Willow upgrades finishing facilities


Commercial printer Willow Print & Design has invested £29,000 in a Polar 78N Eco guillotine from Heidelberg UK to overcome bottlenecks and improve output.

The Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside-based business opted for the guillotine after several months of searching, trading in an FL76 guillotine that Willow had owned for 20 years.

The machine was brought in to complement an SRA3 Xerox Versant 80, purchased last year, which managing director Barry Kilshaw said had been “brilliant”. It will be delivered in August. 

Kilshaw said: “We invested in the Versant last year so really needed to invest further down the finishing side of the business. It speeded up the print side but then obviously the slower guillotine becomes a bit of a bottleneck.

“We needed something quicker; we liked the Polar, which had extra cutting tables that speed up the process as well. So it was just really to reduce bottlenecks and obviously to reduce lead times as well. We looked at a few different machines and this was the best one and holds its residual value; Heidelberg tends to make better machinery anyway.”

Kilshaw initially saw the machine at a Heidelberg customer’s Leeds' premises and described Heidelberg’s service as being “first rate”.

The high-speed Polar Eco has a cutting width and feed depth of 780mm. It cuts at 45 cycles per minute and can handle larger-format materials when they are turned on the front table. Willow’s machine is configured with extra cutting tables.

Willow has a large roster of kit alongside the Xerox and the new guillotine, including two Heidelberg GTO Platens, a Canon wide-format machine, a Ricoh dye-sublimation printer and a Xerox Colour 550. 

The seven-staff business produces a wide range of commercial print, including menus, NCR, letterheads, A1 posters and direct mail.

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