Zenith Media has placed an order for two of Heidelberg’s latest high speed Stahlfolder TH 82-P buckle machines. With average runs of between 500 and 5,000 copies, automation was critical and at Drupa the Zenith team saw, and were blown away by, the makeready times and output of the new folder.
“The spend is part of our continuous investment programme and a good match for the Speedmaster XL 106 we bought last year. Indeed, the folder features the same feeder technology as the press; we can finally see a folder running at the same speed as the XL,” says Mark Partridge, operations director.
Geraint Evans, pressroom manager, adds: “We like automation, standardisation and the ability to link in the folders, using Prinect JDF workflows, to our MIS system. That will optimise our performance, eliminate bottlenecks and allow us to plan and predict work timescales better.”
In addition to increasing productivity, Zenith was also keen to ensure the folder technology was easy to use and running costs were competitive. It was pleased with the TH 82-Ps on all criteria and it is looking forward to reduced set up times and accurate machine data capture moving forward.
“As a company we know that to compete and to continue to produce a superior product and excellent customer service we must invest in our people and the latest technology,” says Mr Partridge. “These folders will give our customers faster turnrounds and gives us more capacity and, with that, flexibility.”
Although Heidelberg has offered a high speed folder option previously, it did not use the traditional feeding orientation and the sections produced were not standard in format. The TH/KH 82-P models use the standard orientation and overlap sheets throughout the process, in effect slowing the machine down for better control and yet giving a very much higher output of standard format sections.
Zenith’s switch out of three existing Heidelberg folders will take place in November. As the two new Stahlfolder TH 82-P folders are installed, operators will receive professional in-house training to ensure the technology goes straight into full production, running Continental shifts 24/7.
“The operators are delighted that the latest investment is being made in the bindery and cannot wait to undertake the training and learn the new technology,” says Mr Partridge. “Heidelberg machines are built to a high standard and the engineer and sales staff are very professional. Smart automation, a one stop shop approach and the ability to look ahead and to keep their customers’ best interests in mind in all they do make them a first rate supplier.”