Solent Design Studio has purchased three digital Canon machines to improve its digital offering and migrate work over from its litho division.
The Southampton-based designer and commercial printer purchased a brace of colour machines, an imagePress C10000VP and an imagePress C750, along with a black and white Océ VarioPrint 6160.
The C750 will come in in mid-January and the other two will be installed in early February. They replace Solent’s black-and-white Xerox Nuvera and Xerox 700 Digital Color Press.
Solent managing director Martin Reynolds said he looked at machines from three manufacturers, and that he wasn’t going to buy the C750 but worried about limiting the 12-staff business to having just one digital colour machine. He also considered going down the LED-UV litho route, prior to opting for two colour digital colour machines.
Reynolds said: “We all thought when we went to Canon’s Birmingham demonstration suite that everything they had was aspirational and all the samples were of a good colour, good quality and on lots of different paper types.
“The investment is really to upgrade the quality and give us a little bit of extra capacity and lifts us from what we’re doing now up the next couple of steps of the ladder. The longer sheet is also a selling point and the fact that the larger sheet can print onto 350gsm board; and that is on the smaller machine.
“We do about one million clicks black-and-white per quarter and the quality coming off the Océ was more of a printers’ black, it looked nice, especially when you start introducing tints.”
The C10000 prints at 100ppm and takes a range of different substrates up to 350gsm, while the VarioPrint handles a slightly narrower weight range, but can duplex at around 170 A4 images per minute.
Reynolds said that, once installed, he will start looking to migrate shorter-run litho work over to the new machines, and will then try and build up its litho division with new work. It runs a four-colour Ryobi 524 four days a week and occasionally a second two-colour Ryobi machine.
Solent also runs a Roland Soljet XC-540 large-format machine and various items of finishing equipment, including a Horizon binder purchased for £50,000 this time last year.
The £840,000-turnover outfit is looking to boost sales by around £200,000 and recruit a new member of staff once the machines are in.