Sheetfed magazine printer Pensord is to launch a £350,000 digital print division to support its publishing clients with ultra short-run and versioned titles, personalised covers, subscription drives and general marketing.
“A lot of our customers have been saying for a number of years that we should offer digital and it’s something we’ve been looking at for some time,” said Karl Gater, operations director at £13m-turnover Pensord.
The centrepiece of the investment will be the UK’s first Heidelberg Linoprint CP digital press, an OEM’d version of the 130ppm Ricoh Pro C9110, which was launched in September.
“We looked at everything on the market and we felt that the Linoprint was the best available in terms of register, reliability and also relationship – we trust Heidelberg and know that we’ll get excellent support,” said Gater.
The press is being installed at the end of this month, but the new division, Pensord Digital, won’t officially launch until early January.
Pensord Digital will be run as a separate division with it’s own P&L. It will be based in recently leased unit in Bridgend, 25 minutes from Pensord’s main production facility in Blackwood.
Over the coming months the firm will be recruiting up to six additional staff including a designer and digital print and finishing operators.
The circa £350,000 investment in Pensord Digital was partially backed by Welsh Economic Growth Fund grant, which will comprise up to 40% of the investment value based on job creation.
“This is the first time we’ve accessed Welsh Government funding, it’s not the easiest thing to get and it’s only payable if we meet the full criteria, so we’ve had to fund that 40% ourselves initially,” said Gater.
To complement the new press the firm has also ordered a CP Bourg BB3002 PUR-C perfect binder, Bourg Sheet Feeder with inline Bourg Bleed Crease Module and Bourg Booklet Maker, all supplied by UK agent Integra.
“Again we looked at all the main players, but I just liked the build quality, engineering and simplicity of the Bourg machines, the compact adhesive system from Nordson on the binder was particularly impressive,” said Gater.
Other post-press investments for Pensord Digital will include a small, hand-fed Vivid laminator, a Morgana DigiFold Pro and CardXtra Plus cutter and Polar guillotine.
Pensord Digital will also launch a web-to-print portal for clients at some point early next year.
“We’re dealing with over 200 publishers, all of whom employ people and at some stage in their professional lives will need some sort of print. Digital print is becoming more popular and opens up new applications for us and our customers, so it just makes sense provided you have a workflow in place that doesn’t compromise your core products,” said Gater.