CFH Docmail has made its first-ever investment in inkjet technology through a £3m, five-year contract with Canon to take on an Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma.
The continuous inkjet web press was installed at the hybrid mail specialist’s Radstock plant in November, following the confirmation of the contract in June. It was the result of a two-year request for approval (RFP) process in which CFH surveyed all options in the market.
Using a points-based system, the firm whittled down the possibilities based on factors such as front-end usability, print quality, speed and cost of ownership until Canon won out.
CFH Radstock managing director Adam Harwood told PrintWeek: “We have a precise set of requirements that we took to all major vendors and was met by Canon. One key element was the support, which is probably what tilted it in their favour in the end.
“Due to our existing relationship with Canon, all our engineers are fully trained on their platforms and we can get support direct from them day-to-day.
“We are the UK’s leading hybrid mail provider and we continue to grow, so our options were either to invest in more sheetfed four-colour technology or to take the plunge into continuous inkjet. We have been waiting for a long time and the recent advances in the technology have brought it up to the standard that we are after.”
Canon has previously provided VarioStream continuous toner and cut-sheet printers for CFH Docmail. The new contract has also seen the installation of a Hunkeler CS6-II digital print finisher with paper handling to create a full fulfilment system for the plant. Together, they will assist in the production of a wide range of personalised hybrid mailers.
The ColorStream 6000 Chroma can print at speeds up to 1,714ppm at A4, amounting to up to 21 million A4 pages per month. Its Océ DigiDot drop-on-demand, piezoelectric print technology prints at resolutions up to 1,200dpi.
It will run at the 10,219sqm Radstock facility alongside a vast array of print and finishing technology for its mailing output, including three Xerox iGens and a Ricoh Pro 9110.
According to Harwood and group production director Steve Cray, who personally oversaw the RFP for the contract, the firm expects to take on a second inkjet line in the near future and will look to invest once more when the five-year contract approaches its end.
CFH Docmail is based across three sites in Radstock, Livingston and Slough. It employs 350 members of staff and turns over £46m.