Inkjet world first for Bell & Bain
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Bell & Bain has made a landmark order for the world's first Fujifilm Jet Press 540W.
The colour inkjet web was first shown at Drupa last year. It has a compact, single-tower design and a print width of 540mm. It can print duplex CMYK at 100m/min at 600x600dpi, or 127m/min at 600x480dpi.
Glasgow-based Bell & Bain specialises in book and journal printing, including colour books. The company runs a range of conventional and digital equipment.
Managing director Stephen Docherty said he had initially been put off inkjet due to high running costs and questionable quality. "We’d seen and heard so much about inkjet, and spoken to so many people about it, but it was mind-boggling what it cost for service and clicks," he said.
Bell & Bain travelled to Fujifilm’s technology centre in Brussels as part of the assessment process for the purchase.
"I couldn’t believe how quick and simple the Jet Press was to operate, and it was actually an easy decision. There’s no click charge and the service costs are reasonable. It makes it straightforward for us to work out our pricing," Docherty added.
The new press has a list price of around £1.2m, depending on configuration.
It will replace an existing Océ 9000 black-and-white continuous feed system when it is installed next month, and is being configured to run inline with Bell & Bain’s Muller Martini Sigma binding line.
"We’ll be using it for black-and-white work initially, the black tones are absolutely phenomenal so I believe our short-run black-and-white work will instantly migrate to it," Docherty said.
"We can also offer selected customers colour book options, for example market testing with a short run at relatively low cost."
Docherty said the firm was in the process of deciding upon a selection of papers. "We may streamline the choice a little to avoid holding lots of reels."
Chris Broadhurst, UK national sales manager at Fujifilm Graphic Systems, said Fujifilm was extremely proud about the order: "The 540W arrived in Brussels around Christmas time and we started to take customers over to see it in January and February. As soon as Bell & Bain saw the quality they could see it would suit their work," he said.
"It’s great news for the UK print industry that well-established printers, such as Bell & Bain, are still investing to stand their business in good stead for tomorrow and beyond. To get the first sale for Fujifilm globally is quite a coup for us." he added.
The move caps a number of recent investments at Bell & Bain. This year it has added a B2 KBA Rapida 75 to its brace of Rapida 142 large-format litho presses, as well as a new Muller Martini Alegro perfect binder.
The 182-year-old firm employs 82 staff and is on track for sales of £9.3m this year.