Speedscreen follows up press install with Kongsberg investment

Simon Nias
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Speedscreen has invested £200,000 in a Kongsberg C64 cutting table to remove a finishing bottleneck arising from its installation of a Durst 1012 in June 2013.

The Maidstone, Kent-based screen and digital printer has experienced a 30% increase in turnover in the past 12 months that managing director Tim Hill said was directly attributable to the £780,000 puchase of a Durst 1012 at last year's Fespa.

"The Durst 1012 is 10 times faster than our other machines. Initially it was a struggle to fill it but in the last three to four months it hasn't stopped and it has been directly responsible for a 30% increase in turnover," said Hill.

"It really was a case of 'build it and they will come' - the machine at Fespa had our name on it and on the back of that we started getting enquiries - it's mainly trade work that we've filled it with."

However, this increase in print volume led to a bottleneck in Speedscreen's finishing department, which has since been solved with the installation of the 3.2x3.2m Kongsberg C64 last week.

Hill added: "Our existing G3 Zünd was doing a good job, as was an ageing Kongsberg iXL 44, but neither can match the pace of this new C series, it is simply phenomenal.

"We looked at other manufacturers, but at this size of bed the new C64 is unmatched. We now consider ourselves one of the best equipped digital wide-format companies in the country."

The Kongsberg C64, which has replaced the iXL 44, was purchased through UK distributor CWE Solutions.

Hill added that he was impressed at the residual value on the older Kongsberg, which the company had had for around six years. "It retained 50% of its value, which just goes to show how good the residuals on these machines are," he said.

In addition to a 100m/min production speed the C64, which had its European debut at this year's Fespa exhibition, features a carbon transverse beam that enables it to run at full production speed on much larger sheets without any loss of accuracy due to beam deflection.

Hill highlighted the "genuine 3.2x3.2m" size of the C64 (versus the G3, which has a 3.2x1.6m bed with a 1.6m extension) as well as the powerful 3kW router as two of the main selling points for the firm's new Kongsberg.

"There was nothing else like it in terms of its acceleration and production speeds. Back when we bought the Zünd, Kongsberg didn't have anything like it but they've jumped ahead with the C64."

Hill said that Speedscreen's £1m-plus capex programme, which also included a new twin-headed sewing machine from Solent for finishing banners and silicon-edged graphics, had "future-proofed the business".

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