Micropress upgrades litho and finishing facilities

By Max Goldbart, Thursday 15 June 2017

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Suffolk-based Micropress has invested £1.2m on a new litho press and finishing kit from Heidelberg.

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Micropress runs four Speedmasters in its litho department

The commercial printer will install a five-colour Speedmaster XL 75, along with a Stahlfolder KH 82 and its first Polar Autotrim cutting line at its 4,600sqm Reydon premises next month.

The Speedmaster replaces an existing eight-year-old XL 75 and has been specified with Intellistart software. The folder is an addition and the cutting line has replaced an outgoing B1 Polar guillotine.

The press replacement is in line with Micropress’ policy to replace litho presses around once every seven years.

“It’s very much a like-for-like model, it’s the latest generation press that should give us greater output but is very much like the existing press we’ve got,” said commercial director Rob Cross.

“When we go to purchase a new press we do always look round the market, we like Komori presses so explored them, but it’s easier to replace like-for-like.”

Cross added that his team had also considered going down the LED-UV route but that “the numbers did not stack up” for its work mix. 

The folder follows the installation of a TH 56 last year, which Micropress said gave it a 30% to 40% productivity lift. 

Cross said: “What we’re finding is when we’re running at capacity on presses we can’t fold the work quick enough so we’re bottlenecking there and this will relieve the bottleneck and we can still push our presses harder.”

He added that the cutting line would get rid of waste and would “certainly increase productivity”, allowing for a 15% to 20% increase in output and preventing bottlenecks.

Micropress said its litho department is growing by around 10% a year. It runs three other Speedmasters, an eight-colour XL 105 and two 106s (eight-colour and five-colour). Around 80% of the jobs it takes on are litho, with its main digital piece of kit being a Xerox iGen 150. It also runs a variety of finishing equipment.

The £16m-turnover business has around 160 staff and produces leaflets, brochures, catalogues, case-bound books, magazines and mailers. It it taking on three more staff in its folding department post-installation. Last April, it upgraded its MIS suite due to rising volumes.

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