For 33 years, AMP Printing and Graphics, one of the San Francisco
Bay Area's premier commercial printers, relied on the legendary
dependability and print quality of its Heidelberg machines, all of
which were from 12 to 20 years old. Push came to shove, however,
when the Dublin, CA-based company determined that it would need to
invest in a 10-color Speedmaster XL 106 perfecting press with
two-sided UV printing, coating capabilities and two dryers in order
to stay competitive.
"Our decision had a lot to do with economics," said
Jeff Main, who, together with his wife, Kathy, president of the
company, made the financial commitment to move forward with this
major capital expenditure. "While we've always been
successful running Heidelberg presses, we were losing ground in an
extremely competitive market because we were working with aging,
less-productive equipment. There was never an issue with our name,
reputation or the quality of our work, just with what it cost us in
terms of the time and labor needed to sustain that level of
excellence," he said. "No matter how hard or how long we
worked, we just couldn't compete on productivity. We made up
our mind to retool and update our pressroom in order to work faster
and more efficiently while growing the business." Doing as
well as the competition wasn't an option. "We wanted to
lead, not follow," Main said.
An Eye-Opening Experience
That quest ultimately led AMP's management team to
visit Heidelberg's factory in Wiesloch, Germany, and to tour a
number of Europe's most progressive printing facilities. What
Main saw caused him to re-think his original investment plans.
"It wasn't until we saw the new technology of the XL
106 that we decided to invest in a brand-new UV press," Main
said. "It was immediately clear that no other press
manufacturer could beat the Speedmaster XL 106 in terms of print
quality, speed, performance, and ease of use." The fact was,
AMP Printing had never bought a new Heidelberg press before, let
alone a two-sided UV perfector.
"Had you asked me a year ago if I'd ever buy a
perfector, I would have said no, given the subpar perfecting
capabilities of some older equipment I'd seen," Main said.
"When I went to Germany to view the Speedmaster XL 106 in
action, I never imagined that I would wind up buying a perfector.
But the technology and the quality exceeded all my expectations.
Heidelberg has absolutely perfected the perfecting press."
For Main, the overseas trip was a revelation in more ways
than one. "When we saw European printers running demanding
automotive catalogues at full speed, we realized that the quality
would match our standards," Main explained, "but what
really sealed the deal were the unbelievably fast makereadies
enabled by the new technology. We saw setups that took well under
10 minutes-and that was for getting color and register on both
sheet sides. The XL 106 perfector is truly revolutionary and a
total mind-changer in my case. It's the best investment this
company has ever made."
Thanks to automated features like Prinect Inpress Control and
AutoPlate XL, AMP will be able to address its productivity issue by
expanding its capacity, attracting additional high-end work, and by
producing many more jobs per day-most in just one press pass. This
will streamline press checks, as well as enable a customer to walk
out the door with a finished sample after just one setup.
"We're already known for our ability to produce
high-end UV projects on a wide range of synthetic substrates,"
Main explained. "The XL 106 is as versatile as we are -
we'll be able to run it as a straight 10-color press or a 5/5
double-coating machine. And it's fast - you have to see it
running flawlessly at 15,000 sph in perfecting mode to believe it
can be done. We'll also be able to change all the plates in
less than two minutes, as well as measure every sheet through the
press for color and register in real time," he continued.
"Prinect Inpress Control will enable us to offer an
unprecedented level of color stability throughout the run, and help
our operators relax while running such a long, complex
By virtue of its shortened makeready times, rapid inking with
low-VOC UV inks, and dramatically lower material waste, the
Speedmaster XL 106 also supports the company's longstanding
policy of sustainable print production, an essential concern for
any printer subject to California's strict environmental
protection laws. The company is a certified Green Printer with a
longstanding commitment to "Print Responsibly" in every
area of the business.
The Rest of the Story
With its choice of press squared away, the company felt
it needed to create what Main termed a "closed-loop"
situation at AMP by also purchasing a Suprasetter 105
chemistry-free CtP unit with Heidelberg's complete Prinect
prepress and production workflow. Once the new press is installed,
AMP also plans to take advantage of Heidelberg's Print Color
Management service to further optimize its pressroom efficiency.
The company also works with Heidelberg Saphira consumables from
prepress to plating to press.
Beyond the stunning capabilities of Heidelberg's flagship
Speedmaster XL 106, it was Heidelberg's "mindset of
service" that proved decisive for AMP.
"Our experience in dealing with Heidelberg for more than
three decades has shown us not only that Heidelberg engineering is
rock-solid, but also that we'll be well taken care of in terms
of service and parts. After all, any press you install is only as
good as the support team that helps you look after it." AMP
Printing and Graphics is a Certified Woman-Owned, 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 70,000-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 company,
which was an early adopter of grand-format UV imaging, today boasts
a range of solutions that produce work up to 10 feet wide at the
highest possible resolutions, including a VUTEk HS 100 Pro,
recently installed as part of AMP's capital expansion plan. The
company reports annual revenue of more than $20 million. Despite
the company's obvious success, sterling reputation, and depth
of expertise, Main stays alert for opportunities to strengthen and
improve his business. Regarding AMP's purchase and pending
installation of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 perfector, for
example, "We knew we needed to make a change or risk becoming
a casualty of a brutally competitive market," he said.
"The new press represents the potential for substantial growth
in sales and profits for us."
Thanks to automated features like Prinect Inpress
Control and AutoPlate XL of the Speedmaster XL 106, AMP will be
able to address its productivity issue by expanding its capacity,
attracting additional high-end work, and by producing many more
jobs per day-most in just one press pass.
For further information about the company and image material,
please visit the Press Lounge of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG at
For further information, please contact:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Corporate Public Relations
Phone: +49 (0)6221 92-5061
Fax: +49 (0)6221 92-5069
Heidelberg USA, Inc.
James J. Mauro
Phone: +1 (770) 419-6572