A Suffolk print company has transformed itself in “one fell swoop” after a Komori Lithrone kit switch as part of a £1m investment.
Ipswich-based PJ Print replaced a four-colour Komori A2 Lithrone 426 with a B2 four-colour Lithrone S429 four weeks ago. It joins a Lithrone 526 and digital kit.
The new technology boasts an H-UV curing system, automated makeready systems and automated plate changing. The machine uses Kodak Sonora plates.
Managing director Ben Perkins said: “Speed of drying is the standout feature: this machine has transformed our company – we have made a 15-year jump in technology in one fell swoop.
“We are running faster, more efficiently and have about halved turnaround times. We hope to add £500,000 to our turnover within 12 months.”
PJ Print's nine staff make a turnover of £1m, mostly from trade print, such as brochures, magazines, catalogues, calendars, prospectuses, POS material and greetings cards.
The company will use the new Komori to promote its H-UV drying benefits to design agencies in the hope its versatility will appeal to print designers wanting to use more unconventional substrates.
“We hope this new investment will give us more work with design agencies and end users,” Perkins said of the £1m investment that included a Horizon StitchLiner and folder.
He added: “It’s a large and critical investment for a company like ours, but it’s all down to staying competitive pricewise.
“We also have to ensure we’re geared to meet increasingly tight deadlines without taking any risks on print quality.”
Perkins said the press could quickly handle any type or thickness of material.
“On four-colour work printed both sides, the ability to return instantly dry sheets immediately to the feeder to print the second side is especially important to us.”
The company is keeping its 15-year-old five-colour Lithrone 526 for bespoke jobs and work requiring special colours, instead of having to use the fifth unit to add a drying seal.
The Komori H-UV press is part of an ongoing new initiative at PJ to invest in latest technologies from pre-press to finishing.
This included a new MIS, adoption of full CIP3 workflow, new stitching and bindery equipment and a Konica Minolta Bizhub C7000 production press three years ago.
“With the combination of the Bizhub and the H-UV Lithrone with its quick makeready, high automation levels and fast drying, we’ll compete on price and delivery times on all run lengths, from a few hundred to 100,000,” Perkins said.
PJ supports the World Land Trust and encourages customers to use carbon balanced papers.
“We promote environmental initiatives and the new H-UV Lithrone adds further credentials with its lower CO2 emission levels, reduced energy use and complete elimination of spray powder,” he said.