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7 February 2019

Warwick Printing takes pioneering step into LED Push to Stop technology

Warwick Printing takes pioneering step into LED Push to Stop technology

Warwick Printing has taken delivery of the first press of its kind in the UK. A Heidelberg Speedmaster CX102-4 LED Push to Stop press will extend the range of products the company can offer, enhance the colour quality it can provide, shorten turnround times for its customers and be a more environmentally acceptable technology.

The press has arrived at the Leamington Spa business, and training was completed last week.  It will run 24/7 in three shifts alongside, and with the same plate format as, an existing Speedmaster SX102-8-P long perfector.

“We have adopted the brand name TrueColour and produced a brochure to show the more vibrant results we can produce on the new LED press, even on uncoated stocks, using colour lock technology,” says Alan Young, Director. “We think there will be great interest; it is something designers are looking for.”

Inks are dried by polymerisation with LED so sit on the paper rather than being absorbed into it with the dot spread that goes with that, giving outstanding results.
Adrian Weeks, Business Development Manager, says: “We will also be able to print on boards and plastics so it will also allow us to extend our portfolio and to expand our commercial work alongside the core magazines, manuals and books we print. This bridges the gap between our SRA3 digital work and B1 litho production.”

As an ISO14001 and FSC accredited printer, Warwick Printing was keen to have a press that had good environmental credentials. LED-UV uses up to 90% less energy than conventional UV and the automatic formatting solution which directs the LED to the print area only, laterally and circumferentially, helps with that. In addition, Inpress Control colour and register tool means start up waste will be just 30-50 sheets. For many contracts today sustainability credentials are a prerequisite to tendering for the business. 

These sustainability benefits and the makeready time of under 1 minute with the Push to Stop capability will more than counter the slightly higher cost of the inks. Push to Stop or automated printing is only possible with the adoption of the latest Prinect Inpress Control 2 on press spectral measurement device and Autoplate Pro plate-changing. The new press has been linked into the company’s Prinect Pressroom Manager workflow which, in time, will be connected seamlessly to Warwick Printing’s Tharstern Management Information System.

“The new press enables us to give designers and commercial customers more flexibility,” says Paul Young, Director. “For work on uncoated stocks we have had to live with drying times of two or three days. Now, with this technology, we can move work to the folders and guillotines instantly without fear of marking. We have always tried to accommodate late corrections but now customers can rely on us even more when they are working to especially tight deadlines.”

Without pallets of finished work sitting in storage, paper deliveries will become more flexible. There will be a more diverse range of papers selected, some bespoke for a particular job, and just in time deliveries will be possible.

The company has also taken delivery of a pile turner, increasing the materials handling around its guillotine which will take some of the strain off the operators and increase productivity to match the increased press throughput. 

Warwick Printing says that on the magazine side its runs are typically 3,000 to 20,000 and on the commercial side 5,000 to 10,000. The Speedmaster CX102-4 LED can handle both short and long run work, operating at up to 16,500sph.

Heidelberg provided strong technical support and won this order only after thorough research by the Warwick Printing management team, which included a trip to KBA.

The decision to purchase a new press was made two years ago by then Managing Director John Young, who was General Manager of the business from 1974 and owner from 1986, until his death at the end of last year. He was highly respected in the business and local community. His wife Gill remains a non-executive Director and it is his two sons Alan and Paul who now run the business. Both Alan and Paul’s wives, Miriam and Tracey respectively, and John’s grandson Luke work in the business. There are 65 staff in total.

The family are determined to continue John’s legacy, investing for growth and with a projected sales increase of 10% in 2019 from the current £5.6m. About 90% of Warwick Printing’s work is attributed to litho and the remainder from digital although that side of the business is also growing. It also offers a design service in-house and has received accolades from magazines and their subscribers for some of the redesign work undertaken. The company is 70 years old.


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