The machine replaces a five-colour perfecting press that had been installed at its SE1 factory in Crimscott Street when it moved there four years ago. Rather than move this press, managing director Adam Frost preferred to buy the five-colour plus coater as more suited to the way that his customers have shifted.
The 2/3 perfector was needed when Kube brought its central London digital and Bromley litho sites into one. It had then had B3 litho, a two-colour perfecting SM74 and five-colour B2 machine, all replaced by the faster and more automated XL.
“We used to do a lot of single- and two-colour work, but that has dried up,” says Frost. “And switching between these and four-colour printing meant lengthy washing down of units between jobs. We felt the money would be better spent on the latest version of Autoplate.”
The company had been forced to find a new home when the landlord used his option to break the ten-year lease after four years. Those premises had only been found after a frantic search with Frost driving around the area for buildings that might be suitable four years ago. This time Kube had a year’s warning so the search, though equally difficult, was less intense. It has meant moving a couple of miles away to a 1,255m2 factory which needed the pile work to make it suitable for printing.
The move was timed so that the new press was in operation before the old was switched off, and moved out leaving developers free to move in.
The five-colour plus coater press also comes with the latest version of Inpress Control already saving dozens of sheets at each makeready he explains.
He says that the Heidelberg was not the automatic choice. “We looked at HUV/LE-UV technology but we believe it only makes sense if the vast majority of our work is on uncoated stocks. Inpress Control is the key and the latest version is even better than the last,” he explains. “And there is lots more we can do to make this even better.”
The company has sent staff for the training courses that open up the possibilities available from the automation, perhaps changing the way they run the machine from previous technology. “Our guys are fully behind it and see the benefits,” he adds.
The company produces a lot of overnight City work alongside quality focused clients where being close to central London confers certain advantages, including the ability to welcome customer visits.