GP Print in bumper Duplo install

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Commercial printer GP Print has installed a range of new finishing kit from Duplo to increase its capacity and automation.

GP Print has been a Duplo customer since 2009
GP Print has been a Duplo customer since 2009

Since August the business has taken on a PFi Blade B3+ digital cutting table, a DBM-350 digital booklet system with the DSS-350 square spine module, a DC-646 multi-finisher, and a DB-290 single clamp hotmelt perfect binder – all tied in with new Ultimate Impostrip software.

The perfect binder is the most recent addition; it is being installed today at the Peterborough company’s site.

The new machinery has been purchased to automate many of the processes that previously required skilled operators, and director Peter Martyr told Printweek the near-£100,000 total investment has already made a major difference to the business.

“It’s just a lot more relaxed – we’re not having to run machines and stand over them quite so much, we’re able to actually set up a job and let it do its own thing while we’re working on others,” he said.

“We were a six-man operation before Covid kicked in and we’ve reduced the numbers down to four so we have wanted to make it more automated and I think we’ve succeeded in doing so.”

Martyr added the Ultimate Impostrip software was purchased initially to create the cutting files for the PFi Blade B3+, “as it takes a time intensive and high-pressure task into a more relaxed and streamlined process”.

“But now 90% of our entire workflow goes though the Ultimate Impostrip software – it’s just drag and drop for most files. It has tied in our presses, bookletmaker, digital cutting tables and the multi-finishers. It was easy to see the benefit of doing this and has made our productivity reach new levels.”

A Duplo customer since 2009, Martyr said the manufacturer’s kit has helped it to get into packaging, “which really helped throughout the pandemic”.

“Some of our biggest customers simply stopped promotional print so we made the shift into the short run packaging and stickers for our existing customers which lead to a host of new customers.

“We found ourselves supporting small local businesses through design or supporting products. With that shift in mind, we went for the PFi Blade B3+ cutting table. The automation was key – building bespoke short run boxes is incredibly time consuming, so the software was a major factor in the decision.

“It’s an incredible investment for the price, and it made print exciting again. It breaks from the normal everyday print jobs that our customers know, the creativity that it allows makes a real difference across the board.”

An older DC-645 multi-finisher has been retained as backup for the new DC-646 and the business also operates a Presstek DI press, a Xerox Versant 4100 and a Versant 80 as digital backup, and an Epson wide-format printer, as well as specialist kit for garment printing.

The new DBM-350 digital booklet system, which has replaced an old Morgana device that will likely be sold on, allowed the company to take on a major contract that it otherwise would have had to look at outsourcing.

“We especially loved moving from staples to wire stitching, but the icing on the cake is the DSS-350 square spine. It gives our booklets an incredibly polished and professional look,” said Martyr.

He added no alternative manufacturers were considered for the latest round of investment as “we tend to stick with what we know best, and Duplo has been our selected choice for this as we knew what the DC-645 was like”.

Established in 1999, GP Print serves both B2B and B2C customers. Its projected turnover for this year is around £360,000 to £400,000.

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