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DWS Puts Competition in Rearview Mirror with Heidelberg XL 106


"There is no better press for printing food and beverage labels."

"The fact that Heidelberg could customize our press…was a decisive factor in our selection of Heidelberg over the competition."

"The service and support we've received from Heidelberg has been exceptional."

Kennesaw, GA. - After installing one of the first custom-configured, Peak Performance Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 presses in the nation, food and beverage packaging and label printer DWS Printing Associates of Deer Park, N.Y. has claimed technological leadership and a decisive competitive advantage in the markets it serves.

The company purchased Heidelberg's flagship press at drupa 2012, aiming to expand its production capabilities and improve efficiency by introducing technology that would enable it to handle a wider variety of substrates and sharpen its competitive edge. "We did not want to catch up with the competition," company president Tom Staib said, at the time. "We want to be a technology leader." More recently, he added, "The Speedmaster XL 106 is state-of-the-art. As far as I'm concerned, there is no better press for printing food and beverage labels."

The Right Tools for the Job

The company opted for a configuration designed to advance its continuous improvement initiatives. It was the first XL 106 in the U.S. with a combination of CutStar inline sheeter, Hybrid UV technology, and both Prinect Inpress Control and Prinect Axis Control color measurement and control systems. The configuration includes the latest version of Prinect Pressroom Manager, which seamlessly connects with the company's Nexus prepress workflow, as well as Prinect Cockpit/Analyze Point to monitor production in real time and report an accurate account of waste sheets and good production. The XL 106 is the company's first Heidelberg press.

"Part of our mission is to be the absolute best at what we do," said company president Tom Staib. "There's no question that the XL 106 has moved us closer to that goal."

Preparation Is Everything

There's also no question that the company's investment in pre-installation training and continuous education has been decisive in bringing and keeping DWS management and press crews up to speed on Heidelberg technology.

"Prior to delivery of the press, we sent two press crews to Kennesaw for preliminary training," Staib said. "My technical director and I also attended. Although we would not be running the press ourselves, we felt it was imperative that we learn the technology as best we could. Several months after the installation and initial on-site training, we had a number of additional training sessions that served as great 'refreshers' for our pressmen. I would add that the service and support we've received from Heidelberg has been exceptional."

CutStar Trims Costs

Because DWS frequently works with BOPP films and light metallized papers, it needed a press that could handle these difficult substrates without tripping. Specifically, the CutStar roll sheeter peripheral makes a huge contribution to printing successfully on these types of substrates, Staib said. "Feeding the press off of rolls, rather than sheets, significantly reduces the challenges we previously faced when feeding these materials." In addition, "Our success on these substrates is also due largely to the XL 106's integrated UV capability. The UV has made a significant difference in production speed, particularly on synthetics. We're running fairly consistently now on most substrates, in both conventional and UV operation," he explained. "There definitely was a UV learning curve, but we're comfortable with it now," such that DWS currently runs around 40 percent of its jobs in UV mode.

Custom Color A Dealmaker

The company's XL 106 boasts dual color management systems precisely suited to the range and types of substrates DWS uses to produce a wide variety of cut-and-stack, pressure-sensitive and in-mold labels for the craft beer, beverage, food and household markets.

"We use Prinect Axis Control for the significant volume we print on clear film and metallized paper," Staib said. "However, we also print the bulk of our work on white opaque materials, paper and film, and for that we needed Prinect Inpress Control to monitor color on these substrates in real time, at speeds up to 18,000 sheets per hour. The fact that Heidelberg could customize our press in this way was a decisive factor in our selection of Heidelberg over the competition."

38 Million and Counting

DWS retains an existing pair of competitive presses for occasions when demand warrants it, Staib said. In practice, however, "Most work now prints on the XL 106 because it runs so efficiently, and because it enables us to run rolls instead of sheets. It just makes sense. We've also seen a big difference in makeready times and waste, compared with our other presses." That's important, he continued, "Because we are on a continuous improvement journey toward higher productivity, enhanced quality, and improved Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)." The XL 106 has logged more than 38 million impressions since it went online last year.

To lock in those hard-won efficiencies, DWS also subscribes to Heidelberg's Prinect Performance Benchmarking service, which compares the company's production speeds, waste vs. good sheets, and time efficiency against other worldwide machines producing in the same markets. This helps DWS understand and identify performance optimization potentials in and around the press.

According to Staib, the XL 106 has made a huge, positive difference in the company's day-to-day operations and put its long-term business goals within reach. "There's always room for improvement, but we're making great strides every day," he said. "We believe the unique configuration of the new press gives us a leg up on the competition, as well as the confidence that we're able to provide our customers with the exceptional quality they demand."

Media contacts:

Andy Rae
Senior Vice President - Equipment
Heidelberg USA

Jean-Marie Hershey
Write Hand Communications for Heidelberg USA

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