Flexpress switches RMGT install plans

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Trade printer Flexpress has cancelled its order for an RMGT (Ryobi) 970 LED UV press due to manufacturing delays and will now instead take on a 920 ST4 CD LED UV machine from RMGT.

Wenlock: "We’ll still gain the coveted 50% improvement in productivity"
Wenlock: "We’ll still gain the coveted 50% improvement in productivity"

The Leicester-based business will take delivery of the SRA1 920 ST4 CD this summer. It will be supplied by M Partners, which took over the RMGT 9 series dealership from Apex Digital Graphics in 2018.

In a LinkedIn post yesterday (31 January), Flexpress managing director Steve Wenlock stated: “The bad news: due to manufacturing delays, which would have negatively affected our plans for this year, we’ve had to cancel our order for the UKs first RMGT 970 LED UV.

“The good news: instead, we’ve ordered a version of the RMGT 920 ST4 CD LED UV that’s bristling with even more technology!”

He added: “It’s a little disappointing, of course, but we don’t believe in wallowing in negativity. It’s by no means all bad. There are numerous advantages in us sticking to a press format we know and love, and we’ll still gain the coveted 50% improvement in productivity.

“Better still, we can get our hands on it sooner than our original date meaning we’ll be full steam ahead even quicker.”

He said the level of automation meant that the machine was “still a big step up” and that it will “do everything our clients need from us, and more, but faster”.

Mark Stribley, director at M Partners, told Printweek: “The new RMGT 970, which we kind of see as a compact B1 machine, suited the pagination for some of their books over the 920 that they’ve currently got.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t guarantee delivery until eight weeks later [than originally planned] because we’ve got a massive order in China for the 970 range, and whilst we had a production slot there were sub-supplier problems with parts for it.

“So we spoke to Flexpress about that, and the problem is that it would have hit smack bang in the middle of their [busiest] time for production.”

He added: “We had a 920, which is our flagship, which was coming in earlier – in June. On top of that, as we wanted to work something out because it’s disappointing for us as well as them, we were able to add the latest inline colour control system on it for them as well.

“So in effect, [despite the change of format] they’re getting a much better specification, and as the delivery time suits them far better it was the best option.”

Stribley said M Partners was nevertheless “really pleased with the order”.

“It’s a great machine for them, particularly with the inline colour control system, the latest parallel makeready, and simultaneous plate change. It is the market leader in that format.

“Their guys will hit the ground running straight away with it, and it’s good to keep such an important RMGT customer in the family.”

He added Flexpress had also made “a considerable saving on price” with the 920 ST4 CD compared to the 970.

Flexpress also installed an HP Indigo 100K around a month ago, as a replacement for an Indigo 12000. The business also operates an RMGT 524 LED UV press and a Ricoh Pro C7200 digital machine. In September the company upgraded its creasing and folding capability by installing a Morgana DigiFold Pro XL.

Its wide range of finishing kit also includes a Horizon BQ-500 four clamp perfect binder, which was installed last year to manage an increase in book printing orders.

Operating from 743sqm premises, Flexpress employs 19 staff and is expecting to achieve a turnover of around £3m in 2022.

For more information on Flexpress' products and services, visit Printweek’s Services Portfolio+ platform: servicesportfolioplus.com/company-list/Flexpress

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