Falkland Press is going B1 as part of a major reinvestment in its litho and digital facilities.
The Letchworth-based commercial printer has ordered a Drupa-specification Speedmaster XL 106 for delivery later this year, in a multimillion-pound spend.
Falkland Press currently runs a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 alongside its digital printing set-up, which includes a B2 HP Indigo 10000.
The fresh investment plan also includes a new HP Indigo 7900 digital press, which has just been installed and replaces a 5600 model.
The six-colour Speedmaster XL 106 is a mixed-use press that will be configured with full UV and conventional drying.
Managing director Jon Lancaster said the move to a larger litho format made sense for the business.
“We do a lot of packaging and already have a B1 die-cutter,” he explained. “There are so many things we can do with B1, such as impositions for cartons and 16pp book work.”
He described the 18,000sph XL 106 as “highly-specified” with the latest automation features including AutoPlate XL 2 for simultaneous blanket wash and automatic plate changing.
Falkland moved into a new 4,000sqm factory two years ago and has sufficient space at the facility to install the XL 106 without having to remove its B2 Speedmaster first. The new press is set to be installed in November, which means Falkland is likely to have the first such machine in the UK.
It will keep its existing four-colour Speedmaster SX 52, and will also upgrade its CTP and paper handling kit to accommodate the larger format.
The firm has extensive in-house finishing facilities including die-cutting, foiling, folder-gluing and laminating.
“We will take the Speedmaster 75 out afterwards, and then we will have B3 and B1 litho, with B2 and A3 digital,” Lancaster added. “We are also spending a lot on software to automate everything properly.”
The firm’s new HP Indigo 7900 has double feeders and stackers for continuous operation. Lancaster said he planned to run HP’s new Indigo Optimizer software, which orders jobs by substrate and size, on both of the firm’s Indigos by the end of the year.
He is also planning to retrospectively upgrade the Indigo 10000 to 12000 specification later in the year.
Lancaster said the total investment in the re-equip was circa £3.4m.
Turnover at the 41-staff company will be around £5m this year, and the company plans to expand on the back of the investment. Lancaster said the firm’s PrintedEasy online print site had quadrupled volumes over the past five months.
Falkland Press has also developed its own metallised substrate, Silverboard, and produces a lot of packaging, stationery and promotional work on the material.
Lancaster said he was still planning to visit Drupa in order to scope out new technologies in other areas.