Platen purchase completes big investment year for Marstan

By Max Goldbart, Tuesday 29 November 2016

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Marstan Press has installed a Heidelberg GTP foiling platen, its third foiling machine in the past year, as it continues to increase capacity.


The new foiler is taking the pressure off Marstan's May-installed Gietz

The Bexleyheath, Kent-based litho and digital printer installed the platen two weeks ago. It joins a Gietz FSA 790 EFF foiling machine and a Heidelberg GT Platen as part of a circa-£124,000 spend on foiling equipment in the past year. 

The Gietz cost £100,000 and the two Heidelberg machines were around £12,000 each. The recently-purchased Platen is a slightly different specification to the one bought a year ago, which was part of a wider £200,000 finishing kit spend.

Director Martin Lett Jnr said he was considering buying a different machine, a Heidelberg Cylinder, which takes double the sheet size of the SRA3-Platen, but it was likely to be four times the cost, he said. He didn’t rule out further investments in the near future. 

“This was just a matter of needing more capacity to keep up with one particular client," said Lett Jnr.

"In order to grow or increase the amount of foiling we do, we needed to add another machine. That particular client has kept the Gietz running 24 hours a day, six or seven times a week since then and then on the Platens we not only do foiling but kiss-cutting, embossing and de-bossing.

“The difference with this machine to our first Heidelberg Platen is that this has a removable plate so you can do all the packing underneath the plate, which is quite technical.”

Lett Jnr added that Marstan had been slightly naïve in purchasing the Platen a year ago that didn’t have this feature but said it was still running and “does a decent enough job”. The newly-purchased Platen is producing around 3,000 A5 cards per hour.

Marstan’s current Heidelberg finishing kit roster of two Platens and one Cylinder now replicates its 1968 roster.

“Dad (former managing director Martin Lett) was excited. In the early to mid-1970s litho started coming in and companies all got rid of the Platens and it’s funny to see them come back for different usage,” added Lett Jnr.

Other machines run by 50-staff Marstan Press include a 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75, installed in early 2014 and a Xerox iGen 150 XXL, purchased in March 2015. Digital work accounts for approximately one fifth of the company’s £5.2m turnover.

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