Howard Hunt makes multi-million pound inkjet investment

By Rhys Handley, Friday 29 June 2018

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Howard Hunt has made a multimillion-pound investment in high-speed inkjet technology to round off its offering.

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HP's Joshua Konynenburg (L) seals the deal with Howard Hunt MD Danny Clark

The Kent-based direct mail specialist confirmed a deal with HP this week for a PageWide T240 HD web press. It is expecting to take delivery of its new press, an expansion of its technology portfolio, at the end of July. It is planned that the machine will be operational from early August.

It will grant Howard Hunt the capability to provide high volume four-colour variable jobs – a gap in the firm’s provision that was detected after an extensive market review.

Managing director Danny Clarke said: “This marks an expansion into new markets for us, and we took a look at all our options when it came to machinery before choosing HP.

“HP came out head and shoulders above its competitors on cost, quality and even the personal touches of support and training – these were key criteria that assured us HP’s tech could deliver the most for our clients.

“I believe it rounds off our offering totally – web and sheetfed litho, short run digital and personalised printing. We now provide an end-to-end direct mail service with nothing we cannot facilitate. Our investments are made with one goal in mind – to be the leading direct mail producer in the country, delivering cost-effective innovation for our clients.”

HP’s PageWide T240 HD has a print width of up to 521mm, printing at speeds up to 152m/min – contributing to a maximum duty cycle of 58 million A4 pages per month. It will give Howard Hunt the ability to deliver micro-segmented, personalised mailers.

Howard Hunt is now in the process of finalising a deal for inline finishing equipment to run with the PageWide, although the details are yet to be confirmed.

Currently, the £75m-turnover firm runs a wide gamut of enclosing equipment including two Böwe Fusion multi-enclosure, integrity enclosing lines, five enclosing lines from Buhrs, two from CMC and a number of digital enclosers. Finishing equipment on the 13,935sqm, three-unit site hails from Heidelberg, MBO, Polar and more.

Its print capabilities comprise three six-colour 16pp Diamond web presses from Mitsubishi, a KBA Rapida 106 with fully automatic plate change, two Xerox iGen 4s and an iGen 5 and two Xeikon 8000s.

As Howard Hunt continues its investment drive, the firm’s goal is to grow its turnover to £100m with the support of acquisitions and further investments in technology. The reigning PrintWeek Awards' Direct Mail Printer of the Year employs 500 members of staff, across the site in Kent, an office and digital agency in London and offices in Madrid, Spain, and Boston, US.

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