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Thirlby wows ‘em at Speedmaster event

Friday, 10 October 2014
By Patrick Howard

World champion printer from ESP in the UK has a make-ready record of two minutes five seconds on his way towards producing 165 million sheets per year with an average run length of 4,050 on just two Speedmasters.

Presenting to more than 100 customers from all over, including one from Fiji,  at an Information Day at the Print Media Center in Heidelberg, Thirlby gave a lively account of how ESP used critical analysis to transform itself into a world beating industrialized print shop.

“We’ve switched completely to a standardized platform  and production now takes place on a Speedmaster XL 105 five-colour press and a latest-generation Speedmaster XL 106 five-colour press with Prinect Inpress Control and AutoPlate XL.

“Our focus is on complete transparency and integrating all processes, and I readily admit that my targets are highly ambitious,” said Thirlby.

The results are impressive. Over a period of 32 months, the Speedmaster XL 105 has printed over 188 million sheets with an average make-ready time of 3 minutes and 50 seconds. And after just 31 weeks, the Speedmaster XL 106 has already printed 55 million sheets with a potentially record-breaking average make-ready time of 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Thirlby is a familiar face to many Australian and New Zealand printers who over the years have made ESP a place of pilgrimage for the good oil on production printing.

At the cutely named Speedmaster.Unbeatable event, the general consensus, unsurprisingly,  was that offset printing with highly automated presses still has a future, augmented by digital printing where expedient. Process integration is the ideal response to the trend toward shorter runs.

Customers giving presentations identified the press modules they would no longer want to be without. The Prinect Inpress Control inline measuring system that automatically controls ink and register on the fly, for instance, has become an industry standard. Some 95 percent of all Heidelberg perfecting presses are supplied with this system, and this is now also the case for over two-thirds of straight-printing presses and in packaging printing. The AutoPlate XL fully automatic plate changing system and the Intellistart process-oriented operator guidance system have also become a permanent feature at print shops.

Further information here at Heidelberg



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