The high specification building sits on a 1 acre site for future expansion and offers 1,200m2 of space on two levels. It has enabled Remous to move from three separate locations to bring its 24 staff under one roof and with space to have management meetings on site for the first time. "Previously we would have to drive to our accountant," says managing director Alan Bunter.
Now the challenge is to deliver the efficiencies that have been promised with the investment, says Bunter. “We have properly moved in, the last of the greetings cards stock came in this week, though we still have some stuff to do, but all the machines are up and running now.”
This includes a five-colour plus coater B2 Komori, the first Lithrone G529C H-UV in the UK. It makes Remous the first printer to upgrade an H-UV press to the latest version of Komori's instantly dry technology. The company will be using Komori’s K-Serve package of matched inks and consumables for the press. This has a coater enabling the company to offer customers a range of drip off and other varnish effects in a single pass which has been important as demand for packaging increases.
The 16,500sph press also includes fully automatic plate changing, KHS automatic set up and PDC closed loop colour adjustment from a sheet scanned at the Komori console.
At the same time Remous has installed the Apressia 92 CTX guillotine from Komori. While this can accept JDF data, and ultimately, Remous is considering how to integrate its production processes, this will not be connected in the first instance.
The immediate challenge, says Bunter, is to meld the three working cultures into one new open style. “The task is to get everyone working together, trying to build a culture that builds on the best of the previous ways of working,” he says.
A key to this is identifying errors that arise and eliminating the causes to avoid margin and time sapping waste. At the same time touch screens have been installed to enable everyone to see the job lists, the work that needs to be completed that day and value of each job. Management reports will be generated through the company’s Accura MIS to involve everyone on the progress of the business.
“We are running the error log so that everyone knows if the job get wrong, what the mistake costs and where responsibility lies and so where we need to improve,” he says. It is working with just two identified errors during December.
“That’s the first step in the process towards greater efficiency.”
The move represents an investment of around £1.5 million during 2019. And it was not without its challenges. The building project inevitably ran behind schedule, and with contractor problems and consequently a need to juggle arrival of new equipment. It meant, says Bunter, perching on a trestle table producing quotes in breaks between applying silicone sealing to windows.
The idea was to be able to shut down the press at its cramped factory in Milborne Port on a Friday and be at the new plant after the weekend, ready to go.
Steve Turner, managing director of Komori UK, adds: "Remous has a lot of products that will benefit from the added value effects that are possible. It is a very flexible press, handling anything from thin papers to boards.
"We are supplying K-Supply consumables as part of the turnkey package. This covers everything needed except plates, including inks, blankets, washes, wash cloth and founts. The portfolio we handle across Europe has grown over the last two or three years. We can do the R&D and product testing at the Utrecht plant."
By Gareth Ward