The high-quality magazine printer signed a €3.7m order for a Rapida 106 10-colour perfector on KBA’s stand at Drupa last year, although it was revealed in December that the press install had been put back to 2013.
However, in a volte-face the Cardiff-based printer has today announced that it has returned to incumbent sheetfed supplier Heidelberg for two XL 106 10-colours, its fourth and fifth XL B1 presses, after it “toyed with switching supplier”.
Alan Padbury, managing director of Westdale Press, said: “The final decision came down to confidence in the machine and our ability to operate with Heidelberg technology. We know it and understand the press.
“Moving to another manufacturer is a big step and without experience we wouldn’t get the most out of another press.”
The first XL 106-10-P, which will be delivered in April 2014, will be a 15,000sph machine with Autoplate XL and Inpress Control. It will replace an older 12-colour Speedmaster, and will primarily handle shorter run work between 500 and 10,000 sheets.
“We will certainly see a double-digit productivity improvement with the first new XL 106,” said Padbury. “We have had Inpress Control on one of our presses before and we know it is a powerful tool. Autoplate XL is a first but we see its potential.”
Westdale Press also prints high-quality brochures and catalogues and picked up two quality Awards at the PrintWeek Awards earlier this month. The firm said that the majority of its work fits well on a 10-colour machine and that the volume of six-colour work was not enough to justify another 12-colour press.
A second, 18,000sph Speedmaster XL 106-10-P with Inpress Control (but without Autoplate XL) will be installed 12 months later for longer run jobs and is expected to output around 70m impressions per year based on the current market.
Westdale said it was phasing the investment to allow it to manage space and power and to review further the type of work it does. The company is currently reviewing its web-sheetfed balance to ensure it meets customer expectations for quality, response and cost.
Deputy managing director Dean Pike will implement the bedding down of the new presses.