Icon has rounded off the integration of McKenzie Clark by consolidating the two firm’s production facilities into one site in a £1.5m spend that included a UK wide-format first.
The centrepiece of the site consolidation was the UK’s first Vutek HS100 Pro, EFI’s flagship 3.2m-wide flatbed and roll-fed UV press, which was installed at Icon’s newly fitted out 3,000sqm facility in Sidcup, Kent.
The relocation also signalled the end of the McKenzie Clark name, with the combined business rebranded simply Icon last month.
The HS100 Pro has a top speed of 100 beds an hour and replaced two silver halide Durst Lambda machines.
“We researched the market looking for something that had the quality of the Lambda, but was more environmentally friendly and also killed two birds with one stone, in terms of being quick for producing work for sporting events, but also have the quality to match the Lambda for the high-end retail work we also do,” said joint managing director Keith Goodwin, who heads the merged business with Graham Clark.
Icon’s eight-colour HS100 Pro, which features a three-layer white print capability, greyscale printheads that offer 0-24pl droplet sizes and EFI’s 'Pin & Cure' technology for accurate ink laydown and gloss control, has been configured with the Fiery proServer digital front-end.
“We went through an awful lot of research and testing before selecting the Vutek, but our clients have all been in and seen and tested it and we’re confident it’s a comparable machine to the Lambdas in terms of the quality it produces,” said Goodwin.
The Vutek represents the first EFI installation at the firm, pre- and post-merger, but Clark said that the HS100 Pro was “the right machine” because it enabled Icon to maintain the highest level of colour consistency and offer a range of matt, satin and gloss finishes.
The consolidation of the two firms production facilities followed the purchase of McKenzie Clark by Icon-parent Chime Communications in March 2012. The relocation of the kit and staff from McKenzie Clark’s Peckham facility began in November 2013 with the installation of the HS100 Pro and was largely completed just before Christmas. To make room for two firm’s production operations, the merged firms’ back office staff were moved to a new 1,000sqm facility nearby.
As part of the £1.5m spend that included the new Vutek and the site move, the firm also installed a Zünd digital cutting table.
Last year the company opened an office in Glasgow as part of its role as the official provider of “Look, Wayfinding and Signage Services” for this summer’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.