06 January 2019 Print Companies

Colourfast will be first with Konica Minolta's KM-1 inkjet press

Konica Minolta will break its UK duck with the KM-1 B2 sheetfed press when it installs the country's first at Colourfast Financial.

Colourfast Financial Print will be the first UK printer to install the Konica Minolta KM-1 B2 inkjet press.

The investment is the centrepiece of a major investment to take the company into the online print sector. “We are going for online print,” says managing director Darren Bacon. “We need to be able to do everything and everything, right down to foiling. We have small format digital, large format and with the KM-1 will have large sheet digital as well. The only service we cannot do is die cutting.

“The client will come online, load the job and pay. We see it arrive on the iPad, we release it and it goes straight to the machine. The MIS will give us the job bag.”

The company has focused on the financial report market offering key clients a fast turnaround service from a bank of Konica Minolta presses. This can be overnight print through to a 36 hour turnaround for 8,000 copies of a 170pp report. “Litho cannot do it faster and we can be cheaper than litho too,” Bacon says.

The new customers can receive this level of response provided they are willing to pay for it, which Bacon concedes is unlikely. However, fast is the normal speed for the business. "We handle the jobs as they arrive,” he says. “We do not sit around waiting for them.”

The Basildon company, which moved to new premises last year, is now fitting out the plant to adopt a more systematic factory layout and to accommodate the new press.

“We needed a versatile press that can print on any surface. We looked at other presses, but the versatility is important to us. We have been using UV with the larger format EFI, and we have a very close relationship with Konica Minolta. Nobody else wanted to know us at the start, but Konica Minolta did. We believe in long term partnerships so wanted to up hold this.”

The KM-1 is a B2 sheetfed inkjet press that uses an LED cured UV ink. Konica Minolta has installed presses across Europe following success at PLS, an online printer in Leipzig. The gap was the UK which Colourfast is now filling. The project says Bacon will be complete by the end of March with the company opening a shop front at the Basildon plant.

Gareth Ward

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KM-1 in action

KM-1 in action

Colourfast will be the first in the UK with the KM-1 B2 inkjet press as sold by Konica Minolta. The Essex printer is planning a move into online printing around the versatility of the press.

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