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Bridger Packaging returns to Heidelberg for competitive B2 press


By the end of this month Bridger Packaging’s Speedmaster XL 75-6+LX will be in full commercial production outputting a range of short run cartons. The purchase of this refurbished Heidelberg machine mysteriously started with a trip to HP Indigo in Israel.

Managing director Lawrence Bridger had been tracking digital developments for some time and he believes that in packaging it is not a case of if digital printing will come, but when and he cites the opportunity that personalisation or versioning of products could open up in future.

His research into the HP 30000 in Israel and back in the UK made clear B2 would be a good format for the Letchworth based company but he decided he needed to see what else he could get for his money in that format and talks began with a number of offset suppliers. His pressroom currently includes manroland and KBA B1 presses.

“After all that research it was clear that the Speedmaster XL 75 was our machine of choice and when we were told we could take advantage of a refurbished machine which would further reduce the capital cost and speed up delivery we were keen to take that chance,” says Mr Bridger. “It is our first Heidelberg press for about 30 years; the last was a SORD.

“I believe the breakeven between digital and offset for cartons in this format is about 1,000 although HP Indigo would put that figure much higher and Heidelberg much lower,” says Mr Bridger. ”What we were looking at was not just capital cost but what competitive advantage each machine would give us and the overall running costs.”

The speed of makeready with automatic plate changing and wash ups as well as the benefit of Image Control for colour monitoring made the Speedmaster XL 75 the ideal press. For the minders it takes away some of the mundane tasks and enables them to use their skills to better effect in monitoring and fine-tuning the colour and quality of the printed product. Bridger Packaging serves a number of market sectors including food, pharma, toys, games, horticultural and animal health so there will be a diversity of work through the press.

“It is a press that requires a mind-set change because it is much more hands off. That doesn’t deskill the job and staff have embraced this technology immediately,” says Mr Bridger.

The investment in the press, Image Control and Prinect Pressroom Manager workflow software cost under £1m. The used press is sold with a Heidelberg warranty, Print Colour Management and full support.

The carton market remains competitive and there has been a great amount of consolidation in recent years. Bridger Packaging believes the increasing group culture plays into the hands of independent companies like them, putting an additional premium on the level of care, know-how and personal involvement that they can provide.

See www.bridger.co.uk

For further information please contact:
Diana Thompson, Plus Point PR Ltd, on 01494-817178
Matt Rockley, Heidelberg UK, on 020 8490 3500
Lawrence Bridger, Bridger Packaging, on 01462-636465.

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