Healeys boosts digital offering with new Polar cutter
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Healeys Print Group’s digital offering continues to grow with the installation of a new Polar D66 Plus guillotine from Heidelberg.
Costing £22,000, the new Polar is Healeys’ third and was selected for its reliability as well as the firm’s relationship with supplier Heidelberg, which is the primary provider of the firm’s litho equipment and so already provides back-up services.
After installing a Ricoh C9100 digital press last year, the Ipswich-based printer has seen its digital output grow to 40% of its total business. The guillotine, which will arrive on 12 February, is part of a wider expansion and realignment of the digital side of the company.
“We need a dedicated guillotine and finishing area for our digital output as it continues to grow,” said managing director Philip Dodd. “Our turnover is forecast to reach £4m this year and digital will make up a significant chunk of that.
“As it grows to take up more of the business, we will be retraining and moving some of our staff. Some of the staff are currently taking part in a weekly coaching course with an American expert, looking at how to bring about changes to the way we work.
“It is challenging the way we think about our business, looking at reducing our work in progress by half and increasing flow through the company. We are already running a few web-to-print sites, and that has huge potential. We have to find smarter ways of working.”
The Polar D66 Plus boasts 1,998 memory positions for repeat cut sequences and process visualisation to give the operator graphic indication of the material handling. Its cutting width and feed depth are both 670mm.
With digital growth on the agenda, Dodd still stressed the importance of his company’s litho department which is “still 60% of our work”. The firm’s printing tech line-up also includes a Ricoh 7100 and a Kodak NexPress with long-sheet feeder. A Horizon StitchLiner 3 was also installed before the end of 2017 and has been “highly successful” so far.
Dodd said he expected more staff to be taken on as the digital operation grows, bringing the 38-strong team up to “around 40-42 people”. The firm's digital finishing department incorporates a cutter-creaser, laminator, and foiler, with more to be added in the near future.