that prevented it from competing effectively, the company now boasts capacity to spare, and can produce more jobs per day-most of them UV-in just one pass through the press. The company continues to rely on its existing 29- and 40-inch Heidelberg presses for able backup support.
Sales are climbing as a direct result of the installation. “The new press has helped bring in high-end work from new customers, and additional high-end work from existing clients, all of whom are astonished by the speed and quality we can achieve,” Main said.
Thanks to the combination of Prinect Inpress Control in-line color and register control and professional color calibration by Heidelberg (PCM), press checks have never gone faster, smoother, or more accurately, or generated less material waste.
“We use only about one-third the paper we used to consume for makereadies,” Main said. “Our customers also love Prinect Inpress Control because they know our quality is right where it needs to be. They understand not only that we have highly skilled people, but also that we’ve given our operators the tools to accomplish so much more than an experienced pressman could do manually. It’s hard to overstate the confidence and peace-of-mind that realization brings.”
Customers who turn up for press checks readily grasp how AMP’s newly streamlined process translates into cost savings. “The entire process just floors them,” Main said.
On Second Thought
Formerly unimpressed by the subpar perfecting capabilities of some older presses, Main admits that the two-sided printing and coating capabilities of the Speedmaster XL 106 have changed his mind decisively. “The technology and quality have exceeded all my expectations,” he said. “Heidelberg has perfected the perfecting press.”
The XL 106 permits the company to print on synthetic substrates, as well as to apply high-gloss flood and spot UV coatings, including white and metallic, without a second pass or additional offline processing. Another satisfying result of this one-pass productivity is that “We get a 60-70 percent spread between dull and gloss in the same piece. That’s huge,” Main said.
Thanks to utilization of the new Speedmaster XL 106, sheetfed offset litho accounts for AMP’s highest current growth in business volume, Main said.
Consistent expert support from Heidelberg goes a long way toward making sure AMP’s first-of-its-kind Speedmaster XL 106 does its part to deliver the peak performance that is key to the company’s success. “Heidelberg takes phenomenal care of us,” Main said. “They stay involved and continue to work with us to improve our performance,” Main said. “I’m very impressed.”
About AMP Printing and Graphics
AMP Printing and Graphics is a Certified Woman-Owned, Certified Green, G7-qualified, expert UV printer specializing in the production of high-end specialty marketing materials for customers in the retail, technology, medical, financial, education, and advertising markets. Its high-volume, state-of-the-art, 110,000-square-foot facility in Dublin houses a variety of operational and technical capabilities, including sheetfed and digital offset presses, color-managed prepress, and a full suite of finishing services. The 35-year-old company was an early adopter of grand-format UV imaging, and today boasts a range of solutions that produce work up to 10 feet wide at the highest possible resolutions. The company has a workforce of 90 and annual sales of $24 million.