North Wolds Print Works has installed a five-colour plus coater Lithrone 529, replacing a Lithrone 526 which had begun to show its age.
The replacement for this press is a low mileage ten-year-old machine that had spent its first five years as a demonstration press in the Komori Europe showroom in Utrecht. It moved from there to a printer in Belgium and is going into operation at North Wolds in Pocklington.
It is the largest investment that the business has made since being acquired by Gurdev Singh in 2014. “The 426 was getting long in the tooth and we were printing a lot more uncoated work which was troublesome because this press did not have a dryer. We needed a machine with a coater and dryer.”
The search began last year as part of a renewed commitment to the business. The company has extended its lease on the factory in the Yorkshire town, added a mezzanine floor and won a new contract with a major training services provider. The mezzanine will hold materials for this customer delivering daily pick and pack orders selected through a web portal. The company website has also been revamped.
“We felt the timing was right and this machine came along. We didn’t want to buy a brand new machine at this point in the company’s development, especially as technology is changing so fast. This is a good interim step,” says Singh.
It will provide a 20% production capacity boost to the business and as it runs on two eigh-hour shifts, additional capacity is available by extending shift coverage. The appointment of Richard Baker as sales manager at the start of this year has opened new customers and is equally part of the five-year business plan to grow the company. Social media activity has helped get the company’s name about along with a redesign for the website.
The press has been supplied by White Horse Machinery, the first time Singh has worked with a used press supplier. In previous roles at major groups including Communisis, he was able to call on senior staff at every press supplier and had the budget to buy new.
“I have never dealt with this level of supplier before so it has been a learning curve. We built a project plan and White Horse Machinery has been very professional, they have been good communicators and have done what they said they would.”
Earlier this year North Wolds bought a folder from Roberts Graphics, installing it after a complete refurbishment. “They have also been superb for us," he says.
“We are a small family printer like many others. And as such you are only as good as your last job. For companies like us, it’s all about service and how you go over and above just print.”
By Gareth Ward