RAP Spiderweb invests in Cron CTP

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, September 27, 2019

RAP Spiderweb has installed a new B2 Cron platesetter to replace an ageing Screen machine.

The Oldham-based business took delivery of the Cron 36H, which was supplied by Service Offset Supplies (SOS), around a month ago. It invested just under £80,000 in the new machine and has privately sold on its Screen device, which it had been operating for over a decade.

Director James Tattum said the business weighed up three options before ultimately settling on the Cron kit, which he said “offered the best deal”.

“We’ve got a 17/18 year relationship with SOS, we get great service from them – they’ve got a good understanding and a good team,” he added.

The compact 36H is a three-in-one system that includes autoloader, de-interleaving and punching. RAP Spiderweb opted for UV plates though the system is compatible with all plate types.

“It’s a very productive system – we are getting 45% higher output than our previous machine,” said Tattum.

“From day one we were churning plates out – we made 1,000 in the first 10 days, and we haven’t had any issues with quality which is consistently good.”

The device was supplied with the RealPro workflow software package from SOS. Capable of driving CTP devices and digital presses, RealPro also sends CIP data to any press for auto ink duct adjustment prior to print, including the two B2 Heidelberg Speedmaster machines – a five-colour and a four-colour – that the company operates.

“Albeit the system that we had was end of life, it was good. But this system is really quite slick,” said Tattum.

As well as managing trapping and pre-flight, RealPro helps to ensure a match between digital proof, plates and press, a process which SOS is able to fine-tune.

RAP Spiderweb began life as Rochdale Alternative Press in the 1960s. It acquired Spiderweb, a London-based printer with a similar portfolio, in 2006 and has been under its current ownership since 2016.

Working out of 929sqm premises, the 21-staff business also operates a Xerox Versant 3100 digital production press and offers in-house finishing including stitching, laminating and folding.

It is set to exceed £2.3m in sales this year, with 55% of its turnover coming from the charity and not-for-profit sector.

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