French Stamp Printer Boosts Productivity by 20 Percent with a Speedmaster XL 75 from Heidelberg
Cartor performs inline printing and die cutting
Peak Performance technology supports a broad range of
substrates and a wide variety of surface finishing options
Environmentally friendly printing thanks to alcohol
reduction and high level of automation with Prinect Axis
Print shop significantly boosts its sales through new
investments in recent years
French print shop Cartor in La Loupe works with a Speedmaster XL 75
press from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) with a
configuration that is the only one of its kind in the world. The
Speedmaster XL 75-6+L-D-X is tailored to the individual
requirements of Cartor and is equipped with eight units - six
inking units, a dispersion coating unit, and a die-cutting unit -
and the CutStar sheeter. Founded in 1974, the company was taken
over in 2004 by the UK-based ISP Group (International Security
Printers), which is headquartered in Birmingham and specializes in
postage stamp printing. Some 46 employees work at the plant in
France designing, developing, and producing very high-quality and
innovative commemorative stamps. More than 90 percent of these are
earmarked for export and are delivered to over 200 core customers
in around 100 countries. The stamps come in all shapes and sizes
and feature flocking, scented coatings, holograms, embossing, and
gold or silver inks. "One of the greatest strengths of the
Speedmaster XL 75 is its ability to process a huge range of
substrates, such as cork, metalized printing stocks, plastics, and
silk. It handles everything from extremely thin grammages just 0.03
mm thick all the way through to extremely thick materials of up to
0.8 mm," confirms Ian Brigham, Managing Director of Cartor and
co-shareholder of the ISP Group.
Sound expert knowledge and powerful cutting-edge technology are
needed to meet the high quality requirements of stamp collectors.
It is for this reason that the Cartor print shop has invested more
than EUR 5 million in modernizing its equipment since 2004. These
investments have boosted the company's sales from EUR 2.5 million
in the past to EUR 10 million today with 10% staff increase. In
2009, Cartor took a seven-color Speedmaster SM 74 press with
high-pile delivery into operation. The sixth printing unit of this
customized press processes UV inks, while the seventh can
accommodate dry offset technology and an integrated ink agitator to
process phosphorescent inks.
Made-to-measure machine configuration
Ian Brigham is impressed with the technology from
Heidelberg: "The Speedmaster XL 75 is robust, reliable, and
delivers outstanding quality. Its enhanced printing speed and
straightforward operation have enabled us to boost our productivity
by 20 percent." The print shop works with an ultrafine screen of
600 lpi - or 236 lpcm - and can be used to print the very tiniest
of details and the finest color vignettes. "The stamps are
perforated inline after printing in the IDC-unit. With a given
register tolerance between print and perforation of only 0.2 mm, we
have a point which is normally hard to achieve, but with the
Heidelberg Inline Die cutting-solution XL75 easy to make.
The high precision of the CutStar sheeter enabled us to
eliminate the sheet trimming. The substrate is cut to the required
format straight away, which reduces throughput times and paper
waste," says Ian Brigham.
Another key feature in the machine is the ink agitator in the
sixth printing unit, which makes it easier to process very
high-viscosity inks. These inks comprise invisible, fluorescent,
and phosphorescent pigments that are used as security features on
stamps. The coating unit is equipped with a screen roller, a
chambered blade system, and a coating supply unit that can be used
to process strongly pigmented special coatings such as Iriodin,
pearlescent, or photochromic coatings. "In some orders, the
pigments are up to 120 μ in size. This technology makes it
possible to apply larger amounts of coating than with dry offset
printing," explains Ian Brigham.
The Speedmaster XL 75 supports alcohol-reduced (< 5%) production
and the FilterStar Compact system ensures an enhanced ink/water
balance. As a result, the replacement intervals for the dampening
solution can be extended to up to three months, which saves time
and, thanks to lower water consumption, protects the environment.
Cartor also opted for spectrophotometric quality control of the ink
with Prinect Axis Control. This way, the ink is added automatically
to ensure a stable ink setting process. Prinect Axis Control is
particularly suitable for spot colors and makes it possible to meet
even the highest quality standards of discerning customers.
"Thanks to the CombiStar inking unit temperature control and
dampening solution circulation system, color reproduction is even
more stable and the ink/water balance truly exceptional. When we
compared the systems available on the market, we noticed that the
dot gain of the Speedmaster XL 75 was the best by some margin,"
confirms Ian Brigham. "Since 2009, we have cut the number of
presses in our facility from three to two while increasing our
production capacity by 50 percent at the same time. Heidelberg also
provided first-rate support when it came to training the machine
Ian Brigham (center), Managing Director of Cartor, J.
Alves (right), Technical Director Stamps, and Hubert Viger from
Heidelberg France are impressed with the wide range of surface
finishing options for stamps offered by the Speedmaster XL 75.
Figure 2: Stamps for Ecuador
The self-adhesive stamps for Ecuador were printed on
natural cork - just one example of the broad range of substrates
that the Speedmaster XL 75 supports.
Figure 3: Stamps for France
The self-adhesive "Seeds of France" set of ten stamps is
printed on 100 percent FSC recycled paper. Five of the stamps even
come with the corresponding seeds for planting.
Further image material and information about Heidelberger
Druckmaschinen AG can be found in the Press Lounge at:
Further information for journalists:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Corporate Public Relations
Phone: +49 (0) 6221 92-5066
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 92-5069