The £100,000 all-Kodak upgrade was signed for at Drupa, after a couple of months when other options were “considered briefly”, according to Gemini group managing director Steve Cropper.
It follows on from the £40,000 purchase of a Duplo booklet system, installed in August.
The Gemini West plant has upgraded its Prinergy workflow system to Prinergy Connect, which runs with rule-based automation (RBA), and the Gemini Shoreham plant has upgraded its Prinergy and Insite to the latest update, version 7.
There are also connectivity upgrades to Shoreham’s two Magnus 800 CTP devices and the Gemini Shoreham Digital site has installed new servers.
The upgrades took place in Gemini West six weeks ago and Shoreham two weeks ago.
Cropper said: “I truly believe that Kodak Sonora, Prinergy and Insite are probably the best solutions in the marketplace. We have committed to Sonora plates for the foreseeable future and for me I am enthusiastic about the whole lot, it will help our customers get faster proofs, allow for more automation and speed up processes.
“We can already see vast improvements in handling files and customers will be feeling that soon. In fact, on the digital site, they are feeling it already.”
The Sonora plates eliminate all chemicals and water used in platemaking and eliminate waste caused by remakes due to processing variability.
They are Green Leaf certified for supporting the local environment, which Cropper said was “very important”.
The Magnus 800 CTPs have been upgraded with Squarespot imaging technology, which Kodak says produces a cleaner and crisper image onto the Sonora plates.
“To keep up we need to keep investing in software,” added Cropper.
“From when a job comes in, to when it goes out, we need fewer touches, and most of that is done by improvements on the software one way or another.”
Gemini Print Group consists of five printing operations in four locations: Gemini Digital and Gemini Print in Shoreham, Gemini Brighton, Gemini West and Gemini London.
It employs around 150 people across the sites and last year turned over around £16m. Cropper said September was its highest turnover month since he had been in charge, following a quiet period immediately after the Brexit vote.