Augustus Martin is first company with a brace of Inca Onset S70s

Barney Cox
Monday, October 11, 2010

Augustus Martin has become the first firm in the world to run a pair of Inca Onset S70 high-end flatbed inkjet presses, and claims if the economics can be made to stack up digital is better than litho or screen for large-format point of sale.

"Before the Onset, digital machines created their own markets, whereas the Onset has taken all the short-run screen and litho and produces it in a more cost-effective way," said Augustus Martin joint managing director Lascelle Barrow. "Having the Onset changed our breakeven points. If possible now we produce everything up to the digital break even on digital. It’s a relief as it has saved us having to invest in additional screen or litho capacity."

Barrow said "digital is always better" because it is easier to operate, match the colour, and produces less waste. But he added that the high cost of digital ink had caused the market to plateau.

"If you’re printing using offset you don’t think about the cost of ink. On digital you can get to the point where the ink is more than the labour, machine cost and substrate. It’s either cheaper to do it digital or it isn’t."

In addition to the second Onset S70, Augustus Martin has also been using Inca’s variable data software Print Run Controller.

"If you give marketers the chance to do different things then some will," said Barrow. "Variable data is a chance to customise for low additional cost. But it will take time for widespread adoption, we’re only at the early days for the technology."

Inca marketing director Heather Kendle said she expected more firms to follow Augustus Martin with multiple S70s, and added the manufacturer already had clients running an Onset S70 along with the slower Onset S20, including one in Canada that had switched off its screen printing lines as a result.

Another UK firm, Newcastle-based Imprint, has become the first site in the world to run three Onset S20s.

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