03 February 2019 Print Companies

Manchester Printers' investment roll brings in Versafire EP

Manchester Printers is to install a more powerful digital press as its renewal programme continues.

Manchester Printers is continuing a modernisation and upgrade strategy that stretches back into last year with installation of a Heidelberg Versafire EP.

The press arrives at the company’s Trafford Park premises next month. The company also has a secondhand two-colour Printmaster 52 on order to handle a steady flow of NCR work.

The company bought Berkeley Business Forms in Deeside last year after the death of its former owner at the end of 2017, work which can be produced in Manchester.

The Versafire will replace a Konica Minolta machine which has come to the end of its life. Managing director Gavin Page says: “We have to date been a Konica Minolta house but as we look to the next stage of development (a three-year plan) we needed the Versafire EP.

“We did test equipment from both companies but the Versafire means we can handle a heavier weight of paper – up to 470gsm – and print on textured stock with superb print quality. The speed and reliability also really impressed us and the banner sheet extension means we can handle A4 landscape brochures.”

These will be finished on a Duplo DBM150 that was installed in November. It replaced an ageing booklet maker with a tenfold increase in capacity and with a machine that is much easier to set up and operate. It followed on from investment in a B2 format Ideal guillotine installed in October. In September the company had moved its Mimaki rollfed wide format printer into a refurbished room that had previously been unused.

The new digital press will come with the Heidelberg DFE which offers a close comparison to its litho press and a better on screen simulation of uncoated stock.

The combined impact of the investments will be to boost capacity by more than a quarter and to increase sales by around £400,000. It currently generates £2.3 million across the group.

The company has a burgeoning online print side offering business cards, banners, folders, flyers and garments direct to internet purchasers.

By Gareth Ward

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