Marstan Press has boosted its finishing capabilities by investing in a new Heidelberg Stahlfolder KH 66, a reconditioned Heidelberg Platen and a secondhand Horizon HT-30 three-edge trimmer.
The Stahlfolder, bought with a Palamides stacker delivery system, was purchased direct from Heidelberg and installed at the Bexleyheath-based firm’s premises at the end of October while the two other machines went in earlier this month.
“The Stahlfolder reduces our makeready times from around 45 minutes to an hour down to around 10 minutes because you can store programs in its memory, so switching between a 16-page fold down to an 8-page fold and then back again is rather quick now,” said sales and marketing director Martin Lett Jnr.
“It’s configured with a pile feed rather than a stream feed, which all of our other folders have. We’ve already put one of our old folders aside and we anticipate that this will potentially make another redundant as well, which we’ll sell on later.”
He added: “With our Heidelberg press being so highly productive, the bottleneck was folding all those sections for stitching or perfect binding, so by investing in the Stahlfolder, which cost just short of £200,000, we eliminate the bottleneck in the finishing department for bound products.
“The Palamides delivery will also reduce the number of staff we need on the folder, so instead of having one person loading and one person unloading, one person can do the whole lot now, which will boost our efficiency.”
The business will use the converted and reconditioned 1950s Heidelberg Platen, which it bought from Wakefield-based Letterpress Services for £12,000, for foiling.
This will allow the firm to keep the previously outsourced and increasingly requested service in-house and enable it to maintain better control of its quality and turnaround times, said Lett.
The secondhand Horizon HT-30 three-edge trimmer was bought at auction for £11,000.
“The three-edge trimmer is the final item we need in our digital printing department. It will improve our productivity and efficiency by taking a manual cutting process and turning it into an automated process,” said Lett.
Earlier this year Marstan Press increased its digital quality and capacity by investing nearly £500,000 in two new Xerox presses; an iGen 150 XXL and a Versant 2100.
The firm also recently boosted its CTP firepower by investing in a second Heidelberg Suprasetter, which was installed in its recently completed mezzanine CTP suite above its pressroom. Last year it installed a 10-colour perfecting Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75.
The company, which started in letterpress before moving to litho and then adding digital printing, has 55 staff and is anticipating a turnover of around £5m for the current financial year. It serves clients across the country with most based in London, Kent and the South East.