Pensord Press expects to boost like-for-like efficiency by between 30% and 40% when it takes delivery of the UK’s first 10-colour Speedmaster SX 102-10P press early next year.
The long perfector, which will be equipped with Inpress Control and Autoplate Pro, will cut makeready times by half compared to the nine-year-old eight-colour SM102 it replaces, something operations director Karl Gater, said was more important to Pensord than flat-out speed.
“Our average run length is between 5,500 and 6,000 copies. A machine that can do 18,000sph such as the XL 106 is great but it’s not going to be much different from a 13,000sph machine on runs of that length. The biggest gain is always in our makeready.”
The ability to run 10-colours will allow Pensord to seal lighter grammage work, particularly on silk papers, or to provide special colours.
Gater added: “It also allows us to do spot colours, varnishes and seals and attract the work we’re not currently doing and might have had to turn away.
“It’s opening up new avenues.”
The investment follows the installation of a Stahlfolder KH 82 in January and a £350,000 investment in a new digital wing at the same time, which included the UK's first Linoprint CP digital press. It also runs two B1 Speedmaster XL eight-colour presses, one with a coater.
“We’re picking up new clients through the digital business and the opportunitites through the litho it’s created,” Gater said. “We run very short magazine runs on digital and do a lot more commercial work as well.
“It allows customers to have dummy copies, if they are trialling a product, for example. Printing something like 10 copies becomes more of a viable option. We’re also doing more proofs for clients now, and that was something that was starting to drop off.”
The £13m-turnover company employs 150 staff, including apprentices, and runs 24/7 to produce 380 regular publications for 240 publishers, mailing out nine million packages a year.
It is selling the old SM102 through Heidelberg. Gater said he believed a buyer in the Far East had been lined up.