The longest B2 Heidelberg press every built has been commissioned at Glasgow, UK, based John Watson & Co. The 15 unit giant comprises a precoater and dryer prior to nine printing units and a double coater with two interdeck dryers and an extended delivery system at the end. It will be used for wet labels, tube and box wraps, mainly for the whisky market, which accounts for 90 per cent of the company’s business.
Joint managing director Robert McLachlan says: “Five years ago we had the gut feeling that the whisky industry was taking a lot of cost out their label production and reducing specifications to a maximum of six colours, often without the additional processes such as foil blocking and embossing. In today’s market, the industry is putting value back into the brands by adding more colours. We are keen to have the ninth unit for those extra colours or specific varnishes.”
He adds: “We have specified the ‘Rolls Royce‘ of B2 presses as our goal is to have one pass production with maximum clarity. We tested the press fully and witnessed it producing 15,000sheets/hour, even on metallized papers. It will handle the full spectrum of runs from 10,000 to 100,000 plus sheets.”
The precoater will enable the company to apply metallics, white or pearlescents to stock at the start of production. This can offer an aesthetic lift, cut the cost of the specialist paper and boards used as well as creating the potential for new substrates. The benefit of the white is to ensure bar codes stand out and are clearly legible.
The double coaters at the end of the press will provide the opportunity to apply spot gloss and overall matt finishes to give maximum lift and shelf appeal. They are equipped with both infra red and hot air dryers.
The new Heidelberg machine, which will be run by one minder and an assistant, is being housed alongside three other Speedmaster’s and a trio of Gietz embossing presses.
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