A1 Sovereign expands capabilities with UK first KM AccurioPress C4080

(L-R) A1 Sovereign's Sue Busch, IBS' Jonathan Boakes and Konica Minolta's Rob Smith
(L-R) A1 Sovereign's Sue Busch, IBS' Jonathan Boakes and Konica Minolta's Rob Smith

A1 Sovereign has added an extra wide paper deck to its Konica Minolta AccurioPress C4080 – the first to be installed in the UK – to enable it to bring six-panel A4 brochure production in-house.

The Streatley, Berkshire-based company took delivery of the printer just before Christmas 2020, shortly after the launch of the machine, and last month added the LU-202XLm paper deck.

The business had previously been looking at buying an AccurioPress C3070 from Konica Minolta but held out for the C4080 after it was announced.

Purchased by the company to boost its capabilities and meet increased demand from customers, the installation also marked the first sale of a Konica Minolta production printer made by supplier IBS Office Solutions.

The device is also A1 Sovereign’s first colour production printer – it was previously running Konica Minolta MFPs (multi-function printers), of which it has retained one as a backup.

“We were wanting the MFP to do things that it wasn’t designed to do, but the C4080 does everything we need and a lot more. What we could do on the MFP we did, and we were subbing other jobs out, whereas now all of that is in-house,” A1 Sovereign operations director Tony Mitchell told Printweek.

He said the company was impressed by the quality of the detail, solids, and overall consistency of the C4080, as well as how its workflow management software can be used to automate the processing of jobs.

A1 Sovereign uses a variety of substrates, coated and uncoated, as well as SRA3 self-adhesive laser film from Kernow Coatings, which enables it to quickly and simply produce stickers and decals using a dry toner process.

“The C4080 enables us to use any of our chosen substrates without jamming, maintains full speed, auto duplexes, and registration is perfect – all the issues we had with our previous print solution have been resolved,” said Mitchell.

The new extra wide paper deck has enabled the business to bring additional work in-house.

“The LU-202XLm enables us to do six-panel A4s that open up, like menus,” said Mitchell.

He added: “IBS have been truly supportive from the initial enquiry, arranging and joining us for the showroom demonstration, through to giving us advice on the optimal configuration for the press.

“The attention from Konica Minolta has also been first class, with delivery and installation of the machine being faultless and carried out with military precision.”

The business recorded 35% growth in its latest accounts to March 2021, driven by the circa-£65,000 worth of investment it has made over the last year, of which the C4080 formed a significant part.

During 2020 it also installed a Matrix MX-370DP laminator with Omni-Flow deep pile feeder, and a VeloBlade cutting table, both from Vivid Laminating Technologies, as well as a refurbished Morgana AutoCreaser.

The business also produces black and white work on a Konica Minolta bizhub Pro 951.

In July 2020, A1 Sovereign also launched an online sales channel selling predominantly Covid-related print products, through its own website as well as channels including Ebay and Etsy. Online sales have made up around 15% of the company's revenue during the first year.