KNP Litho boosts firepower with Xerox and Vivid spend

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, November 30, 2020

KNP Litho has invested in a Xerox Iridesse digital press and a brace of finishing machines from Vivid Laminating Technologies to enhance its service offering.

Gibbons (Centre) with director of print Charlie Gibbons (L) and general manager Steve Omer (R)
Gibbons (Centre) with director of print Charlie Gibbons (L) and general manager Steve Omer (R)

Purchased direct from Xerox, the Iridesse was installed at the Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk-based firm’s 2,323sqm premises at the end of July and replaced an outgoing Xerox iGen 4.

In September this was followed by the double purchase from Vivid; a Matrix, for laminating and spot UV foiling with the Omni-Flow deep-pile feeder, and a VeloBlade digital die-cutting machine.

The Iridesse will run alongside an existing Xerox Versant 3100 while the company also operates a B2 Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74 10-colour perfector, Mutoh wide-format kit, poly lines and enclosing lines for direct mail and a raft of finishing equipment.

KNP managing director Dave Gibbons told Printweek the company is “sharp on sustainability” across both the litho and digital sides of its business and that the Iridesse “blew the iGen away in terms of sustainability and power”.

“And having the extra three colours [gold, silver and opaque white] and the clear just gives us that extra firepower,” he added.

The machine will enhance the company’s greetings card offering and will also enable it to compete in new vertical markets such as design, creative and photographic.

“We’ve increased new clients by 38% since August, and that’s during Covid as well. The Iridesse has got us through the door – it’s provided a far greater offering to our existing and also to new clients,” said Gibbons.

“Because a lot of our work is direct mail, what has also helped us out is the upgrades for the Fiery. We’ve brought in no-touch production with the online portal that we do for the data for estate agents and greetings cards, and it’s working side by side with the Fiery.

“It’s also connected to the Heidelberg Prinect Print Manager cockpit as well – I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition.”

He added the backup and support from Xerox over the last few years and the quality of the Iridesse meant that staying with Xerox for this investment “was a no-brainer”.

KNP Litho, which also has sales offices in Derby and London, has 21 staff and turns over around £3m; 60% from litho print and 40% from digital, from a 70/30 split a year ago.

It had predominantly served the events sector prior to the coronavirus pandemic but Gibbons said the business had had to reinvent itself and moved into doing floor vinyls after taking on a Zünd cutter earlier this year.

The company was recently named one of the finalists in the ‘Small and Medium Business of the Year’ category at the Suffolk Business Awards 2020.

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