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Business

Stephens & George completes £16m Heidelberg buys

Merthyr Tydfil-based Stephens & George has completed a £16m investment program with Heidelberg with the purchase of three P-Stackers, a TH 82 P automated Stahlfolder and a new XL 106-5+LX3.

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Andrew Jones, chairman and managing director of Stephens & George, says the new kit will boost health and safety measures at the company

The programme began back in 2018 and has seen the company overhaul its production department with the addition of new Heidelberg technology.

The showpiece product of the latest package is the new XL 106-5+LX3, which replaces an existing nine-year-old XL106-5LX and will be in operation early next year. The press will also become the fourth press since 2018 to use full ‘push to stop’ technology.

The first of the three new P-Stackers will be installed in October, with the others to follow in late November.

Andrew Jones, chairman and managing director of Stephens & George, comments: “We were investigating the possibility of using robotics in our bindery. Following consultation with Heidelberg we looked at the P-Stackers and we decided that this was the right solution for us. 

The new technology that we purchase will allow us to be more even more efficient and productive and increase our OEE statistics even further

“We have been trying to reduce the requirement for manual handling for many years now. This makes sense from a health and safety point of view as the operators do not need to pick up and stack down 8-12 tons of paper per shift anymore.”

Stephens & George operates a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days a week production service and attributes 40% of its work to magazines, 40% to commercial contracts and 20% to other one-off jobs.

Paul Enoch, group production director at Stephens & George, adds: “The new technology that we purchase will allow us to be more even more efficient and productive and increase our OEE statistics even further. 

“With the introduction of autonomous printing – our F1 team of high skilled printers, fifteen in total – they are able to demonstrate their skillset and put the equipment to its test. The end result is very much the end sheet which comes off at a higher speed and we gain much more efficiency.”

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