A new agency set up last summer to supply Sakurai litho presses to the UK and Ireland market has installed its first two machines and said there are more to follow.
Sakurai Oliver Offset was established last July by sales director David Ryan, who previously headed up sales for Sakurai in the UK and Ireland, technical director Paul Jaffray, also formerly of Sakurai UK, and managing director David Clarke, who also heads up Slough-based printer Vario Press, which runs three Sakurai presses.
The new business, also based in Slough, supplies new and refurbished Sakurai litho presses as well as offering LED-UV retrofits for customers with existing Sakurai presses. Sakurai UK, meanwhile, has now predominantly turned its attention to the screen market.
In the past three months, Sakurai Oliver Offset has installed its first two presses since setting up the agency. Crewe-based SG World took delivery of a Sakurai 580 B2 LED-UV five-colour press in January and, more recently, Jersey printer Mailmate installed a Sakurai 466 SD LED-UV press around a month ago to replace a 14-year-old conventional Sakurai Oliver 566.
Ryan said that while Sakurai was “the number one in screen press manufacturer installations in the world”, this meant that its range of offset presses weren’t necessarily a key focus in the UK.
So he and Jaffray, who prior to leaving the business had “put an awful lot of time and effort into Sakurai offset presses” approached Sakurai last year to look into taking on the UK agency for its litho presses, so that Sakurai UK could focus on the screen market.
Ryan added: “We had lengthy discussions and they agreed that we could have the agency for the UK and Ireland. So we're now rebuilding the brand, informing customers that we're still here and up and active, and just growing from within again, as we've always done.
“We've installed two presses already and we're in talks with other companies which we can't talk about yet. What intrigued us about relaunching Sakurai is the development in LED. This is the lifeline that offset presses need – it's something new and it gives us a whole new ball game to play with, and we got really excited about that.”
Mailmate managing director Neil Faudemer said his firm's new Sakurai 466 SD LED-UV press will enable it to retain more business in Jersey and help it to move into new areas, such as packaging.
“It means we are able to offer fast competitive turnaround on an eco-friendly print production process and there is no longer a need to import print from the UK other than for web production.
“We have remained loyal to the Sakurai family who have always offered us excellent service. I am delighted that this has continued through the new UK dealership Sakurai Oliver Offset.
“The press is now commissioned and we are in the last throes of training in the middle of the Jersey elections, so it's good timing.”
He added: “LED-UV is without doubt the way forward in the litho market. Besides the environmental benefits of production, the chemical savings if you are busy are considerable. The team have already seen the benefits and it is very encouraging for the entire business.”