RAP Spiderweb uses CBILS for Komori investment

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

RAP Spiderweb has taken on a new Komori GL29 four-colour plus coater after Close Brothers Asset Finance funded the purchase using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Tattum (L) with RAP Spiderweb MD Diane Horsfall: "It's changed the business"
Tattum (L) with RAP Spiderweb MD Diane Horsfall: "It's changed the business"

The Oldham-based business took delivery of the B2 press – its first from Komori – around a month ago, where it joined existing kit including a four-colour B2 Heidelberg Speedmaster, a Xerox Versant 3100 digital production press and a B2 Cron platesetter that was installed last year.

Capable of running at speeds up to 16,500sph, the company's new GL29 press features a skeleton transfer cylinder that reduces marking and is also equipped with fully-automatic plate mounting, PDC-SG closed loop spectrophotometer, and inline coating.

Representing an investment of around £650,000, the press has replaced a five-colour B2 Heidelberg Speedmaster that the company has sold to White Horse Machinery.

RAP Spiderweb director James Tattum said the new machine has increased both the firm's capacity and capabilities.

He told Printweek: “We're running work that is saleable off 50 sheets, we reckon the makeready is less than six minutes. This is coming off a lucky makeready before at 30 minutes with an estimated 500 sheets gone through – it's changed the business.”

He said some of the company's staff remain on furlough, but are due back in September, and that September, October and November are currently looking positive for the business, which has used the quieter periods of the last few months to complete other tasks that were long overdue.

“We have done an amazing amount of decluttering, maintenance and painting – stuff that you never have time to do. And there was a real willingness from the staff that were in to do the chores, I feel that we have a really harmonious team that have worked through Covid,” said Tattum.

Joe Hall, relationship manager for Close Brothers Asset Finance’s print team, said: “RAP Spiderweb has been a Close Brothers Asset Finance customer for nearly 15 years. We’ve previously helped fund a management buyout in 2017 and have been part of their investment plans ever since.

“We see it as part of our responsibility towards our customers to support them in making the types of investments that will see them continue to grow and thrive, regardless of the economic climate.”

RAP Spiderweb began life as Rochdale Alternative Press in the 1960s. It acquired Spiderweb, a London-based printer with a similar portfolio, in 2006.

The circa 20-staff business, which turned over just under £2m last year, works out of 929sqm premises and predominantly serves the not-for-profit charity sector.

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