boosts capacity with HP Indigo press and SmartStream buy

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, February 12, 2016 has invested in HP’s SmartStream Production Centre for its new Series 3 Indigo 7R press and two existing Indigo machines as it prepares for a push into trade printing.

The SmartStream workflow was rolled out in January onto the firm’s existing HP Indigo 5000 and HP Indigo 5500 as well as a remanufactured HP Indigo 7R, which was installed at the company’s 1,100sqm Belfast production site in November.

The kit forms part of a £650,000 investment, which also includes a Duplo DC-646 slitter-cutter-creaser, installed in December, and a new perfect binder and envelope printer, which the firm is set to purchase in the next few months. chief executive Gary White said: “We decided to move up to a Series 3 Indigo press for increased speed and capacity and more colour consistency. We’re doing more and more high-volume, short-run jobs and needed to better track them.

“We have our own MIS, which gives us a printed report, but then it’s about trying to physically locate jobs in the factory to see what point they’re at.

“We needed to overcome the challenge of receiving, producing and delivering high volumes of short-run jobs and to keep track of them during every stage of production from order to dispatch. Gaining full visibility into the real-time state of our production was essential as highlighting any problems or a bottleneck as early as possible was critical.”

He added Smartstream Production Centre also flags any problems with jobs a lot earlier on in the process than they were identified before.

When looking for a new press the company also had a cursory look at alternatives from Xerox, but decided to stick with HP Indigo technology, having been an HP customer for nearly 15 years.

“We saw the 7R at Dscoop in Dublin and realised that it would probably suit our needs best. There was a saving, which helps as well but for the work we do it was perfect for us,” said White.

The company replaced some under-utilised machinery including two Canon inkjet printers and some old finishing kit, and built a new bespoke room within its premises to make space for the new Indigo press.

The business also operates wide-format machinery including an HP Scitex FB700 and four Roland Soljet Pro 4 XF-640s and finishing equipment including a Fotoba XLD 170 cutter, two Duplo bookletmakers, three Morgana DigiFolds, a Stahl folder, Duplo PUR and hotmelt perfect-binding machines and an Autobond B2 laminator. is part of Northside Graphics. The combined entity has 39 staff and is looking to turn over around £5m this year. More than £2m of this is expected to come from, an increase from the £1.2m contribution it made to the group’s £3.75m turnover last year.

The firm is hoping to ramp up its trade work this year by introducing discounts for volume trade customers in a bid to make £1m turnover from this service in 2016.

“There's a demand for high quality Indigo digital work in the UK marketplace and we think we're in the right position to supply it to the trade because we're very efficient and also because of the pricing structure we have, which has had good feedback,” said White.

“We're already very cost effective but we're essentially setting up a bespoke service where trade customers will get automatic discounts over and above what is already on the site.”

The business currently serves clients ranging from end users and SMEs to larger companies. Books and short-run brochures are among its most popular products.


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