Southampton commercial printer Indigo Press will take delivery of the first B2 long perfecting new generation UV sheetfed press in October.
The company is buying an eight-unit Lithrone S829 from Komori which will run alongside a ten-colour version of the same press. It will replace a five-colour Lithrone 28, which in 2006 was its first new press from the Japanese supplier. Until that point the company had had secondhand Komoris.
“The timing is right for us,” says director Richard Docherty, “We have increased turnover even during recession and need the extra capacity. We are about to stop paying for the ten colour so can easily afford the eight colour machines as payments on the new press will be lower.”
The company can also accommodate the eight-unit press in the space occupied by the five-colour machine. The alternative of a second ten-colour press would have forced the company to move, says Docherty. “There are lots of reasons for the decision. It meets our need to service the extra turnover; we are handling lots of shorter runs as customers spread they spend across print and online and we print a lot of uncoated papers.”
These are fully dried ready for finishing in the delivery of the press. Despite the growth in turnover the company is happy that its platesetter, rated at 32 plates an hour will cope. Likewise finishing is able to cope. “Had we chosen to go to a B1 format we would have had to invest heavily,” says Docherty. “We will never go to B1. The B1 market is caught between B2 long perfectors and web presses and a lot of customers are cutting down on run lengths. This press has come at the right time.”
Doherty, together with fellow managing directors Tony Swift and John Ellis took on the company in 2004 when sales were £1.5 million. These are now £4 million a year and rising. The customer range is diverse, from business cards for local businesses in Southampton to books and packaging for multinational clients. The format will enable the printer to produce landscape A4 books or full out B2 sheets which it could not perfect before.
“We could be printing a highly prestigious 100-page brochure for a household name or a set of business cards for the electrician on the corner – our business model ensures that we continue to make profits in all of these areas and a wide spread and good balance of all sorts of jobs and clients is something which keeps us on our toes and ensures that we are a healthy business,” says Swift.
For Docherty the faster makeready that the H-UV press will provide will result in this becoming the busier machine very quickly. It will also be able to compete on jobs that might otherwise be considered digital because runs are too short for conventional litho or turnaround times are too short to allow sheets to dry. “We have also taken on another sales person,” he adds. “These are exciting times.”
Indigo Press directors line up: John Ellis, Tony Swift and Richard Docherty after completing the deal to be the first UK company with a long perfecting, H-UV equipped, Komori Lithrone LS29 when the machine arrives in October.
The press will deliver improvements in makeready, in turnaround times and will cope with the uncoated papers that are frequently specified. It will replace a five-colour Komori and run alongside a ten-colour machine.
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