19 January 2014 Events

Fuller Davies selects Nexpress to meet move to short runs

The Ipswich company no longer distinguishes between digital and litho. It's all print says managing director Neil Stones.

A KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 ARRIVES Ipswich printer Fuller Davies this week, adding to a recent run of success for the Kodak machine in East Anglia. Calendar printer Rose of Colchester has invested in the machine while Healeys in Ipswich also acquired a Nexpress at the end of last year.

Fuller Davies managing director Neil Stones was in Germany last week completing training and acceptance on the digital press which adds to a Xerox 700 that the company already operates. However, Stones does not consider the new machine a separate process. He explains: “We don't look at it as digital or litho, just print, and the most efficient and effective way to produce it. Our own internal research shows us that the run lengths aren't any shorter than they were two years ago, probably due to machines getter faster and better ref quality and also print prices coming down.”

THE COMPANY OPERATES A PRESSThe company operates a press room with Heidelberg and Roland sheetfed press, working with Fuji’s on press process Pro-T plates as part of a strong environmental ethos that includes being able to offset the carbon footprint it uses through the Paperlinx Carbon Balanced Paper scheme. The Nexpress will help eliminate make ready waste that is inevitable with litho printing.

The build of the Nexpress, based on the original joint venture designs between Kodak and Heidelberg, appeals. The Nexpress Press is a printer’s press. It is 4.5 tonnes of beautifully manufactured machine. There is a proper sidelay for top quality finishing. It also offers so many options - RGB, light black, dimensional and long sheet. The results of the dimensional ink are amazing and I cannot wait for a customer to come up with a really clever design.”

THE FORMAT ALLOWS A 914 x 356mm sheet to be printed, giving a landscape A4 product. As well as covering off the short runs that fall below litho’ s sweet spot. As demand for shorter runs and faster turnarounds is increasing, thanks also to investment in ROI360’s web to print technology, the dilemma will come with the next investment. “That’s the 64,000 dollar question,” says Stones. “Definitely a second digital device and probably a replacement litho in time.

“Our analysis shows there is still a significant gap between the top end of where digital is competitive and the bottom end of where B2 litho is competitive, even though both are of course viable. Having both means you have the commercial choice as to which works for better for you any given day.” The company generates sales of £3.2 million, adding Stuart Silkstone as sales director little more than 12 months ago and a further account handler in September. A laminator was installed last year to keep this aspect in house.

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Fuller Davies is buying the long sheet version of the Nexpress.

Fuller Davies is buying the long sheet version of the Nexpress.