Eclipse rounds off £2m spend and hints at more to come

Eclipse has rounded off a £2m spend in digital and post-press kit for its Eclipse 4dm direct mail arm with a £200,000 IT upgrade across both parts of the business, with more digital and finishing kit investments planned for 2014.

The Kettering-based business is upgrading its digital battery with a Xerox iGen 4 Diamond, which is being installed this week. The 110ppm press, which features a larger sheet size of 360x660mm for 6pp A4 jobs, will replace one of its two Xerox 1000 presses.

The company has also replaced two MBO folders with two Heidelberg TH56 Stahfolders, which the firm said offered a 25% productivity increase on the older machines. The Stahls were installed in early autumn.

Two new polywrappers from Sitma were installed in September. The W1150 lines, which replaced older Sitma machines, expand the product range the firm can wrap and have been configured with camera systems.

“When we acquired the [4dm] business last October, one of the priorities was to undertake an in-depth evaluation of the equipment we had and what was required to improve the level of efficiency and flexibility,” said Eclipse managing director Simon Moore.

The siginificant IT investment, which is predominantly focused on 4dm, has already begun and is set to be completed by early next year.

“Looking to the future, across the three businesses [Eclipse Colour, Eclipse 4dm and Eclipse Red] we want to build stronger communications across the group, so if we do anything in the future in terms of getting the operations working even closer together we will have an even more robust infrastructure in place,” said Moore.

He added that the firm was looking at further investment next year, which he hinted could be centred on digital inkjet and also on its paper enclosing lines.

Moore said that following the completion of its acquisition of 4dm last Autumn, three years ahead of schedule, 2013 had been a transformative year for the business in terms of merging cultures and infrastructure, but he was pleased with the progress in terms of financial performance and exploiting the synergies between the two businesses.

“I think we’re going to have a reasonable year next year, but the market is still aggressive and there will be more consolidation, but with the cautious optimism that’s creeping back, we’re looking forward to the future,” he said.

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