The Gloucester-based printer will install a new Speedmaster XL 75-4+LX this Christmas, its second XL 75 press, and has opted for an electric metering system on the new machine, allowing it to measure the kilowatts used in production and by extension the amount of carbon produced.

The company, which holds ISO 140001, FSC and PEFC environmental certifications, said the latest press would have a 20% reduction in energy usage but up to 40% improvement in productivity over the Speedmaster CD 74 it will replace.

Alpha Colour prints greetings cards, signs, business cards and brochures in runs from 50 to 1m and also handles finishing, storage and distribution from its site. In-house finishing helps meet response requirements and cuts down on transport.

Energy saving comes from reducing the configuration of the press from five to four units and using DryStar 3000 dryer technology. The wash-up chemistry used on this press is also reduced. Sustainability was crucial, said operations director Dave Oldfield.

“With clients such as councils and the NHS we can run a job and tell them how much carbon it uses. More and more customers are interested in carbon and this function is a key attribute in winning new contracts and tenders. We hope it will put us a step ahead of the rest.”

The new machine will mop up jobs not handled by its existing Speedmaster XL 75-5 to double Alpha Colour’s litho capacity. Axis Control spectral measurement enhances quality, cuts makeready times and reduces both start up and running waste.

Managing director Jeff Williams, who is passing more responsibility to operations director Dave Oldfield, technical director Richard Butt and his wife and sales director Maggie Williams, said: “Succession planning is important and the time is right for me to make way for others.”

Oldfield said about 85% of work was litho although Alpha Colour has three digital machines at its plant including Mimaki large-format kit and a Ricoh Pro C901S. The new Heidelberg, with its environmental features, is expected to save not just electricity but paper and chemistry costs.