Flexpress first in UK for new Duplo coater

By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 24 May 2017

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Commercial printer Flexpress has installed the UK’s first Duplo DuSense DDC-810 ‘Sensory Coater’, which will be given its official launch at the Duplo Summer Festival.


The new machine is Duplo's first intended for digital spot varnishing

The machine was installed at Flexpress’ recently expanded 720sqm Leicester premises last Monday (22 May). The list price is £129,000.

Flexpress managing director Steve Wenlock, who in 2014 was also the first in the UK to opt for the Duplo iSaddle System stitcher, said the investment will continue to help the 21-staff outfit move into the trade print market. He said it would initially be used on circa-300 run jobs of greetings cards, business cards and postcards, but in the long-term could be used for packaging jobs.

Wenlock said: “Short run spot UV is something I’ve been trying to find a way into for quite some time because the only way of doing it is the traditional spot UV method or from competitors, who are few and far between and tend to command quite a high price when you want a job doing.

“I looked at various different equipment that’s been available and it was quite expensive and substantial in terms of size so when Duplo mentioned they had this piece of equipment coming out naturally I was quite intrigued.

“We can certainly see it helping in a variety of different ways. What we are trying to do with it is attack the trade market and I’m optimistic that it will give us a little bit of uniqueness for a while.”

The DDC-810 is Duplo’s first machine intended for digital spot varnishing, printing clear UV spot varnish with the option of raised and textured finishing.

Taking sheets up to long B3 format (364mmx740mm), the machine finishes at a maximum speed of 1,080sph at maximum resolution of 600dpi, taking substrates weighing between 157gsm and 540gsm. The lack of need for embossing dies means variable imaging is possible.

The machine is set up and training is taking place in the expanded part of Flexopress' premises, after it took over a neighbour’s site a few weeks ago. The premises holds two Ryobi LED-UV machines, purchased last year in a £1m spend, along with Canon and HP large-format kit.

Wenlock added that the move had been necessary to overcome the previous "caravan mentality" in the smaller 460sqm premises. 

He said: "For us to move forward beyond where we were was incredibly difficult with the space we had.”

Having already been previewed at a private customer event in March, the DDC-810 will have two more previews in the coming weeks, at the Grafitec Expo, Paris, and the Dscoop user event, Lyon, before being handed its official UK launch at the Duplo Summer Festival on 14 June and its global launch at October’s Ipex.

Duplo marketing manager Sarah Crumpler said: “We’re anticipating some really great sales out of this. We had a small customer event and previewed this to customers we’d identified as being interested or suitable for the product and it was really well reviewed.”

Taking place in its Addlestone, Surrey headquarters, the two-day Duplo Summer Festival is aiming to combine the traditional open house with a music festival, with acts playing across the two days in the fields behind its headquarters and a number of Duplo machines simultaneously on show.

Crumpler added: “It’s one of those crazy ideas that is really coming together. We’re so far along now that really the only thing we’re focusing on is how we introduce more of the aspects of creativity in print. How do we build that into what is a fully lined up music festival and make sure we’re getting the message across to people so they turn up in their wellies and not their business suits?”

Headline acts recently announced are acoustic guitarist Steve Hewitt and indie cover band The Zufflers, whose bassist is Vivid Laminating Technologies marketing communications manager David Smith.

For more information visit: www.duplofest.co.uk.

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