PPM upgrades digital department

By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 25 October 2017

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Commercial printer Positive Print Midlands (PPM) has invested circa-£150,000 on upgrades to its digital department, bringing in a Versant digital press, a Presstek direct imaging press and a laminator/foiler.

xerox-versant-180-press

The 180 has an inline spectrophotometer for increased colour automation

The Xerox Versant 180, secondhand four-colour Presstek 34DI and Matrix MX-370 were installed at the company’s Birmingham premises in July, replacing both a three-year-old Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1060 and a two-colour Heidelberg GTO. 

Managing director David Heath said he admired the “litho-like” quality of the Versant, which was launched in April and is so far running at around 40,000 clicks per month. He said PPM is the first in the UK to take the machine configured with its full range of inline finishing kit, including binder, bookletmaker and folder. 

“We researched the market and thought it was one of the best machines out there, and with runs becoming shorter and shorter it’s quite versatile with what it can do,” said Heath. 

Launched alongside the larger Versant 3100, the 180 runs at a top speed of 80ppm, taking paper weights from 52gsm to 350gsm at a maximum sheet size of 330x660mm. Configured with an inline spectrophotometer for increased colour automation, the machine is suitable for a wide range of media types, including coated and uncoated papers, bright papers, labels, business cards, glossy brochures and window decals, while PPM’s machine has been configured with the Xerox Performance Package, allowing it to print faster on higher paper grammages. 

Heath said that the Presstek investment had been initiated by the five-staff firm’s desire to bring four-colour litho work in-house. It produces up to 7,000 SRA3 sheets per hour on a range of substrates ranging in thickness from 0.06mm to 0.5mm. 

“This is all part of what we’re trying to do in terms of having more work completed in-house so we can control it,” said Heath.

“The drying is quite quick, it seems to handle lots of different types of stock but the main advantage is the burning of the plates of the machine, so we’ve managed to get rid of lots of redundant old equipment and speed up turnarounds between jobs.”

Founded more than 30 years ago by Heath and his wife Alison Heath, £400,000-turnover PPM produces a wide variety of commercial print, running an HP Latex 310 for wide-format and a range of finishing kit. 

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