YM Group rescued the former Polestar Chantry business last June, and three months later went on to acquire the 120,000cph short-grain web press that had been installed at Polestar’s Sheffield site.
Managing director Peter Greaves praised the support the project had received from Goss and the high quality output being produced by the press, as well as its productivity.
“We have made quite an investment in Chantry since we took it over and the new press is running really well – beyond our expectations. This has been a really good project,” Greaves said.
He also said the YM team had configured the post-press system on the press differently.
“We have simplified the layout of the post-press equipment so that copies come straight out of the folder and into the trimmers, and the log stackers and compensating stacker back each other up,” he explained.
The highly-automated Sunday 5000 is particularly suited to sub-A4 products due to the paper savings made possible by short-grain production. It can produce 24pp sections at more than 240,000cph.
It is currently producing mainly commercial work, although additional contracts are in the pipeline. "We are working on enough things to continue with our plans," Greaves said.
Goss UK sales director John Chambers said there had been considerable interest in the press when it came up for sale. “It was a great opportunity for YM Group and we were delighted to partner with them on this project. They have saved an awful lot of jobs and given that site a new lease of life. It’s a great success story.”
As well as the press, the firm has also installed the automated CTP system and two Ferag lines from Sheffield, and two Muller Martini stitching lines that had been in storage. Chantry had not had high-speed stitching capability under its previous owner.
Greaves said the total investment was in excess of £5m, and there could be more to come. “We are looking a further investment in the press to increase its capability, such as additional ribbons and gluing.”
The Sunday 5000 currently has five ribbons, this could be increased to as many as eight, Greaves said.
Chantry employs circa 270 staff, with 80 of those taken on since YM Group acquired the operation.
As well as the Sunday 5000 short-grain, it also runs a 64pp Sunday web, a 72pp KBA Compacta, and a six-unit M600. The remaining older presses have been sold or mothballed.
The Sunday 5000 has increased the site’s capacity by some 40%.
YM Group, which posted sales of £104.4m in the year to 31 May 2016, also has short-grain web presses at its Pindar and York Mailing sites, giving it the largest short-grain capacity in the country.
Separately, PrintWeek understands that the two 96pp Sunday presses from the former Polestar Sheffield site are understood to be heading to an as-yet-unnamed German printing company, for installation over the summer.