CFH Docmail has ended a two-year search for the ideal continuous feed inkjet press with installation of a Canon Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma. The press was ordered in June, and delivered and commissioned at its Radstock site before Christmas. The installation included Hunkeler handling equipment, both inline and as a separate line.
The installation will replace a chunk of litho preprint work with a white paper solution for both transaction and for its growing hybrid mail service. “We have previously run on litho presses and added the variable data aspects on mono litho presses,” says Adam Harwood, managing director of the Radstock site.
“The Docmail hybrid mail has grown since we launched in 2008 so we were looking at adding additional capacity in the colour digital part of the business. We might have added more sheetfed devices but as we looked around over the last couple of year we saw how improvements in the inkjet technology meant this was a good time to invest in continuous feed inkjet.”
On the cut sheet side CFH Docmail runs Xerox iGens with a solitary Ricoh. On its continuous feed side, it has operated Canon Océ mono machines. It created a series of conditions to ensure that it judged each press with objectivity and guide the process. “The colour quality we saw is at the iGen level,” he says. “Canon came out on top because of the support they can give us and have given us on the toner devices we have had from them.”
The company is the first in UK to use the high definition Chromera ink set. These will print to an inkjet conditioned paper that meets the requirements of the CVS-1 cheque security paper. It is also capable of printing with MICR inks and will work with offset or inkjet inks. The press will print on a range of further materials as applications develop.
“Because of the experiences we had during the testing and installation, we think there are opportunities where we would never have been competitive previously that we can now go for,” he says.
The installation is headed by a Hunkeler UW6 unwind unit followed by perforation and web cleaner before the first print unit. After the second unit, there is a buffer ahead of a dynamic perforation unit followed by an FS6 folder or the option of a bridge to a reel winder RW6. The reel can then be taken to an offline finishing unit comprising a merge and slitting unit, CS6 cross cutter and large capacity stacker and long sheet processing capacity.
Nevertheless despite this spend on Hunkeler systems, Harwood says the company will be at the Hunkeler Innovation Days next month, where it will be looking at developments around automation from Bluecreast (previously known as Pitney Bowes).
By then the press will be pushing out millions of council tax notifications on behalf of local authorities and may be preparing ballot papers should either a referendum or general election demand a swift turnaround of printed, personalised voting forms.
CFH Docmail has installed a Canon Océ ColorStream 6000, the first in the UK to use Chromera inks along with handling equipment from Hunkeler. The investment will allow the Radstock plant to move to a white paper solution, getting rid of the need for preprinted litho reels.