Northend in major LED-UV investment

By Max Goldbart, Thursday 01 June 2017

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Northend Creative Print Solutions has invested just shy of £1m on a five-colour RMGT (Ryobi) 925 LED-UV press along with various add-ons.


Stubley: "The bottom line was that although there were plenty of B2 digital presses, I couldn’t make the sums add up with any of them"

The machine, which arrived in early May at Northend’s 1,700sqm premises, is set to replace two outgoing Heidelberg Speedmasters, a five-colour XL 75 and a four-colour CD 74, leaving the 45-staff business with just one press in its litho department.

Total capex for the investment was around £900,000, which included £725,000 on the press plus a new Cron 3632UVP platesetter and four Technotrans ink.line systems. The press and platesetter were supplied by UK-based RMGT agent Apex Digital Graphics.

Northend managing director Nigel Stubley first settled on the possibility of opting for litho LED-UV at Drupa, having initially been on the lookout for a B2 digital press.

“Being honest when we went to Drupa it was with the sole intention of devoting two days to finding alternatives to litho. I felt it was time to move completely to digital,” said Stubley. 

“The bottom line was that although there were plenty of B2 digital presses, I couldn’t make the sums add up with any of them and because I’d seen a press release before I went about Precision Print's RMGT, who I have a lot of time and respect for, I thought I really ought to at least go and put my face to their stand, so I made an appointment.” 

Stubley was impressed with the press and went to see it in Precision’s Barking, London site towards the end of last year before signing. Precision will be taking another RMGT press in its new 5,110sqm site in August/September.

Stubley added: “It will be substantially more efficient. The reason being we won’t have to wait for any drying of paper and the other benefit is that we are not a 24-hour operation so we have to wash down ink ducts on conventional litho presses whereas we won’t on LED-UV.

“We can already see from costing of jobs we are training on the benefits we expected are there to be seen.”

The SRA1-sized RMGT allows for 8-up A4 printing, taking a maximum paper size of 920x640mm and handling stock ranging between 0.04mm and 0.6mm. It prints at speeds of up to 16,200sph.  

The new platesetter, which was a necessity for Northend due to the change in format size, is a UV CTP system and can image plates at up to 2,800dpi at sizes of up to 925x675mm.

Stubley conceded that he had taken a risk in replacing two machines with one in terms of not having a backup press but he has reached an agreement with a local company to “act as each other’s backup” if their presses go down.

Founded more than 125 years ago, Northend, which has sales of £4.3m, produces a variety of print for a multitude of sectors. 80% of jobs are digital, produced in Northend’s digital print room, which contains two Ricoh Pro C9110s and a Ricoh Pro C7110.

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