Hunts trebles digital printing capacity with Versant

By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 18 May 2016

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Oxfordshire-based print and design company Hunts is printing at three times its 2015 capacity, and has taken on new contracts, after the installation of two Xerox Versant 2100 presses.

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Wickson with Hunt's digital operator Simon Barrett (left) and one of the new presses

The machines were purchased for £80,000 each, but total investment will likely be upwards of £350,000, including click cost over their lifespan.

The printers replaced a Konica Minolta C8000. Hunts' digital manager Rich Wickson said the main reason behind the purchase was to expand Hunts’ digital printing operation.

Wickson said: “We removed the bottleneck just before it started to affect getting jobs out of the door on time. We now have 200ppm capacity, rather than 80ppm, and along with more uptime I would say we now have three times the capacity we previously had.”

Wickson said that, while he was a “little reluctant” to move away from Konica Minolta, he liked the Versant’s low-melt toner, extra-long sheet and its envelope printing options.

He added: “The Versants fit in with our philosophy to make digital print that looks and feels more like litho.”

Hunts serves clients in the design and marketing, health and beauty and education sectors. The purchase of the presses allowed it in early 2016 to take on a large mailing contract of up to 800 mailers per day. This has been semi-automated through web-to-print and finished on a Duplo DC-645 finisher.

Wickson said this work can now be produced in less than half the time it would previously have taken.

The CMYK Xerox Versant 2100 has a max speed of 100ppm, taking weights of 52-350gsm. Its max sheet size is 330x488mm with 2,400dpi resolution. Wickson said he can regularly put through 1,500 sheets per hour at all paper weights, which is 6,000 impressions per hour over the two machines.

Employing 60 staff in its Oxfordshire premises, Hunts turned over £6m in 2015. It also runs a Komori H-UV B2 press and a Heidelberg B2 Anicolor, which Wickson said fits in nicely with the new Versants and soaks up the longer runs on the digital spectrum.

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