Callprint invests further in HP; eyes acquisitions

By Sarah Cosgrove, Monday 14 September 2015

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Callprint has invested in two new HP printers for its central-London wide-format hub as it diversifies its equipment stock and eyes future expansion.

steve-cheek

Cheek: "HP is quite exciting at the moment."

The 1.52m-wide HP Designjet Z6800 printers replaced two Canon iPF9000 machines in August after Callprint's head of wide-format production Arron Rutherford suggested they would be a good match for the company.

He said of the new HP machines, which were installed at the company's Clerkenwell, London wide-format hub where Rutherford is also branch manager: “We’ve been overjoyed, they are excellent and they are delivering everything that I wanted.

“We looked at new Canon models and the HP models were better for our business needs at the moment. We use them for work such as posters, POS and presentations. We felt they were more productive and more cost-effective. We like them so much that if we change our inkjets out we’ll probably get more HPs in."

The Canon machines were moved to Callprint sites in Manchester and Birmingham, where they will enable those sites to offer a wider-format print product than before, as well as boost production quality and speed.

Callprint managing director Steve Cheek said: “We currently have a mixture of HPs and Canons across the group.  The team tested some work on the new Canons and HP and both had good results. The HPs have got a great future and we decided to run the HPs as an alternative to our Canon portfolio.”

Cheek said both brands tested well but they went with HP as Callprint already runs a Canon Océ Arizona 660 XT, installed in December, with an Océ Arizona 480GT due to arrive on Saturday (19 September).

“Our capacity has gone up. We like to keep ourselves at the cutting edge of all the technology and we don’t want to be tied into to one manufacturer. It’s good to have a strong relationship with one manufacturer but given the size of the group now it makes sense to have that with more than one. In some parts of the country we can get better support from Canon than HP or vice versa.”

The company already runs two HP Latex 360 printers at the London hub, installed at the end of last year, with four in total across the group.

Cheek visited HP in Barcelona this summer and was impressed with what he saw.

“HP is quite exciting at the moment, they’ve been doing very innovative work,” he said.

“We’re seeing continued advances in latex technology, improved speed, quality and reliability. We’re looking at other equipment with HP which we believe is as innovative going forward.”

Part of that is Callprint’s 3D printing division, which operates out of its Docklands, London base, using 3D Systems printers. It delivers projects such as landscape and architecture models, prototypes and presentation models. Callprint also suppliers the ZPrinter range of 3D Printers from 3D Systems in the UK. 

Canon entered the 3D market in January after signing a distribution deal with 3D Systems.

The announcement followed HP’s in October 2014, when the 170-staff company revealed its Multijet Fusion plans.

£12.5m-turnover Callprint now has three wide-format print hubs, in London, Birmingham and Knowsley, Merseyside.

In June, it invested £350,000 in Xerox kit for its bureau in central London, Manchester and Birmingham and upgraded its RIP.

Also in June Callprint bought a high-street print business PPS Print Communications in Manchester city centre, when Cheek told PrintWeek he wanted to establish a fourth wide-format hub nearby.

He is now in negotiations regarding two possible acquisitions but would not be drawn further on details. 

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