MP Foil Blocking, the trade foil blocking arm of Marstan Press, has bolstered its capabilities after investing around £200,000 in a new Lee King B1 machine.
Installed at the Bexleyheath, Kent-based company’s 1,115sqm site on Saturday (8 September), the LK106MT runs at a top speed of 6,500sph when foil blocking and 7,500sph when die-cutting. The device is equipped with remote diagnostics and a parts supply will be held at the firm's premises.
MP's fifth foiling device, the LK106MT will help it to cater for growing customer demand for this type of work, as well as enabling it to foil block large items up to B1 size.
MP Foil Blocking was established with the installation of three foiling machines in 2016. This was followed up last year with the purchase of an SRA1 Heidelberg Cylinder, which is converted for foiling.
One of MP's regular jobs is the production of foil blocked vouchers. The LK106MT will be able to foil block 2.3 million DL vouchers in a 24-hour period, compared to 1.1 million across all of the previously existing machines beforehand.
Marstan Press sales and marketing director Martin Lett Jnr said the machine’s arrival is “perfectly timed” ahead of the run-up to Christmas, which will see MP Foil Blocking produce “tens of millions” of foil blocked vouchers, foiled gift card hangers, foil blocked Christmas cards and other non-seasonal foiled items.
He said: “In January we got our new RMGT press, which was a step up to SRA1 - away from B2 for the first time ever - but it meant that even though we could print twice as many up on a sheet, we would still have to cut it in half and foil it on our Gietz machine.
"Come September to November time we do a shedload of vouchers for various online retailers and, even running 24/7, last year it was very tight capacity wise. We needed to get more capacity through that period so it made sense to look at an alternative machine which would match what the press would do. We can now print 24-up and then foil 24-up, and at a much higher speed.”
The company liked the build quality of the Chinese-manufactured LK106MT and found it was more cost-effective than various European-manufactured alternatives.
"We sent our foiling manager to the US to view the machine, and we also received some excellent feedback about it from customers in California and Portugal. Now it's in here, we've found that it's such a solid machine,” said Lett Jnr.
A dedicated seven-strong team from Marstan's 50 staff work at MP Foil Blocking, which makes up around £1.5m of its parent company's £5m turnover.
Marstan, which has also recently installed Color-Logic's metallic effects software, also operates Xerox and Konica Minolta digital equipment.