FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Canadian Printers Find Success with Versatile Speedmaster CX 104 from HEIDELBERG

Kennesaw, Ga. March 13, 2024 – The Speedmaster CX 104 from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HEIDELBERG) has become an attractive investment for a growing number of commercial and packaging printers as they continue to seek increasingly automated solutions for production. Since HEIDELBERG introduced its first press for the 104 format with “outstanding price to performance ratio” in 2021, the company has installed hundreds of presses around the world. Several Canadian printers – ranging from book and publication printers to folding carton producers – have found success with the versatile CX 104, and additional installations in Canada are scheduled for 2024.

    Built for Any Environment

    The Speedmaster CX 104, with speeds of up to 16,500 sheets per hour, is a universal straight printing press designed to process materials from lightweight paper to rigid board. HEIDELBERG introduced the press three years ago to provide commercial, packaging, and label printers with cutting-edge sheetfed offset technology, including automation and artificial intelligence, at an accessible price point. Standard technology on the CX 104 includes HEIDELBERG UX AI along with a number of intelligent assistant systems that enable user-friendly, intuitive operation that boost performance, minimize makeready times, and lower waste and energy consumption. The innovative, completely redesigned coating unit is designed for quick changeovers between different types of jobs – making the press ideal for the dynamic work of commercial printers.

    Solisco, a commercial printer with two production facilities near Quebec City, QC, installed a Speedmaster CX 104-6+L at its Scott headquarters in late 2022. The new machine provides faster speeds and quicker makereadies to accommodate the increasing demands for shorter run books, publications, magazines, and catalogs. “We felt the CX 104 really fit in with our current business but also allowed us some flexibility for the future,” said Alex Jacques, Director of Manufacturing for Solisco.

    Equipped with multiple webfed presses, Solisco has historically printed very long run magazines, comic books, four color books, catalogs, and flyers. Now, with customers requesting shorter run lengths, the company is required to change the press over multiple times a day. “The CX 104 allows us to adapt to different changes in the market,” said Jacques. Thanks to the press’s flexibility and efficiency, Solisco has shifted some of the jobs it used to print web onto the CX 104. Since installation, it has also increased the company’s overall capacity and throughput while producing higher quality products for its customers.
    A Class of its Own

    Thanks to its running speed, short set-up times, and print quality, the CX 104 is also increasing its popularity with Canadian folding carton producers. “The Speedmaster CX 104 fits a perfect niche for the Canadian packaging sector,” said Harold Hoff, Vice President of Sales for HEIDELBERG Canada. “High speed, high productivity, and high automation. All of this coupled with autonomous operation puts the CX 104 in a class of its own.”

    ProPrint, known for producing in store retail displays/POS as well as folding cartons for some of Canada’s most notable brands, needed a new press to propel its folding carton business to the next level. The Scarborough, Ontario company’s average turnaround time from receiving a print-ready file to live production on press is only 24 hours. Wanting to maintain this exceptional speed-to-market while doubling its offset print capacity, ProPrint completed installation of a six-color Speedmaster CX 104 in early 2023 to complement an existing Speedmaster CD 102.

    “We like to be able to react on a dime for our customers,” said Richard Krakower, CEO of ProPrint, “so the versatility of the CX 104 is perfect for our business model. If we get a run that’s 100,000 or 200,000 sheets, we can easily produce it on the ‘beastly’ CX 104, but thanks to its efficient makereadies, we can print shorter runs too.”

    In Coburg, Ontario, custom packaging manufacturer Beneco Packaging installed a Speedmaster CX 104-7+L less than a year ago to boost its productivity and print capacity. The highly efficient operation boasts an impressive seven die cutters and six folder gluers across its two production facilities. “We provide a unique solution to the market,” said Carol Jiang, President of Beneco Packaging. “Smaller businesses find our pricing and delivery timelines unbeatable while larger organizations cannot match our adaptability in production run lengths. Having the right equipment plays a key role in this.”

    Beneco’s CX 104 is very cost-effective for the company’s medium to long runs while providing the flexibility for short runs. “We’re able to consistently run the press at top speed while maintaining superior print quality,” said Jiang. The run speeds and swift makereadies coupled with excellent press uptime – thanks to “minimal maintenance issues” – means Beneco’s CX 104 and its older CX 102 are rated near the top of HEIDELBERG’s highest performing CX presses worldwide.
    Color Management Made Easy 

    To further push the efficiency of the CX 104, Canadian customers have opted to install the machine with Prinect Inpress Control 3, HEIDELBERG’s industry-leading inline spectrophometer that measures and controls color and registers on the fly at any speed, delivering the first measurable result in less than 60 sheets. Inpress Control continuously scans sheets for color deviations as they run through the press; the automated technology saves makeready time and waste sheets while cutting costs. According to Jiang, “Inpress Control saves a lot of time for our pressmen, especially during the press run. They don’t have to stop the press to adjust the color.”

    By automating the color control process, sheets get up to color faster at the beginning of each job, which aids in filling the gap of a skilled operator shortage. “From a makeready perspective, Inpress Control takes offset printing to almost a digital press level,” said Krakower.

    “The built-in automation of the Speedmaster CX 104 along with color control technologies like Prinect Inpress Control are helping our customers combat some of the biggest pressures of the day – rising cost pressures and a shortage of skilled workers,” said Hoff. “Its popularity in all segments of the Canadian market underlines the true versatility and productivity of this press.”