Aspen boosts services in triple kit buy

By Rhys Handley, Monday 15 October 2018

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Aspen has replaced four printers with a Canon Océ Colorado 1640 as part of a broader investment aimed at reducing its environmental impact and boosting its short-run capabilities.

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Hart: the Colorado investment was a "no brainer"

The Manchester print house also took on a Morgana DigiBook 300XL PUR binder and a Duplo DC-616 Pro cutter-creaser to bring new finishing capabilities in-house. The total cost of the three machines was around £125,000.

The Colorado replaced two Océ Colorwaves, an HP Designjet Z6100 and a unnamed solvent printer, which were all printing different substrates and applications. It will consolidate those printers’ work onto a single machine, reducing Aspen’s carbon footprint in the process.

Aspen expects the new finishing kit to improve its short-run digital service for products such as books and business cards. Its work includes producing JCB digger user manuals on a weekly basis and dry cleaning books for Timpson, a recent win.

“Using our new equipment, we can do our jobs in half the time we could previously,” said production manager Kevin Hart. “It also comes with the advantage of bringing certain practices in-house, so we are not paying other companies to do them, which will impact positively on our customers.

“The Colorado was a no-brainer – Canon’s service has been excellent, its speed is incredible and it has made us more environmentally friendly by reducing the number of machines.

“The worst thing you can do is not invest in your business – you have to put yourself out there and make those improvements yourself to keep going forward.”

Canon’s Océ Colorado 1640 is a 1.6m machine using Canon UV gel piezoelectric inkjet heads to print resolutions up to 1,800dpi at speeds up to 159sqm/hr. It will produce a variety of jobs for Aspen, including banners, posters, PVC applications and more.

The Morgana DigiBook 300XL can perfect bind up to 300 books per hour with spines from 2-50mm thick and 100-450mm long. Duplo’s DC-616 Pro can cut and crease at a maximum speed of 10 sheets/min on paper from 110-350gsm.

Moving forward, Hart said he would consider a focus on more high-end production, with possible investments in machines such as the Xerox Iridesse or the HP Indigo to replace two colour Konica Minolta sheetfed presses already onsite. He also said he would closely monitor any future developments of the Colorado platform.

The firm also runs two black and white digital printers – one from Canon and one from Konica Minolta – alongside a Heidelberg Speedmaster 52, a Muller Martini stitching line, an Autobond laminator and more finishing equipment.

Aspen employs 12 members of staff and resides on its 1,858sqm base with its fellow DCB Group subsidiaries Caspa and PrintSearch. It currently turns over £1.4m, with Hart eyeing a target of £1.5m for the end of the year.

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