Stephens & George completes their £16 million investment program with Heidelberg


Stephens & George completes an investment program of £16 million with Heidelberg since 2018. The new order comprises three P-Stackers, with the first delivered in October 2021 and the other two in late November. At the same time, the company also ordered a fifth TH 82 P automated Stahlfolder. The press’ investment includes a new XL 106-5+LX3, which replaces an existing nine-year-old XL106-5LX. The new Press will be in operation early 2022, after which the oldest press at Stephens & George will be just over three years old. This is their 4th press since 2018 to use full ‘push to stop’ technology.

“We were investigating the possibility of using robotics in our bindery. Following consultation with Heidelberg we looked at the P-Stackers and we decided that this was the right solution for us. We have been trying to reduce the requirement for manual handling for many years now. This makes sense from a Health & Safety point of view as the operators do not need to pick up and stack down 8-12 tons of paper per shift anymore. Another point is that after a 12-hour shift productivity tends to fall – the P-Stackers should ensure that the operators maintain the same level of productivity throughout the shift,” says Andrew Jones, Chairman & Managing Director of the company based in Merthyr Tydfil.

“We are one of the first printing houses in Europe to have ordered a fifth TH 82 P automated folder,” he added, “and we believe that these folders are definitely the way forward for industrial printing and finishing production. We are also replacing a nine-year-old XL106-5LX with a new five-colour press with coater and as always, we demand the latest Heidelberg technology available. When we come out of this pandemic, we will have gained valuable experience and we will be ready to grow further in the coming years.

“We believe that Heidelberg equipment is the best in the marketplace, and we will always make use of Heidelberg’s latest technology.”

Marcus J Partridge, Group Director of Postpress at Stephens & George, says: “The P-Stacker is an important investment because it makes the job easier for our operators. Now they can work smarter rather than harder. The return on investment will begin from day one. I believe that, at the industrial level of production we are at, this is the next game changer after the TH82 P technology. The benefits for our company are efficiency, linear production in terms of staff and the fact that the operators can focus more on quality, performance and training. It will give us scope to look at the bigger picture.

“I have been privileged to work with many generations of Stahlfolders from the 78 format then working with the 82 format and finally moving on the TH82 P format, in shingled mode. In every generation change Stephens & George has seen no detriment in the built quality of the folders. The user interface has always been extremely user-friendly, the service and support has been excellent. When we last appraised the marketplace, we did look at other competitors and Heidelberg ticked all the boxes. The Heidelberg Stahlfolders do exactly what they say on the tin, day in day out.”

“The new technology that we purchase will allow us to be more even more efficient and productive and increase our OEE statistics even further. With the introduction of autonomous printing – our F1 team of high skilled printers, fifteen in total – they are able to demonstrate their skillset and put the equipment to its test. The end result is very much the end sheet which comes off at a higher speed and we gain much more efficiency,” says Paul Enoch, Group Production Director at Stephens & George.

“We are proud of the longevity of our client relationships, reflecting decades of consistently high levels of satisfaction with our equipment & services. The relationship with Stephens & George is as strong as it possibly could be. We will continue to strive to provide the support and the consultation needed so they can make the best decisions for the future growth of their business,” says Ryan Miles, Managing Director at Heidelberg UK.

Stephens & George operates a 24x7 production service and attributes 40% of its work to magazines, 40% to commercial contracts and 20% to other one-off jobs. Within their purpose-built facility they offer printing, folding, saddle stitching, perfect and PUR binding, mailing and their own fleet of delivery vehicles.

For more information, please contact:

Eirini Spanou, Heidelberg UK, on 02084-903796
Matt Rockley, Heidelberg UK, on 07899 662 986
Mark Singer, Heidelberg UK, on 07881 503 143
Ian Trengrouse, Heidelberg UK, on 07825-781483

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