Grayson Design & Print has invested £155,000 on two new printers and finishing equipment.
It purchased a Konica Minolta bizhub Press C71hc, a Canon Océ Arizona 350 XT, a Vivid Matrix MX-370 laminator and an iEcho BK3 digital cutter.
The bizhub and the laminator were installed one month ago and cost £45,000, the £50,000 Arizona went in yesterday (22 November) and the cutter is due for installation in January and cost £60,000.
The spend is part of Cannock, Staffordshire-based Grayson’s rolling investment strategy, initiated five years ago, which has seen it almost triple its workforce and double the size of its premises.
Grayson offers direct-to-garment printing and embroidery, as well as digital, signage and promotional items.
General manager Ashley Rogers said: “We’re getting ourselves set up ready for the new year so that when the cutter comes in we will be available to finish work a hell of a lot quicker. At the minute, we can print quickly but are still finishing by hand so you can only go so fast.
“We are running at full capacity at the moment with what we have so the only way to get more work is to up the machinery.”
Rogers said he is also considering upgrading Grayson’s current Mimaki CJV30-160 eco-solvent printer in the early part of next year.
The 2015-launched four-colour bizhub joins a bizhub C1060L and replaces an outgoing bizhub Pro C5501, which had reached the end of its life.
It was purchased in the main due to its High-Chroma toner technology producing vibrant-enough colours for two of Grayson’s major clients.
“The colour gamut it can reach is pretty much the one. The old 5501 we had could hit the vibrant oranges and greens but the 1060 can't, so we had to find a machine that could really service our customer’s colour requirements,” said Rogers.
It prints maximum 1,200dpi resolution at maximum speeds of up to 71 A4ppm and 38 A3 ppm, taking paper weight of between 62gsm and 300gsm. Its High-Chroma toner is derived from Konica's Simitri HD E toner technology.
“I’ve worked with Konica for the last five years and I’ve always been happy with the service they provide, especially in relation to service contracts and engineers,” Rogers said.
The Arizona flatbed was purchased as Grayson’s current Roland VersaUV LEJ-640 hybrid roll-to-roll was not printing quickly enough for its clients.
“It’s just opening another door to us, and gives us the opportunity to offer our existing customers more that we can do in-house, making us a better proposition,” added Rogers.
The laminator was also brought in for the purposes of bringing jobs in-house, as sending out jobs for lamination was taking up time and running up costs.
14-staff Grayson runs a variety of other kit, including a Roland VersaUV LEF-20 for promotional items, a Polar guillotine, an Easymount laminator and a Duplo bookletmaker.
It operates from 750sqm premises and last year turned over £1.3m.