Hobs Repro takes UK's first six-colour Xerox Iridesses

Rhys Handley
Friday, December 14, 2018

Hobs Repro has become the first UK printing company to invest in two Xerox Iridesse production printers in the full six-colour configuration.

One of two Iridesses will run on Hobs Repro's 24-hour London site
One of two Iridesses will run on Hobs Repro's 24-hour London site

Installed in two of its 30 branches in the UK and Ireland, the toner-based digital printers mark the first time a UK-based firm has made use of the device's’ ability to print two speciality toners, including metallic gold, silver and clear, on top of standard CMYK.

The first arrived at Hobs Repro’s Great Portland Street base in London last week and is now up and running. The second has been installed at the reprographics firm’s Glasgow premises this week and will be commissioned by the weekend.

Managing director Craig Horwood said: “We are the first UK company to take on the Iridesse with the full scope of its potential and we are really excited about making a massive impression on the marketplace.

“These machines represent an expansion of our digital platform and add the latest digital printing technology and capabilities to our offering to support what our customers require.

“I believe we have a history at Hobs of taking on the technology we believe is right for the market and we have been watching the Iridesse since it was launched, taking samples around to our clients to ensure the quality and additional features are things that they want. Our relationship with Xerox spans 20 years and this is a huge step forward.”

Launched for Europe and the US in May, the Iridesse was first announced by Fuji Xerox in November 2017. The six-colour device boasts newly developed technology for colour management and a range of automation.

Taking a maximum sheet size of 330x488mm, the Iridesse can print at speeds up to 120ppm for A4 and 60ppm for sizes A3-SRA3. It can take stock weighing anywhere between 52 and 400gsm and print at “ultra HD resolution” of 2,400dpi.

It makes use of Xerox’s High Definition Emulsion Aggregate (HD EA) toner designed to have the “optimal particle size” for lower gloss, smooth tints and fine detail. In October, Xerox expanded the machine's capabilities to offer extra-long sheet capability up to 330x1,200mm banner and auto-duplex up to 729mm long, as well as the introduction of white to its speciality inks.

A “significant investment” for Hobs Repro, Horwood said that the machines would be used for a wide variety of applications, including perfect bound books and saddle-stitched presentation documents. He said the machines’ “versatility” was key to their appeal.

Hobs Repro runs a 24-hour operation in Great Portland Street, with circa-40 members of staff working on 557sqm floorspace. Covering 465sqm, the Glasgow base has a headcount of 30 people. The Hobs Group subsidiary will end 2018 with a turnover of around £23.5m, having incorporated a large chunk of the collapsed Callprint's business into its brand in September.

Acquisitive Hobs Group also announced this week that it would be acquiring Canon UK’s 3D printing reseller business and rolling it into its Hobs 3D arm.

The UK’s first Xerox Iridesse was installed at Nottingham-based Hickling & Squires in June alongside a Versant 3100.

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