A near-non-stop parade of Australia's top printers has swept through the production hall of one of the world's most productive print shops: ESP Colour in the UK.
Recent visitors have included Focus Press, Scott Print and CMYKhub with Perth's Picton Press expected to make the trip in September.
They join major companies such as Blue Star, Southern Colour, Soar Print, Bambra Press and Dominion Print Group to have visited the site in Swindon, a couple of hours outside of London.
David Fuller, managing director of Focus Press, told ProPrint that delegates from the NSW print company had visited several times during the past two years, most recently in April.
"It was done because Focus was planning to install an XL Heidelberg press in Matraville, which was then installed in July," said Fuller.
[Feature: Faster makereadies]
"ESP are good at utilising the equipment to get the most out of it, which is why I sent my guys there."
That trip was organised by Focus, but many others are organised by Heidelberg.
Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand managing director Richard Timson told ProPrint: "This site is one of the best examples of how a printing company can maximise its productivity: more than 19,000 makereadies and 70 million impressions per year demonstrates what is possible if you have the work to fill the press."
ESP is renowned as the "makeready world champion"; in 2012, Heidelberg revealed that the print company had achieved a global productivity record on its Speedmaster XL 75 straight presses and perfector.
ESP’s straight press managed 278 makereadies averaging 4.09 minutes, an overall speed of 14,135 sheets per hour (sph) and 1.783 million impressions across a 156-hour week.
The perfecting model produced 202 makereadies averaging 4.33 minutes and an average press speed of 14,217sph, totalling 1.902 million impressions across a 160-hour week.
The company has since bettered those numbers, ESP managing director Anthony Thirlby revealed to ProPrint.
Update: Tharstern Australasia managing director Tresta Keegan told ProPrint: "ESP are setting productivity records with Heidelberg offset complemented by a Kodak Nexpress, but the technology that has reduced touchpoints and streamlined the workflow to feed their resources is Tharstern’s Primo MIS seamlessly integrated to Metrix for imposition; Kodak Prinergy for proofing and rules-based automation; and Heidelberg’s Prinect for JDF and JMF."
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