Enfield printer Swallowmax has invested in its finishing operations two years after installing the UK’s first Komori Lithrone S29 HUV.
At the time the plan according to director Rob Beaton had been to continue to run a Mitsubishi Diamond 1000 B2 press for longer runs using the Komori for short run litho. However, he says, the market has changed.
“The work we have been getting has been either digital to short run quick turnaround litho,” he says. “We accepted an offer for the Mitsubishi and have invested in finishing equipment rather than another press.”
at the end of last year, followed a few weeks ago by installation of a Petratto folder gluer, both supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems. “The binder has been very very busy since we put it in December,” says Beaton. “We keep better control over the job, the timing is better for clients and it is reducing transport costs. And it keeps our guys busy.”
The Pettrato can automate production of folders, tent cards, coffee cups sleeves, flags and other jobs that have needed considerable bench work previously, radically reducing the time to produce some jobs. In one recent job for tent cards, Swallowmax was able to deliver samples ahead of time “and we got the client out of a hole” he says. “For another tent card order, we were able to deliver before the client needed them.”
The Petratto has also already helped on a large order for flags. “We had to produce 30,000 flags which went through the machine in five hours rather than the two weeks it would have taken for bench hands to produce.” The flags are printed two up, folded and tape applied on the new machine which then slits out the middle section. “It makes us more competitive on flag orders on both costs and timing,” Beaton adds.
The finishing investment has helped set Swallowmax apart from the commoditised market to better effect than a more expensive investment in a new press. That may follow at a later date. “In a couple of years we will be four years in with the Komori, then we can start toiling to them about a new press,” he says.
By Gareth Ward