Last updateWed, 08 Jul 2020 11am

S Barber celebrates its centenary with a new press

S Barber & Co is celebrating its 100th anniversary with the installation of a Speedmaster SX 74-5, a five-colour B2 press from Heidelberg. All but one or two presses installed since the company's inception have been from Heidelberg and the fourth and fifth generation of Barbers in the company say they would be unlikely to change.

"Heidelberg is a professional, efficient company which knows the market. They wouldn't have been around so long if they didn't," says administrator Martyn Barber, whose father and uncle, Paul and Nigel, are directors of the business.

"We are replacing an older machine. The SX 74 will increase our productivity with the faster running speed and quick makeready. Today people want jobs very fast, typically within 72 hours. As 95% of our work is litho we need a machine we can rely on to output speedily and to produce a wide range of commercial print."

The fifth unit will be used for special colours but also to seal so that work goes through dry to the company's extensive finishing department. It includes laminations and booklet making as well as cut-fold-stitch. Almost all its work is finished in-house, but perfect binding will remain outsourced because the volumes to not justify an investment in this area.

The new press, which replaces an older machine, will be fed by plates from a Suprasetter A75. The press is currently being commissioned at the 5,000sq m factory in Liverpool. It will run on a double day, two eight hour, shift basis.

Management and staff are excited about the new press, its cost effectiveness and its in-built intelligence and automation. It will produce work for customers that include some national accounts but with the majority based in the north west and north Wales.

The Speedmaster SX 74 is press which is capable of producing up to about 45 million sheets a year.



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