The deal was completed between Kevin Dunn and Ricoh UK’s production print director Stephen Palmer. It will result in the inkjet press being installed at PHD Mail's Burton on Trent premises along with Hunkeler unwind and rewind units at the end of November this year.
The process has taken a year to reach this point, Kevin Dunn explains: “ We looked at the Xerox Impika and Canon Colorstream. We liked the quality of the InfoPrint 5000 and it continues a 15-year relationship with Ricoh, which has resulted in a better deal because of the experience we have with them.”
The company has used IP4100s for mono continues feed digital printing and three C900 series cutsheet press for colour work. These are now struggling to keep up with demand for colour printing. This has been exacerbated by growth in hybrid mail from local authorities and other customers.
“The biggest benefit we will get is from the vastly increased speed of production,” says Dunn. “And we will be able to go to white paper instead of having to preprint for the 4100s to overprint with digital information. This is less about getting rid of excess stock because we are very good at managing wastage, but about increasing our capacity.”
The demand is for transactional quality colour for tints, highlight area and coloured text on uncoated papers rather than for high quality four-colour images on coated stocks. “It runs twice as fast as the IP4100s and gives us variable colour data printing which will increase our service levels,” he explains.
The £6 million turnover business employs 56 and is independently owned. There is no desire to take on the behemoths of transactional printing, preferring instead to remain flexible enough to handle customers that are too small for the larger companies in the sector.
But PHD is growing, particularly in hybrid mail where organisations link directly to the print business to consolidate and manage mailings. “We were handling 6,000 packs a month,” says Dunn, “that has grown to 150,000. It’s for invoices, statements, letters and debt collection for companies that want us to print and mail the next day. We can print, insert and mail for less than the cost of a stamp to them.
“We have been amazed at how quickly this is growing and it is one of the main reasons we have bought the IP5000.”