06 May 2019 Print Companies

Technique upgrades to flagship Versafire

Banbury printer Technique has installed Heidelberg's most powerful EP press as demand for digital printing increases.

Banbury printer Technique Print Group has opened the way to a 50% increase in digital print capacity with installation of a Heidelberg Versafire EP. This replaces a four-year-old Konica Minolta C6000.

This is going to help push clicks from 100,000 to 130,000 a month, says managing director Karl Smith, joint owner of the business. The increase will come from transferring work from the Speedmaster XL75. “And the fact that the versifier can handle heavier weights of paper means that some stuff that had to be printed litho can now be printed digitally,” he says. “We can also print 6pp in smaller quantities, which is work that we haven’t been able to chase.

“There were limitations on the previous digital press that are not there now.”

Technique is confident of matching across both litho and digital presses. Both will be part of the same Prinect workflow via the Prinect Digital Front End for the Versafire. “The quality is perhaps even better on some jobs that are more appropriate for digital than litho. We are definitely going to be printing more jobs digitally. Digital is no longer the cheap alternative to offset, even if litho remains our breadwinner.”

The company installed a Polar N78 guillotine at the end of last year, but there is no concrete plan to add further finishing equipment. Any investment will be dictated by customer requirements, says Smith. It also offers design and wide format printing.

The choice of the four-colour-only Versafire EP rather than the Versafire CP with the option of a fifth colour station followed analysis of customer orders. Almost all showed a preference for four-colour-only print. While Smith agrees that the additional colour might attract work the company might not otherwise receive. “A fifth colour would be a luxury. It’s not what out customers have asked us for,” he says. “I can count the requests for a fifth colour on one hand.”

That may change next time as the future for Technique is definitely about digital. The XL75 will remain. “It would be difficult to take that out,” he says, “but in the long term our future is more about digital than litho printing.”

By Gareth Ward

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Karl Smith and co director Mark Foster

Karl Smith and co director Mark Foster

Technique has replaced a Konica Minolta digital press with the latest Heidelberg Versafire EP. It joins the XL75 that continues to be the company's bread winner press says joint managing director Karl Smith.

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