Hickling & Squires has scored a UK first after investing in Xerox’s new Iridesse Production Press.
The Newthorpe, Nottingham-based business has purchased the machine – direct from Xerox – alongside a new Xerox Versant 3100 to boost its capacity and enable it to offer a wider variety of colour printing to its growing customer base, as well as digital print embellishments.
The new machines will both be installed at the company’s 3,250sqm facility at the end of this week and will replace two older Xerox models, which are being part-exchanged.
The Iridesse can print either metallic gold or silver, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass. Taking a maximum sheet size of 330x488mm, the machine can print at speeds up to 120ppm for A4 and 60ppm for sizes A3-SRA3.
It can take stocks of between 52 and 400gsm and can print at a maximum resolution of 2,400dpi.
Hickling & Squires said it has seen increasing demand for metallic and iridescent colour printing and that the Iridesse will enable it to offer these features at a higher level of quality at a lower cost, and with greater flexibility than the previous alternative of using foils.
“We wanted a digital colour press and it stands alone as a four-colour machine in its own right,” said Hickling & Squires sales director Lee Jordan.
“And while we’re more than happy with the quality that we would get without the added embellishments that it can offer with the silver, gold and the clear, it makes sense to have those additional options because we do outsource foil blocking elements and some spot UV varnishes.
“We hope to be able to sell this as a concept to customers that they can have short-run, extremely high quality, added-value elements in their digital print.”
He added: “It will be the first time that a lot of people have seen this type of brand new technology and hopefully we’ll be able to benefit from being the first.
“We didn’t look at alternatives because we feel comfortable with what we’ve seen of Xerox’s offering. With the relationship that we’ve got and built up with Xerox, it seemed like the perfect timing with the launch of the machine.”
Hickling & Squires kicked off a £1m 2018 investment programme earlier this year with the installation of a secondhand eight-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 perfecting press, bought to run alongside two Speedmaster CD 74 perfectors – an eight-colour and a 10-colour.
The business also runs additional Xerox kit as well as various large-format and finishing equipment, including a Muller Martini Presto II saddle-stitcher installed last year.
In April 2017 the management team of Jordan alongside production director Jamie Gilbert and commercial director Steve Seddon took over the day-to-day running of the business from long-term owners Paul White and Richard Wells.
The 42-staff firm, which serves a broad range of customers and sectors, has since increased its turnover from around £4.7m to just over £5.1m.