GI Solutions Group has signed off a circa £5m spend to move into full-width high-speed inkjet web, as it looks to migrate more litho work to digital and significantly boost capacity.
The transactional and direct marketing specialist signed for a HP PageWide Web Press T490 HD at Drupa earlier this month.
“This is all part of our litho replacement strategy,” said GI chief executive Patrick Headley.
“It’s very exciting. Once again HP has come up with a great deal for us, they continue to be a great support and it’s quite nice to be only the second printer in the UK with a full-width inkjet press.”
The 305m/min four-colour press, which can run reels up to 1,067mm wide will be installed at the Leicester-headquartered company in the autumn. The press has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 210 million letter-sized images per month.
GIs T490 will be configured with HP’s High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) technology, which offers a native resolution of 1,200dpi.
It will be GI’s fourth T-series inkjet web press, joining its current three T230s – the latest of which, the first in the UK to have HDNA, was commissioned in April this year. However, once the T490 is fully operational it will ultimately replace the oldest T230.
“What the new HP will give us is full width, we felt there was nothing else proven on the market that gives us that at the moment,” said Headley.
While the T490 forms the most significant single part of the £5m spend, it will most likely also include a near-line reel-to-reel finishing set-up, pre- and post-coating units to ensure it can run a wide range of substrate options.
“As we get into things we’ll have a blend of litho replacement work on the new machine as well as transactional work that we currently do as well as new work.
“You have to remember that the T490, in terms of net output, is theoretically four times [as productive] as a T230 – in practical terms probably three times – so there’s a lot of extra capacity there.”
To support the significant output boost, the firm has just signed for an additional CMC 9000 reel-fed inserting line. The 30,000 envelope per hour line will be installed shortly before the T490.
This latest investment follows a £1.5m spend on the third T230 in February, which was itself followed by Headley leading an MBO at the £32m business in March of this year.