Merseyside-based Willow Printing & Design has installed a GMP QTopic-380 laminator and foiler as part of an ongoing investment programme as it enters into its 40th year in business.
Purchased from Warrington-based The Finishing Point for £8,500, the machine replaced an older Lampro machine when it was installed at its Newton-le-Willows premises on 22 November.
According to managing director Barry Kilshaw, it will expand the range of foiling services the firm can offer.
“We think this will give us the capability to move into higher-end markets, such as gift boxes or luxury invitations,” he said.
“At the moment, we largely put together items like menus, business cards or table numbers – mostly for corporate events.
“Our new GMP machine will complement existing in-house print and finishing capability, while also offering a new foiling service to customers. We aim now to increase our capacity to meet growing customer demand.
“The Lampro had a great capacity, able to take A1, but it was not very fast and required two members of staff to operate – plus it did not have a cutter. The GMP is smaller, taking SRA3, but is far quicker and only takes one person to operate.”
In June this year, the firm installed a new Polar 78N Eco guillotine from Heidelberg, replacing a 20-year old FL76. Willow also runs Xerox Versant 80 and 550 digital presses, along with Heidelberg GTOs in its litho department.
The firm plans to continue updating its kit line-up in 2018.
Kilshaw also said that Willow was in the process of assessing the need to hire a new member of staff to its eight-strong team, likely to be a “floating” worker handling digital, litho, and finishing.
“Digital and finishing are expanding all the time here, while litho is probably shrinking a little,” he said.
“We will be observing the market demands to see where a new member would fit best.”
Willow will enter 2018, its 40th year, with a turnover surpassing £400,000.