Heidelberg to Equip Bridge Publications' New Sheetfed Offset Facility
(Press Release) Kennesaw, Ga., Nov. 1, 2010—The Church of Scientology sought the support and counsel of Heidelberg USA in adding an in-house sheetfed offset litho printing facility to its all-digital "Smart Factory" operation at Bridge Publications in Los Angeles. The organization recently completed a series of installations-including press, postpress, and software components from Heidelberg-designed to increase efficiencies and reduce the costs associated with outsourcing production of its marketing collateral and related materials.
"Our decision to bring sheetfed printing in house was based on cost, quality control, and our desire to gain the capability to produce up to 50 language versions without paying the exorbitant makeready and changeover costs associated with outsourcing," said Jamie McClintock, Special Projects Manager. "From the ground up, Heidelberg has played a vital role in the planning and execution of this project."
"The Church of Scientology did well to consult with Heidelberg for such an extensive undertaking," said Clarence Penge, Vice President, Sheetfed Product Management, Heidelberg USA. "We were privileged not only to lend our technological expertise but also to serve as a training resource for its operators. The Church can rest assured that Heidelberg will continue to provide the support it needs to maximize production efficiency and ensure that its operators obtain the skill sets necessary to achieve it."
The Appeal of a Proven Technology
The centerpiece of the new facility is a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 5-color press, chosen after extensive research revealed not only Heidelberg's proven track record of producing top-of-the-line equipment, but also the quality of its excellent training and education programs.
"Coming from a digital production workflow, we had no offset press experience," McClintock said. "As a result, we were impressed with the automated features of the XL 105 because we felt that they would enable us to shorten our learning curve and get us up and running faster, which we saw as a huge benefit."
Color Consistency Is Key
In addition to the XL 105's speed, larger sheet size, one of the most attractive features and key selling points of the new press was Prinect Inpress Control, which McClintock views as essential to minimizing color variations in the production process.
"We were accustomed to having an automatic color control and measurement value and not having to set such things manually," he said. "Heidelberg's Prinect Inpress Control was the only sheetfed-based system we found that was comparable to the closed-loop color control one would find on a web press. The available presets also were very impressive, especially considering that we wanted to forward as much data as possible to the press to cut down makeready times and simplify the skill set required to properly set up and run the press with confidence."
Toward a Shorter Learning Curve
The Church sent its operators to Heidelberg's Tech Center in Kennesaw, Ga. for two weeks of pre-installation training on the XL 105. McClintock described the trip as vital, "since it allowed us to get beyond the first exposure to the equipment itself. The two weeks operators spent familiarizing themselves with the press ahead of time were invaluable in streamlining the actual startup once the press was installed. We definitely see access to Heidelberg training as a major plus, and plan to send our operators back to Kennesaw periodically for additional instruction."
Heidelberg also supplied the new facility with two POLAR 137 XT high-speed cutting systems with Compucut, a Stahlfolder TH 82 folder, and a Varimatrix 105 die cutter with foil stamping.
"Like the Speedmaster XL 105, Stahl folders and POLAR Cutters are rock-solid products with proven track records," McClintock observed. "In the aggregate, these installations gave us an opportunity to consolidate several pieces of equipment to a single vendor, meaning one contact and a broader relationship overall between us and Heidelberg."
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