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UK's first Heidelberg LED press goes to Banbury Litho

Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 LED

Banbury Litho has invested in the UK’s first four-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 LED in order to broaden the range of substrates it can work on and expand its business.

The new LED press will replace a 10-colour B2 perfector, a Speedmaster 74, when it is installed in April and will enable Banbury to meet the changing demands of its customers, which are increasingly moving towards shorter runs.

The firm said LED drying would enable it to speed up throughput by taking jobs straight through to finishing with no drying time lapse.

“We knew we wanted LED tech and looked at Ryobi and Komori, but we have always bought Heidelberg and this new machine tested very well in trials at the showroom,” said managing director Matthew Wise.

“LED is not new to the industry, but it is certainly new to Heidelberg and we were very happy with the results of the tests. We have done our research and the market is definitely out there for the kind of work it can do.

“Its cleanliness and fast-drying nature, as well as our operators’ familiarity with Heidelberg kit, mean this comes with a lot of benefits. It will also open up a wider range of substrates to us, including plastics, that we could not offer before.”

Oxfordshire-based Banbury was drawn to the XL 75 LED for its low energy use, which presents environmental benefits, as well as its cost-effectiveness by reducing the number of printing units, as well as eliminating spray powder, sealers and coating.

It will be operated by one of Banbury’s younger members of staff, who has recently completed his apprenticeship in digital printing and is set to make the move to litho.

“We have been trying to encourage younger people into the business over the past few years,” said Wise. “It is important to us to have younger people throughout all aspects of our business – and you don’t often see many young machine minders coming through.”

The firm also runs a five-colour Speedmaster XL 75 which will support the new LED machine when a fifth colour is required. It also has a digital department comprising a Linoprint CV from Heidelberg and a Xerox iGen4 XXL.

Banbury will now look to expand the remit of its business across the next 18 months, according to Wise, by utilising the new possibilities of LED technology. Its 32-strong team works on premises covering 1,860sqm.

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