The Delta Group has transformed its POS print strategy with the installation of an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press.
The machine, installed at the company’s 18,581sqm production hall in its Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire facility before Christmas, started production last month after the company built a special climate-controlled enclosure around the machine.
The 762mm-wide web press can print on flexible packaging, labels, and shrink sleeves on film or paper of 10-250µm and is aimed at the packaging market. However, Delta decided it would be the ideal machine to enable smarter working for its POS clients.
Chief operating officer Martin Shipp said that instead of printing set runs on litho and then picker staff going through and fulfilling different combinations of items for each location, Delta Group can now programme the Indigo 20000 to print a run of different items for each location all at once. Each promotion could involve a variety of sizes – everything from labels to 1,100x762mm posters.
Delta can also quickly change the number of items being printed in response to the increased amount of data now available.
“It’s about the change in landscape. In the past campaigns and promotions would contain five or 10 different items. Now with the data we hold and the type of clients we have; we are getting clever. Now we might have 250 different items in the same promotion.
“We use different data on demographics, promotions... even the weather can change the target customer of the said promotion. It’s about speed to market and using this to drive sales.”
This is the £70m-turnover company’s first foray into web press production.
“As far as I’m aware it’s the second 20000 in the UK and the first that’s been used in a POS environment,” Shipp said. “We treat it a bit like a B1 press. If you print two items on a B1 sheet and you need a thousand of one and 750 of the other, 250 will go in the bin. Now we can print the exact amount.”
Shipp said this could mean a saving of around 50 hours staff time in the picking and packing department during a promotion for 500 sites.
“It's quite a large investment for us, you won't get much change out of £2m,” Shipp said.
“Because of the productivity of this press we’ll be able to reduce our price point. We’re very pleased with the print quality too, it’s incredible.”
The press can also print on substrates including PVC, polypropylene and self-adhesive vinyls. Shipp said cutting makeready times by moving these type of expensive substrates from litho to digital was another aspect that made the 20000 an attractive proposition.
The company signed a letter of intent to buy the 20000 at Drupa 2012. Shipp said it was also interested in the Landa S10 Nanography press, a prototype of which was also at the show. But he said the 20000 was ready for market now.
“It [the S10] has a similar offering and it’s supposed to be quicker, but if it’s not here it can’t be quicker,” he said.
According to HP the 20000 has a maximum image size of 740x1,100mm and prints colour jobs at up to 42m (linear) per minute in enhanced productivity mode.
The Delta Group hopes to open up new markets and new clients with its latest investment, which adds to two existing A3 HP Indigos and 85 other devices across its Walthamstow, London and Waltham Cross UK production sites, half of which are finishing machines. It offers litho, screen and digital printing and also has sites in central London, Leeds, Dublin and Los Angeles.
Shipp said the company has an aggressive growth strategy with an aim to increase turnover to £100m over the next few years. It reported sales of £62.5m in the full year to 31 December 2014.