Geoff Neal invests in factory, finishing and software ahead of second XL

Geoff Neal Litho has upgraded its factory, finishing and workflow in advance of the arrival of a Heidelberg XL 106-6+L.

The six-colour plus coater B1 machine, will replace an old CD 102 when it is installed in June at the firm which is PrintWeek Awards' 2012 Direct Mail Printer of the Year.

"When we put in the first XL we set ourselves a target turnover to meet before we installed a second, and we reached that," said chief executive Geoff Neal.

Like its first XL, a 105-5+L, the new press is fitted with Inpress control automated colour and register control.

"Inpress Control has been one of the best things on the XL press," said Neal. "A lot of our blue-chip customers give us the numbers and we run to them, eliminating the need for hard copy proofs. And it helps enormously to streamline makereadies."

In advance of the arrival of the XL the Feltham-based firm has installed a Heidelberg Stitchmaster ST350, which replaces an ST300, and Prinect Prepress Manager, which replaces the firm’s Screen workflow to drive its Screen PlateRite 8800Z.

The firm already uses Prinect Pressroom manager, and with the ST350 and its two Stahl folders its post-press department is prepared for automation at a later date.

Neal added that the integration between Prinect modules and its data collection and analysis tools were invaluable for driving efficiency improvements.

To support the new press the firm has also enlarged its premises by 20%, taking space to 2.400sqm and upgraded its power supply. The additional space will be used for paper storage.

"With the arrival of the second XL we’re going to be going through paper like no tomorrow," said Neal.

The total investment in the press, binder and software was £2.5m.

It is expanding the short-run division of the business that it launched last year with the implementation of web-to-print technology and the appointment of Gareth Davies as online sales manager.

It is commissioning a Vpress system which will be used for ordering products including business cards for corporate customers.


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