DMP dodges major press spend by refurbishing secondhand Manroland

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Print and direct mail specialist DMP has used parts from its ageing B2 Manroland R300 press to upcycle an identical secondhand machine that it acquired from France.

“Our old Manroland R300 was 15 years old and had done 400 million impressions. Since Brexit the pound has collapsed and a five-colour press with a coater that might have previously cost £900,000 might well now cost £1.1 million,” said DMP managing director Tony Kemp.

“Albeit the interest rates are extremely favourable, we thought how on earth do you manage to invest in a capital intensive business when all the odds seem stacked against you.”

The 50-staff Keighley-based company, which turns over around £4m, also runs a second 15-year-old Manroland – an R305LV, as well as Xerox digital printers, Buskro and AMS inkjet machines and a raft of finishing kit.

While the old R300 had served the business well, it now required an updated press but wanted to acquire one without making a major capital investment.

“We pride ourselves on looking after the machines we’ve got, and we’ve got the ISO 14001 environmental standard, so we thought about how we could bring the two together and have an investment strategy that is also environmentally-friendly,” said Kemp.

“So we thought that, as we had two Manroland presses, we could get rid of the old one and bring another one in that’s the same if we could source a secondhand one.

“And instead of scrapping the one that we were taking out, which is not environmentally-friendly, we thought we’d take the good parts off it – as some of the parts are perhaps only a year old – and boost our engineering stores.”

This was of particular benefit to the firm as parts for the R300 now have to be made to order, which Kemp said is a lengthy and costly process.

The company eventually sourced a Manroland R300 of an equivalent age and spec, but with only 70 million impressions, in Brittany.

“It might have been 15 years old but it only had two years’ usage,” said Kemp.

Rick Ambler and Wayne Clare from DMP travelled to France to inspect the press. The firm decided to buy the machine, which it paid around €70,000 for, and arranged for it to be moved back to West Yorkshire. The kit arrived at the firm’s premises in July.

Kemp said the total investment cost, including moving the machine to Keighley, came to around £90,000.

“Rick supervised the painstaking process of taking the new litho press to pieces, bit by bit, packed it and sent it into haulage. Once it arrived, he spent a further two weeks reassembling it,” said Kemp.

“He replaced a couple of bits that needed replacing from the old press and it was quickly up and running.”

90% of the capital purchase was advanced to DMP by Lloyds Bank after the company had got the refurbished machine up and running and proved it was a viable investment.

The old R300 press is now broken up and in storage and Kemp estimates that it has given the firm a bank of around £100,000 worth of spare parts. Kemp expects the refurbished secondhand press to last for at least five years.

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