Metallic Elephant launches new polymer letterpress plate division
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Foiling machine and die manufacturer Metallic Elephant has launched a new polymer letterpress division after installing a Dantex AQF 2530 combination processor.
The processor has allowed Metallic Elephant to manufacture polymer letterpress plates and embossing counterforces, which are significantly cheaper than traditional magnesium plates.
The new division was launched this month.
The company had been poised for a natural expansion such as this one after enjoying strong results in 2022, according to business development director Vincent Wilson.
“We had an amazing push on machine sales last year exporting to the US, a lot of which went to the wedding industry, packaging and greetings cards,” he told Printweek.
Many of the firm’s clients come to Metallic Elephant for a foiler when expanding a boutique letterpress business, to add a special touch to wedding invitations, for instance.
Expanding the firm’s capabilities to offer polymer letterpress plates was a natural fit, Wilson said.
The idea to expand into polymer came, however, when looking at the firm’s counterforce offering for embossing machines.
Unhappy with the results of the counterforces the firm was making out of resin, because of the material’s tendency to retain bubbles and other flaws, the team reached out to machine manufacturer Dantex, with whom it has worked for more than 15 years.
The addition of letterpress plates to the company’s offering came soon after, according to Ros French, managing director.
She said: “We naturally want to utilise the machine as much as possible so it’s a natural progression to also supply polymer letterpress plates alongside our magnesium alternatives.”
She added that the reliability of the new polymer machine has made it possible to offer a quick and efficient service.
“This process means that we get a counterforce out right every time,” she said, adding that the team can send out letterpress plates on the same day as they are ordered.
Metallic Elephant employs 19 people at its Colchester site, turning over £2.2m.
Plans for expansion this year will add significantly to its 930sqm facility, French added.
“There’s definitely more space being added, put it that way, as we’re adding two further production CNC machines [...] we don’t want it to ever happen that anybody comes to us, and we say we can’t help.
“We want to offer solutions to everybody, for whatever items they might come to us to print.”
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