Print and mail specialist Fuller Davies has purchased a B1 five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 as part of a £1.2m investment.
The Speedmaster was installed at the end of August and will be followed in a few weeks’ time by a Screen PTR8900 platesetter with auto-loader and an upgraded Tharstern CRM system.
The Speedmaster replaced a 16-year-old B1 five-colour Roland 705, which Fuller Davies managing director Neil Stones said had been “fantastic”.
Stones said: “We’ve been hanging on for ages, looking at the B1 market and seeing what’s going to happen. Print is not exactly a growth industry but we’ve seen a real resurgence in the B1 market this year and if anything it was the B1 machine that we were finding it hardest to create the capacity on.
“Inpress was the technology we were most excited about. The consistency of colour it brings and the ease of the makereadies and also freeing up minders, as the machine basically looks after itself, was also very appealing.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on quality and haven’t seen a huge jump in terms of that but we’ve gone from 15-minute makereadies to five-minute makereadies overnight.”
The Speedmaster is currently running at top speeds of 16,500sph. It takes a maximum sheet size of 720x1,020mm with thickness ranging between 0.03mm and 1mm.
Stones said the purchase had given Fuller the confidence to take on more jobs and that it is currently “consolidating in established markets”.
It has around 30 staff, including two apprentices in its finishing department, one on a trial period and one full-time.
“It is difficult trying to get apprentices, but if you get the right person it’s worthwhile,” Stones said.
The Ipswich-based printer mainly prints books and brochures but has recently taken on a number of contracts for big companies in the camping sector.
Other than the new Speedmaster, it runs a 2014-purchased Kodak NexPress SX3300, a five-colour Speedmaster CD 74, a five-colour Speedmaster CX5 plus coater and a Heidelberg GTO.
It also runs various bits of Xerox digital kit and a number of finishing devices including two Heidelberg Stahlfolders and two Polar guillotines.
Last year, it turned over £3.6m and it is looking to grow this organically to £4m within the next 12 months.