Commercial printer Flexpress has boosted its competitive advantage by investing around £1m in two Ryobi LED-UV presses.
The Leicester-based business has bought a four-colour 524GX B3 press and a four-colour 924 SRA1 machine from Ryobi's UK agent Apex Digital Graphics.
The 524GX was installed at the company’s 465sqm premises last week while the 924 went in during the run-up to Christmas. The machines have replaced two other conventional Ryobi litho presses, a previous B3 524GX and a B2 785.
Managing director Steve Wenlock said: “We’ve been with Ryobi for the last 20 years and we’ve always found the machines cost-effective, good value for money and reliable, and we like dealing with Apex.”
The firm looked at other types of UV but felt LED was the most advanced and economical to run.
“The big benefit of LED-UV for us is the fact that the drying is instant. We work from a fairly small unit and therefore we can’t really afford stacks of paper sitting around the floor for too long, so the idea is that we can turn jobs around quicker, be more responsive to our customers, get the paper out the door faster and hopefully to a higher quality,” said Wenlock.
“We’d been considering LED-UV for a while and had made the decision some time ago that the next time we changed our presses we would go down that route, simply because it’s quite an efficient way to do printing.”
He added: “Whilst it’s still fairly in its infancy in this country, the technology is well tested and popular in Japan. We figured it’s going to come here sooner or later so we may as well be at the forefront.”
Wenlock also cited the increased quality due to the elimination of set-off issues as well as the ability to use a four-colour press instead of five - as the company does not now need to seal jobs - as additional benefits of the investment.
“The increased sheet size also opens up more possibilities for us. We’ve moved up to SRA1 which means we can handle a wider scope of work,” said Wenlock.
“We found that we were quoting on a lot of longer-run work that we weren’t winning so we should now be able to quote that a little bit more cost-effectively and hopefully win some of those quotes that we’d been losing out on.”
Flexpress also runs an HP Indigo 5600 and a range of Océ digital presses, an Océ Arizona 360GT flatbed UV printer for large-format jobs and finishing kit including guillotines, laminators, cutters and perfect binders.
The business has 27 staff and a turnover of £2m, which it is hoping to boost to £2.5m with this investment.
It produces a range of general print including banners, flyers, leaflets, booklets, business cards and posters for clubs and associations, educational establishments and manufacturing sectors.