Edwardthompson has bounced back from a significant restructure in 2016 with a £100,000-plus investment in a Ricoh Pro C9100 digital press and Duplo DC-645 slitter-cutter-creaser.
Two years ago, the Sunderland-based gaming, promotional products and direct mail printer consolidated its multi-site operation into a single site in a move to "right size" the business, shedding more than 50% of its 135-strong staff in the process. Now stabilised and targeting growth, the firm has gradually started taking on new staff and adding new equipment.
A new Ricoh Pro C9100 is due to join an identical machine, as well as a C901, in Edwardthompson’s digital department at the start of May, while the new Duplo has already been in place for two weeks.
“We had a hard time where we had to lose some staff and slim down our operation,” said digital manager Daniel Miller. “Now we have added a new member of staff and there has been an uptick in demand that has led to us investing in new kit.
“Our main niche is in promotional games such as scratchcards and, through agencies, we do work for a lot of high-profile clients. We added the new C9100 to expand our digital print capabilities beyond what the other two Ricohs could already do for us.
“Now we are heavily targeting promotional games as an area for expansion. Due to our growth we have been building relations with agencies that we have never worked with before. We want that to continue.”
The C9100 cost 150-year-old Edwardthompson £80,000. It can run at speeds up to 110ppm on media from 52-400gsm. Its optimum image quality is 1,200x4,800dpi.
Duplo’s DC-645 finishing machine was an investment of £22,000 for the £7m-turnover firm, with the capability to process up to 26 sheets per minute with up to six slits, 15 cuts and 10 creases in a single pass. It is an upgrade of an entry-level Duplo DC-616.
With a wide portfolio of digital, litho and wide-format capabilities, Edwardthompson’s machinery includes a Screen reel-fed and a mono printer from Konica Minolta, as well as a Speedmaster 74 and two four-colour GTOs from Heidelberg, and a Sanden Quantum web press. Its wide-format department boasts a Screen flatbed and a Mimaki JV5.
Currently, 57 members of staff work for the company.