Epic Print has launched in-house hot foiling services for the first time on its recently installed Kama ProCut 76 die-cutting system in a bid to expand into the packaging sector.
The Dorchester outfit took on the machine last August and ran it purely as a die-cutter through the remainder of 2018 as it entered a busy period. Staff were trained on the device’s hot foil capabilities in the new year and the service officially launched on 1 March.
Replacing a Heidelberg SBG cylinder, the Kama ProCut 76 was “spec’d to its fullest” when it was delivered to Epic, meaning it is capable of die-cutting, foiling, stripping and blanking.
Managing director Mark Downey said: “Our main requirement was initially the die-cutting and we focused only on that because we hit a busy period and did not have the time to immediately train in hot foiling, which seemed to us a bit of a black art.
“We trained for two or three months at the start of the year and now we can use it for a number of secondary packaging applications such as boxes, wraps and tags where we used to buy the hot foil service through the trade.
“It also represents a meaty step up for us in terms of speed and quality after I spent three years researching possibilities to know where we should be. It is a traditionally-engineered machine with great, modern tech like the camera for registration.”
Supplied by Hemel Hempstead-based Friedheim International, the £400,000 Kama ProCut 76 can apply foils onto an area of 760x600mm for substrates from 100-800gsm. At maximum performance, it can process jobs at a speed of 5,500sph.
Having previously relied on the commercial market for the bulk of its turnover, the past four years have seen Epic’s focus on packaging grow to 65% of its total sales. Downey said he hoped to see the balance shift further to 80/20 in favour of packaging in the next two to three years.
Epic Print – formerly Epic Print Services – also runs a six-colour Mitsubishi B1 LED press, an HP Indigo 5600, an Autobond laminator, a Scodix S75 digital press signed for at Ipex 2014, a Duplo iSaddle stitcher, a Horizon folder and a Kluge Clamshell die-cutter on its 1,115sqm premises.
With a headcount of 23 staff, it currently turns over £2.4m.