PCL Digital overhauls finishing department to bring work in-house

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Friday 15 December 2017

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Digital commercial printer PCL Digital has bolstered its finishing capability after spending more than £40,000 on four new machines.

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Westley-Smith (R): "The latest spend is part of our five-year plan to double our current capacity"

Last month the Birmingham-based firm took delivery of a Foliant Vega 400A laminator and a Foliant Multi-functional Inprinting Unit, supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems. A Fastbind Pureva XT casebinder from Ashgate Automation is due for installation this week.

PCL Digital managing director Nick Westley-Smith said: “The foiling capability is why we have gone with the Foliant machine – straight out of the box we’ve had some really impressive results.

“We do short-run booklets PUR, and this is something where we can now offer a bit of foil to the cover because we are always getting asked the question by customers ‘what can we do differently?’

“A lot of our work is from trade customers who often tell us that their customers have asked for something a bit nicer so ask what we can suggest.

“With a chance to put foil on – perhaps even variable data foil – we can print each sheet differently, which is something that could be a winner for us.”

The Vega 400A has replaced an older Foliant model, which was part exchanged.

“Our previous laminator was good but sometimes we just needed a bit more speed. We’re printing more items, our runs are a bit longer, we do a lot of menus and we needed to turn those around a lot quicker,” said Westley-Smith.

“So it means we can keep our laminating in-house but can bring a lot of foiling in-house too, saving time and additional costs.”

The Fastbind Pureva XT is additional to the company’s line-up.

“This will give us an entry into the casebinding market. We get asked for casebinding and previously turned it away, but now we’ll be able to compete,” said Westley-Smith.

In the next few weeks two other new, additional machines are due to be installed – a Unitec digital label cutter and an Intec ColorCut FB600 flatbed digital die-cutter.

“We’ll be able to do short-run packaging, which is another area that we wanted to look at. We can die-cut short runs in-house and if we are doing longer runs we can at least prototype the same size or a reduced size prior to getting any dies made,” said Westley-Smith.

PCL Digital, which has seven staff and a turnover of £500,000, also operates an HP Indigo 5500 at its 372sqm premises. While it predominantly serves trade customers, the firm also works with design agencies, print buyers and end users.

“The latest spend is part of our five-year plan to double our current capacity, adding new jobs as a result of the increased work,” said Westley-Smith.

“We would like to do more work in Birmingham city centre – we do some but we could do a lot more by reaching out to Birmingham and letting people know that we’re here. Because there’s some work going out of the city to people that are probably not offering the service that we can.”

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