All eyes on Rotherham

Jo Francis
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Jo Francis reckons there’s something rather special going on at Route 1.

I’ve been thinking about the headline-grabbing arrival of the UK’s first Landa nanographic press at Bluetree Group, home to Route 1 Print and Instantprint.

Yes, of course it will be super-interesting to see how the Landa shapes up in the fast-paced Route 1 environment.

But perhaps more interesting to me is what it will sit alongside at the group's Rotherham supersite. Ticking off the kit they have there on my fingers, I ended up with… well, not enough fingers.

Let’s have a quick canter through the kit list. On the digital side there’s Xerox iGens (four, I think), HP Indigo 12000, HP Scitex 11000 wide-format (two), Fujifilm Jet Press 720S B2 sheetfed inkjet, Screen Truepress Jet520HD inkjet web (two).

And now the new Landa S10P four-colour perfector, too.

Plus, of course, a host of associated finishing kit from Autobond, Horizon, Rollem, Tecnau and more. Oh, and a Scodix S75 digital embellishment system.

And while it’s easy to get starry-eyed at such an array of digital printing tech, it’s also easy to overlook just how much litho capacity Bluetree Group has, as well.

In that case, though, it’s all Heidelberg: a new eight-colour Speedmaster XL 106 with CutStar has just been installed, joining an existing eight-colour XL 106 with similar spec. There’s also an eight-colour Speedmaster SX102, and a ten-colour Speedmaster XL 75.

Oof! That’s a lot of impressions per year. 

In the context of the Landa’s arrival, the Speedmasters will also provide a direct comparison between the actual cost per sheet of ‘new offset’ and Landa’s ‘lowest total cost of ownership’ claims. Industrial litho printing, versus industrial digital printing.

Fascinating stuff, and Bluetree Group must have the most amazing insights into what it’s like to be a client of all the above named manufacturers. The sales promises, the actuality, the backup, service and support. The actual running costs, the actual cost per sheet.

If I were a supplier with kit in there, I’d probably have a special red light that flashed whenever they called.

No doubt there’ll be many a print boss hoping for a look at the Landa should the firm choose to host the sort of customer event that’s taken place at other Landa installations.

But the more interesting aspect to me is what Bluetree is learning from the bigger picture, at its very big site. 


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