The company will replace its five-colour Speedmaster XL75 with the long perfector in the new year. It will be the closest press of this nature to central London and will be joined by a brace of Ricoh digital presses, one a Pro C9100 and the other a Pro C7100.
The investment follows the merger between Kube Print and SPM earlier this year. The merger and market conditions have been disruptive, says Fontain managing director Adam Frost. But having come through that, the investment will set the business up for expansion in 2018.
“It has perhaps been a tougher year than we expected,” he says. “Now we have great plans for next year with the new press in place and new offerings thanks to the new Ricohs.”
The LED UV will mean the company can process printed sheets immediately and thanks to perfecting on a larger sheet, Frost expects the eight-colour machine will be four times more productive than the B2 press being replaced.
When this machine was installed, 36 piles each 7 metres deep where needed to create a stable platform on the London clay. No further piling is needed as the Ryobi is just 1 metre longer and only as wide as the B2 press, says Frost.
It will need a new platesetter to provide the larger format plates. It has chosen to use Agfa’s Eco Elite plate which is quoted at 200,000 impressions for UV and uses minimal processing chemistry and will expose 65 plates an hour. “The platesetter will be positioned alongside the press,” says fellow director Huw Harcombe. “There is no spray powder to get into the imaging unit and there simply is no room for a B1 platesetter in the studio.”
The company will continue with its 92cm guillotine for the moment, and fortunately has no need to change folders. “SPM has put in a Stahlfolder KH66 in 2015 and this is matched to the SRA1 format,” says Frost.
It will mean the company can provide a print on demand service for customers located in central London. Orders received and be processed and resulting in plates that can go direct to press.
Huw Harcombe, Apex sales manager Robert Rowe and Adam Frost with the eight-colour press that will be installed at Fontain in south London, making its the most powerful commercial litho press close to central London. The printer is also upgrading its Ricoh digital presses.