Eclipse inherits GI PageWide high-speed inkjet

By Max Goldbart, Thursday 05 October 2017

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Eclipse 4DM has installed an HP PageWide T230 Web Press at its Kettering site, transferred from its sister operation GI Solutions.

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Mercer-Bowell said output could potentially double

The installation follows GI Solutions Group's acquisition of Eclipse Web, which included Eclipse 4DM and Eclipse Colour, earlier this year.

Newly appointed 4DM managing director Sheree Mercer-Bowell said that after the acquisition, which completed in February and created an £80m group, the plan had always been to transfer the T230 across from GI’s Leicester headquarters.

Gi still retains three T-series presses following the move – one remaining PageWide T230, the first installed in the UK to feature HP’s High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) technology, along with a T240 and a high-speed inkjet T490, installed last year

The 4DM machine was installed in August, replacing three Canon Océ VarioStream 7650 mono laser machines, while the 135-staff business has retained two. It has been up-and-running for around three weeks. 

“We wanted to move 4DM into the digital marketplace, so it would allow us to approach customers in a different way, offering more innovation on some of their products and being able to give customers' variable imagery,” said Mercer-Bowell, who added that output could potentially double. 

“We’ve kept two Canon machines so that we can still offer mono printing but this gives us that digital aspect as well.”

Running at speeds of up to 122m/min at maximum 1,200dpi quality, the machine supports multiple applications, with a web width of 558mm and a print width of 521mm. It runs inline with a sheeter, unwinder and a cutter. 

Mercer-Bowell added: “It has already had an effect on production; we’ve already taken on work we wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to do if we were still just focusing on laser. We wouldn’t have been able to meet the timescale and also the variability we are after. I can already see a massive change through late September, October and November.”

Appointed earlier this year when GI acquired Eclipse, Mercer-Bowell, who had been with GI since 2010, reports directly to GI chief executive Patrick Headley.

Since her appointment, she has overseen a realignment of the £11m-turnover outfit’s management structure, bringing in a new operations director, Darren Lyall, a new client services director, Paul Houghton, and a full-time HP technician, Dave Bexon. Lyall and Houghton started in July and Bexon joined the firm at the end of August.

“There’s still lots to do but we’ve come a long way in six months and with the HP being installed this has certainly helped things along a bit,” she finished. 

4DM also runs two Xerox cutsheet printers, two further mono cutsheets, a reel-to-reel CMC 9000 mailing line and five Sitma polywrapping and enclosing machines.

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