John Brailsford adds digital embellishment with Iridesse buy

Richard Stuart-Turner
Saturday, October 9, 2021

John Brailsford Printers has enhanced its in-house service offering after taking on a new Xerox Iridesse digital production press.

Brailsford: "The volume of work the machine can produce for us is excellent"
Brailsford: "The volume of work the machine can produce for us is excellent"

Purchased direct from Xerox UK, the machine was installed at the Rotherham-based business over the summer.

The Iridesse has joined an existing Xerox Versant 3100, which has multiple inline finishing options and is now being used for general commercial work that doesn’t require embellishment.

The company also operates other older Xerox machines that are used as backup, a raft of wide-format printers, and a fleet of finishing kit.

Owner John Brailsford told Printweek that the 120ppm Iridesse has increased the company’s productivity.

“The initial expectations [pre-Covid] were that we were going to buy another Versant but then the world went crazy and we just decided it wasn’t the right time to be buying a new machine when we didn’t really have enough volume at that point,” he said.

After a slow first couple of months of trading at the start of the pandemic, work soon started to pick back up and the company looked again at investing in new kit.

It agreed various terms with Xerox to enable it to take on the Iridesse, which Brailsford said the business had not previously considered as it was just out of its budget.

“Xerox wanted us to be an ambassador for this particular product in our environment. They knew we’d be a good example for small to medium-sized printers who would look at this press and think it was beyond what you would want to buy as a small outfit. But the volume of work the machine can produce for us is excellent, it’s a really productive machine.”

Brailsford was also particularly impressed with the quality of the print and the embellishment features on the device, which have allowed the company to bring more jobs back in-house, enabling it to add value at a fractional cost to the customer.

He described the digital process of adding speciality dry inks in gold, silver, white, or clear along with CMYK in one pass, in perfect register on both sides, and – with the extra-long sheet capability – up to 1.2m sheet lengths as “absolutely amazing”.

“And gold under CMYK, clear on top of CMYK with gold, or silver alongside in super tight register poses no problem at all,” he added.

“The work that we would tend to send out would be gold and silver or spot varnishes but they always had to be put on top of a laminate – there’s not many processes that can be just printed with a gold or silver direct onto a sheet.”

Brailsford said work produced on the new machine could vary from 10 sheets of metallic gold labels to one-off 1.2m length display headers on 450gsm with silver.

“We can even add white into the mix to give a base to CMYK on dark materials or as a base for window decals; the Iridesse gives us so much more to play and invent with,” he added.

Included in the purchase was the Fiery EX-P 6 Print Server, built with the new Fiery JobExpert that takes away operator error from every job and automatically achieves the best print settings required. Additionally, Fiery JobFlow was installed for a fully automated CMYK workflow for repetitive jobs and lights out printing.

Celebrating its 35th year in business this year, John Brailsford Printers has 12 staff and a turnover of £1.2m.

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