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Zenith Group buys first Promatrix in UK and second Speedmaster XL 106


The UK’s first Promatrix 106CS die-cutter is destined for Zenith Print & Packaging in Treforest, north of Cardiff. It will be delivered in July to the company which produces high quality packaging for coin and medal collectors and retail applications which include gift, cosmetic, medical, electrical and high end food and drink sectors.

Its sister company Zenith Media in south Wales is also investing and will take delivery of its third Speedmaster XL and its second new B1 press this year, a very highly specified Speedmaster XL 106.

The Promatrix 106CS is the first new machine brought to market following the partnership created between Masterworks and Heidelberg. Zenith Print & Packaging will install this one machine to replace two existing die-cutters, a B1 Sanwa and B1 Asahi.

“Makeready times will be much reduced and running speeds of up to 8,000 sheets an hour will be much quicker than our existing machines. The Quick Lock and fine adjustment stripping frames will be of massive benefit along with the pneumatic locking of the Quick Lock chase,” says Ken Bell, managing director of Zenith Print & Packaging.

The Promatrix will run stocks from as low as 90gsm up to 2,000gsm solid board and 4mm corrugated and run lengths will vary greatly, from 500 to 500,000. Driving the buying decision was Zenith’s emphasis on quality but it also recognises that the greater efficiency the Promatrix will bring will improve its competitiveness.

The gripper opening device ensures easy sheet removal in the stripping section. In the cutting section the thin plate and micro adjustment are standard features, with no hand tools required to unlock the cutting tools in and out of the machine, making handling and set up faster. The machine’s control system is based on Siemens technology, ensuring operator- friendly set up and control interfaces.

Zenith Print & Packaging is used to being innovative, having previously been one of the first to install a purpose built combinations press, a CD 102-5, in 2009 which could not only print on paper and board but also on plastic, vinyl and fluted and foil materials. The 760 x 1,060mm format of the Promatrix makes it a good match for that press.

In its 32 year history the company has clocked up many awards including: a Queen’s Award for Export (it supplies products to five continents and over 60 countries); Royal Mint Supplier of the Year; and it was the first packaging company to be awarded SA8000, reflecting its emphasis on safe working conditions, fair management practise and the protection of workers’ rights. It employs 63 members of staff. Environmentally minded, it also holds FSC Chain of Custody certification.

The commercial printing arm of the Zenith Group which is called Zenith Media went into production with a Speedmaster XL 106 in January. It has returned to Heidelberg for a second machine which will be delivered mid year.

“The first Speedmaster XL 106-5LX was supplied with Inpress Control and its performance has been very impressive with average running speeds of between 16,000 and 18,000sph and makeready times reduced to six or seven minutes. Colour is up and running with up to 50% fewer waste sheets and the quality is improved,” says Mark Partridge, operations director of Zenith Media.

The second XL 106-5LX is even more highly specified to include Inpress Control colour and register control, Autoplate Pro plate changing, CleanStar environmentally-friendly press cleaning technology and Analyze Point, a management tool to ensure all processes run efficiently, waste is minimised and cost of production marries up to the estimate.

“The new press will be replacing a 12 year old Speedmaster CD 74. That will give us greater B1 capacity (a Speedmaster XL 105 and two XL 106s) and we will continue to run our plant on a Continental sift, seven days a week.”

The company likes the build quality of Heidelberg machines – prepress, press and postpress - and it uses Heidelberg consumables, including plates, inks and coatings.

For further information please contact:

Diana Thompson, Plus Point PR Ltd, on 01494-817178
Paul Thompson (Promatrix), Heidelberg UK, on 07770-637702
Matt Rockley (Speedmaster XL 106), Heidelberg UK, on 07899-662986
Lisa Blackmore, Zenith Group, on 01443 841166.

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