Banbury Litho enhances wide-format arm

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Banbury Litho has bolstered its in-house wide-format ops with the installation of a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX flatbed UV printer and an Esko Kongsberg X24 Edge digital cutter with i-Cut software.

Banbury Litho can now produce more wide-format work in-house
Banbury Litho can now produce more wide-format work in-house

The two new machines, which were supplied by CMYUK and installed in November, continue the Oxford-based company’s transition “towards a strong new future vision” which it embarked on 18 months ago.

Commercial director Matt Plant said: “Essentially, what we are building at Banbury Litho is the look and feel of a creative branding agency with a state-of-the-art production facility. We are developing the front-end of the business, but naturally you need to invest in your production facility as well.”

Plant said Banbury’s transformation programme has completely revised its company culture.

“Internally, we've created real meaningful values for the business that we all work to every day.

“We’re developing ourselves into a customer centric organisation, where we now have a true understanding of our clients’ businesses – what they stand for, what they're trying to achieve, and what their purpose is, so we can help guide them. We’re using our knowledge and a consultative approach to create the right results for our clients.”

Alongside this, the business has introduced a new in-house creative design facility which focuses on web-based business tools, and the company has recently rebranded. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, these changes had helped it to see growth of 14%.

During the first lockdown it set up a special coronavirus website to offer its customers a number of related products, such as signage and display, posters, floor graphics, face masks, visors, gloves and sanitisers.

This in turn led to high demand for floor graphics and other types of safety signage, which was the catalyst for the decision to purchase the Mimaki flatbed and Esko cutter.

The business was already producing some wide-format print on a Mutoh ValueJet printer, Mutoh ValueCut cutter and Vivid laminators, but it was outsourcing substantial quantities of wide-format print, or anything that required higher quality.

The company liked the Mimaki printer’s white and clear inks and Plant described the machine as “a good flatbed starting point for us offering very good quality and speed”.

He called the Esko Kongsberg cutter, meanwhile, “one of the best cutting tables on the market” and said the machine would help the company to diversify.

“If you’ve got the right specification, the right tools, you can produce such wonderful work on it. We want to be doing more packaging concepts, short run packaging, point-of-sale material, reboard furniture and more.”

He added: “We are looking to diversify. With our consultative approach, in-house design capabilities, value-added services and now this new equipment, we are ready for the new markets that have opened up to us.”

The business, which also operates two B2 litho presses, including a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 LED, plus Xerox iGen and Iridesse digital printers, is looking to further invest in roll-to-roll equipment next year to open it up to the textiles market. It also plans to launch a recruitment drive early next year.

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