“Our minders are very impressed,” says managing director James Greene, “and they are still training on the machine.” The press is replacing a 2013 Speedmaster SX leaving the Tottenham company with a five-colour SM74 alongside the new press.
“This press has an additional dryer and we use it for uncoated work,” says Greene. “There is a steady demand for this from zoos and museums and for recycled paper. We have the flexibility to print across both machines.
The six-colour configuration allows the company to print four process colours, a spot colour and to run a seal. “We have run six-colour presses for ten to 12 years and it is a configuration that has worked well for us,” Greene says.
At the same time the company has taken delivery of a Stahlfolder CH56 to replace an MBO which, Greene says, was “very, very old”. The new folder is a fully automated machine ready to cope with shorter runs and digital work. Format and fold positions are set automatically.
Folder technology has reached the point for Greene to be confident about the automation that is offered. It is a step towards expanding the finishing department to cope with growing volumes of digital and short run printing.
Witherbys moved into digital printing though the acquisition of Abacus Print giving it two Xerox colour presses. “We are starting to look to the future in terms of digital printing, whether we stay with Xerox or need to find an alternative.
“The digital side is growing at a steady rate, so it already makes sense to put the finishing capacity in place.”
The next step could be investment in its digital arm.