The first of what will be a three-press installation is in operation at its Warrington site, where it has been trialling a profiling a range of papers suitable for inkjet operation. Meanwhile work has been necessary at the southern plant, removing an ageing Miyakoshi litho web press, creating show piece air conditioned rooms and so on for the new presses.
It has taken the opportunity to move a lot of other machinery in order to create clearer workflows, improve tracking of work in progress and adapt to 5S production principles.
The first Ricoh VC60000 for London was delivered in December and is now poised to produce its first live job, and the second will arrive in March. Both are fitted with an extensive range of finishing lines. Hunkeler has provided both reel to reel printing and reel to stacked cut sheet with dynamic perforation to create coupons in a variety of formats on the fly.
Card attachment, binding and intelligent inserting on MRDF mailing lines create the potential to produce marketing material as well as transactional documentation. The Warrington plant has two CMC 400 Evolution enclosing lines and similar is on the cards for London.
The capabilities of the press, to produce litho replacement colour printing, will according to MBA sales director Kevin Stewart, open up opportunities as clients seek more timely and relevant customer communications. The investment, he says, “has presented an opportunity for us to take a holistic view of customer communications, often linking the customer journey through a complete 360° communications lifecycle”.
The company has trained staff on colour calibration and control, aiming at ISO 12647 consistency on as wide a range of papers as possible. Ricoh pre and post coating units on the presses will enable the machines to print on standard offset papers as well as those optimised for inkjet printing.
It is working. One key client has signed off on the quality of the press at Warrington and has switched work to it “despite some initial hurdles”. This has replaced the need to either preprint reels to lay down the colour content, or to include litho printed elements in a mail out.
The time to transition London clients will be less. Over the last nine months MBA has been profiling papers and optimising colour management, cutting down time needed for this in London. It has five clients lined up already and is confident others will be convinced once the new machine is in full operation.
MBA is rolling out the first of the Ricoh web presses at its revamped Tottenham site. Since installation of a machine in Warrington the business has profiled papers and has worked on colour management.
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