The installation of the finishing equipment follows on from spend on two Ricoh 9200 presses with the capability of producing a long sheet, leading to spend on a machine to deliver an A4 landscape product. It has been specified with two VAC ten-station tower collators, supplied by IFS.
The St Helens company was founded 34 years ago, becoming a fully digital printer five years ago built around an HP Indigo 5000. There is now less of a premium attached to the Indigo, says managing director Martin Winders, while the quality and reliability of the Ricoh is ahead of the perception of the brand.
“It’s similar to the way that Skoda has shaken off its past reputation and is today recognised as a high quality car manufacturer,” he says. “Customers that used to insist on Indigo to achieve their brand colours with consistency are realising that it’s not about the machine that is used, but that it’s about the people operating the machines.
“We run to Fogra 39L and have colour management software involved, so that everything we print is absolutely consistent. What our customers in the corporate world get is that degree of quality and the guarantee that we will deliver on time. It’s about service. We don’t let our clients down.”
This is working. PPS increased turnover 9% last year and is course to do so again, says Winders.
With the new digital presses the company can print at 4,500sph putting pressure on finishing. Fast set up on the Horizon via touch panel controls enables the company to shorten turnaround times if needed, leading Winders to comment: “Investing in the new system means we can complete more work in a faster timescale.
“For example when we were hand finishing landscape books we could work at about 100 to 150 an hour. Now that figure is around 3,000 per hour. We had one job recently that would have taken seven hours before. This time it took just half an hour.
“It will pay for itself very quickly – between two to three years – because it allows us to cost effectively handle a lot more work.”
The SPF-200L joins a Horizon BQ 270 single clamp perfect binder, AFC-546 folder and Foliant Vega 400 laminator which is also able to apply foils. And while there are no immediate plans for further investment, Winders says the company is always looking for equipment that can provide flexibility and services that its customers want.