London printer expands with Ricoh install

Hannah Jordan
Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rapid Repro and Design has invested in a Ricoh C901 S1 digital printer to install in its new Tottenham facility.

The firm has recently moved into the new 743sqm north London site having outgrown its 511sqm Walthamstow, East London premises; the Ricoh machine, which is being installed today, is part of the ongoing development of its digital department.

Traditionally a commercial litho printer that specialises in printing products such as carrier bags, gold foiled invitations and guest bills for hotels, the company moved into digital print around five years ago after the termination of a contract with English Heritage resulted in the "overnight loss" of 50% of its turnover.

Managing director Keith Rowe said it had been a tough but worthwhile lesson. "We learnt not to put all our eggs in one basket with one client and one type of work.

"That’s why we went into digital work because we understood that we needed to respond to clients who themselves were cutting their budgets and wanted much shorter run lengths."

Rowe said that the company, which moved to Ricoh last year after originally branching into digital with Xerox, had opted for the C901 S1 because it was a robust machine capable of keeping pace with its needs.

He added: "With this machine we are able to offer our clients a digitally produced product with quality that is extremely close to litho work. It is fast, it can handle 350gsm so it allows more versatile jobs and it is commercially stable so down times are reduced. It will also help us pull in more work if clients know we have a large machine with greater capacity."

The eight-staff, £1.3m-turnover firm expects to see a return on investment within 12 months and has plans for further growth at the end of the year.

"Once we are settled in to our new premises and we’ve built up work on the Ricoh we’ll look at making our next investment around December, which will most likely be a five-colour B3 machine," Rowe said.

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