Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch pressed the start button, sending the Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 at Offset Printing and Packaging in Aylesford rocketing to 18,000sph. The ceremony took place at the start of December even though the machine has been in operation at the independent carton printing business since delivery in June.
“She is keen and supportive,” says co owner Vince Breary. “It is nice to show off this investment.” The MP, a junior minister in the department of sport and civil society, confirms this saying: “I’m delighted to support Edward, Vince and Hugh as they usher in a new era for the company. Offset is a successful local business and we hope this new equipment will help them continue to thrive.”
The five-colour plus coater B1 press replaced an older Rapida 105 and B2 Heidelberg and joins a Rapida 145. It amounts to an increase in production capacity at the business. “When it was first installed there were a few software issues, but since then it has gone really well for us,” says Breary. “It’s another step forward for us, giving us more capacity to service existing and some new customers.”
Speed of makeready and colour control are key for the business. It has been the first to hold the BPIF’s ISO 12647-2 certificate to show the consistency of colour produced, vital in a carton market marked by decreasing print tuns.
The company’s ability to respond provided a best ever year in 2016 “and this year has been even busier”. The company is continuing to invest to keep pace with the interest. The K&B press was installed with backing from HSBC and the bank seems sure to continue its support as Breary plans the next investment.
“It might be a replacement for press capacity, it might be in the cut and crease area. We are not finished yet,” he says.
The invitation to the local MP was part of scheme promoted by the BPIF to encourage printers to get to know their parliamentary representatives. Breary points out that as a minister, Tracey Crouch cannot join the All Parliamentary Print Group, but nevertheless by keeping in touch with Offset Printing and Packaging is kept abreast of the need to promote the use of board rather than plastics and the resilience of printed packaging against digital.
And he says the company has another connection to the corridors of power. After the prime minister’s coughing problems at the Conservative Party conference, Theresa May was presented with a box of soothing tea. OP&P did not provide the tea, but it had printed the carton the tea was packaged in.
MP Tracey Crouch with Vince Brearey performed the official start up of the new K&B Rapida 106 at Offset Printing & Packaging, where thoughts are turning towards further investment as the press makes its impact.