The machine was installed today (Monday, 29 April) and will replace one of two existing Linoprint machines at the Bowerhill, Wiltshire business. Applications run through the Versafire will include leaflets, vouchers, business cards and further personalised stationery for a client base largely within the retail market.
Operations director Richard Blueitt said: “When we took on both Linoprints, the demand for personalised materials shot up and volumes seemed to increase overnight. The machines were getting hammered.
“We have a very good relationship with Heidelberg because we already run a Speedmaster and the Linoprints had been so reliable and high-quality that we were happy to just stick with what we know.
“Never did we expect to be running these kinds of volumes. Digital was originally more of a support for our litho output and we would quote different digital and litho prices because of the difference in quality. Now they are basically equal, so we quote similar prices for both.”
Running alongside the remaining Linoprint, the Versafire EP will operate on a 12-hour daily shift at Superior. It runs at speeds up to 135 A4 ppm with a maximum resolution of 4,800x2,400dpi on stocks up to 470gsm.
According to Blueitt, it will allow the company to respond to orders with faster turnaround times which will be advantageous for promotion-driven retail clients.
Employing 180 people across three buildings totalling circa 5,570sqm floorspace, Superior runs a Heidelberg Speedmaster LE-UV XL106 in its litho department and two Inca Onset S40i flatbeds comprise its large-format wing.
In February this year, the £22m-turnover company installed a digital finishing line from MBO boasting folding, unwinding, sheeting and stacking capabilities to support its eight-colour Muller Martini Concepta mini-web press.
Further investment this year will likely focus on finishing, according to Blueitt, with box-making, gluing and rotary die-cutting being areas of interest to support an increasing demand for high-quality packaging.