Technique bolsters fledgling digital wing with Versafire

Rhys Handley
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Technique Print Group has upgraded its digital printing capabilities with the installation of a Versafire EP from Heidelberg.

The Versafire EP was described by Heidelberg as the "pinnacle" of digital production
The Versafire EP was described by Heidelberg as the "pinnacle" of digital production

The digital press was delivered at the start of April and replaced a five-year old machine at Banbury-based Technique. The machine being replaced was the company's first foray into digital printing after running a purely litho facility.

The Versafire will be running a number of high-quality, largely short-run applications including multi-part, high-end invitation packs and four-page A4 landscape jobs. The company said the investment brought its digital capabilities up to the same standard as its litho work.

Joint managing director Karl Smith said: “We have found it to be necessary to have a digital offering these days and honestly I cannot believe it took us quite so long. We had been running small-format jobs on B3 litho machines previously.

“Since we first invested five years ago, the market and the quality has grown exponentially. Digital used to be cheap and cheerful, but now it tends to be for people who want a high-quality product, just not as much of it. The gap has closed.

“I have been involved in buying Heidelberg presses for 35 years and Technique has been a customer for more than 20 years, so if they could provide a digital solution then I was always going to listen. With the Versafire, we are now stepping into a slightly different league.”

Launched in May last year, Heidelberg’s four-colour Versafire EP can take a banner size of 1,030mm in duplex and 1,260mm in simplex on stock up to 450gsm. It can print at either 115 or 135ppm A4 and an automatic inline calibration system maintains colour consistency.

Technique will run the machine alongside a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 with coater in its litho department and an HP Latex printer for wide-format capabilities. It also houses finishing kit on its 650sqm premises which includes a Stahlfolder and a Horizon bookletmaker, as well as machines for guillotining, creasing and laminating.

With a turnover of £2m, it employs 19 members of staff.

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