Hampton Printing grows short-run packaging and prototyping

Jo Francis
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Hampton Printing has expanded its production capabilities with an investment in large-format cutting and printing equipment from International Graphic Supplies (IGS) and Epson.

The new Titanium in operation at Hampton Printing's Bristol factory
The new Titanium in operation at Hampton Printing's Bristol factory

The Bristol firm has added to its services with the installation of an Epson SureColor SC S80600 printer, and a Titanium 2516 digital CAD cutting table with conveyor system.

The total investment was around £140,000. 

The SureColor prints in up to 10 colours including metallic silver and white, and has a width of 1.63m. 

The Titanium’s format is 2.5x1.6m and it has a large range of tools including kiss cutting, drag knife, oscillating knife and multiple creasing wheels. It can also be retrofitted with routing if required. 

Hampton Printing managing director Mike Malpas said the firm had decided to expand into packaging products around three years ago, as a complement to its high-end litho production. 

He said one of the firm’s goals for this year was to expand its portfolio of wide-format and packaging services. 

“We already do quite a lot of packaging, but we needed a CAD cutting table for concepts and designs, and we decided to go for the large-format Titanium model,” he explained.

“Combining the SureColor with the cutting table with conveyor means we can feed the reel straight into the cutter for short runs. It’s brilliant.”

After a pandemic-induced quiet period from April to June last year, Malpas said business had picked up considerably and the firm had subsequently remained busy throughout. 

It has also organised Covid-secure press passing at its purpose-built, 2,973sqm humidity controlled factory. 

“We have won several new jobs because of the Titanium. Some clients have seen it, had an idea, and we’ve literally cut something for them before they’ve left,” he said. 

“I used to make up hand-made dummies all the time. Now we can put it on the cutting table and it’s better, quicker, and we can use the exact calliper of material. We can’t imagine life without it now.”

Hampton typically uses the digital setup for runs of up to 400. 

“We can do anything from 50 of a slipcase to 500,000 boxes on our Bobst,” Malpas added. 

The £6.5m turnover, 50 employee company has also found an additional use for the Titanium cutting coating blankets for its litho presses. 

“For some of the more complex work we do it can cut them accurately and quickly. We have six or seven staff trained up to use the cutter, it’s very user-friendly.”

IGS managing director Peter Flynn said he was delighted to secure such a prestigious sale, with award-winning Hampton Printing having “the highest reputation for print precision and quality”.

“I’m very pleased to see Hampton are already enjoying the many benefits of moving to a Titanium cutter. As Mike identified our price/performance is hard to match, and this powerful combination is allowing us to building a very impressive portfolio of customers,” he added.

Hampton Printing became Heidelberg’s first Subscription Plus ‘pay per sheet’ customer last year when it installed a new six-colour Speedmaster XL 106. Malpas said the arrangement was working “very well”.

“We’ve been very busy on it. The whole idea of a subscription model is it’s a fixed cost so we know what our costs are. And Heidelberg’s service is second to none.”

The firm’s clients include luxury and colour-critical brands such as Bentley, Dyson, Honda, Land Rover, Dulux and Karndean.





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