Douglas overhauls pre-press with CTP and workflow investment

Simon Nias
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bishop's Stortford-based design and print business Douglas has invested in a new Suprasetter A75 from Heidelberg as well as an upgrade to its pre-press software suite.

Managing director Mark Douglas said that the firm had held off on any major capex during the recession but that the upturn in business conditions in the past nine months meant that now was the right time to start reinvesting.

Top of the list was to replace the firm's aging Prosetter, which Douglas said was around 12 years old and starting to become unreliable; at the same time, the firm decided to invest in an upgrade to its MetaDimension, Signa Station and PDF Toolbox software.

Douglas said: "The Suprasetter can output 16 B1 plates and hour, which isn't a lot faster than the Prosetter, but it's a lot more reliable and we can do a lot more with the software in terms of trapping and manipulating the files.

"Another one of the main reasons was that this has allowed us to get rid of the [plate] processor and do away with the whole messy process of disposing with the processing chemistry."

He added that the firm was currently looking for larger premises to move into, to accomodate an expansion in its six-man design studio, which is actually the firm's core business.

"We took the decision around 10 years ago to change direction and focus more on design and branding. We're actually a design agency with print in-house and we find the design side feeds the print operation," said Douglas.

He added that the business would ultimately look to upgrade its litho setup as well, currently comprised of Heidelberg SM 74-4 and SM 52-2 presses, most likely by investing in a new press with closed-loop colour control, although retrofitting would also be an option.

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