Crystal & Son relieves cutting bottleneck

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Wednesday 19 June 2019

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Crystal & Son is set to install a Polar 78 Eco guillotine to ease a production bottleneck and support its rapid growth.

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The Polar 78 Eco will be installed later this month

The Newcastle-based digital printer said the new device will be installed at its 511sqm premises later this month and will replace an outgoing Faldo guillotine, which has been sold on privately.

The device will join an existing older Polar model run by the company, which prints on a fleet of Konica Minolta machines.

Managing director Jonathon Crystal said that following a review of the market, he opted for another Polar machine on the advice of his operators.

“I could have bought secondhand and I was looking at Polar as well as Schneider and Wohlenberg, but Heidelberg gave us an attractive finance arrangement that allowed us to buy new.

“And buying a guillotine that’s going to be able to get parts for 25 years makes good sense to me because it’s going to see me through my working life.”

Crystal & Son supplies bingo tickets, raffle tickets, scratch cards and fundraising print as well as stationery which is destined primarily for working men’s clubs. It also supplements its print service by offering other supplies, from markers to wristbands.

Following a series of acquisitions made over the last 12 months, the business has increased its headcount from eight to 19 and is set to turn over £1.6m this year.

Its acquisitions include West View Printers, Bingo Ticket Company and Lucky Lotteries, as well as Kelly’s Eye, which it is still operating as a separate trading entity. More recently the company has also taken over the part of Dublin-based Playprint that makes bingo machines.

The new guillotine, which represents an investment of around £30,000 for Crystal & Son, will operate flexible days shifts, typically 8am to 5pm.

“It will speed up our production. At the minute we do have a bottleneck where the issue for us in getting the work out as quickly is how long it takes to cut the jobs down,” said Crystal.

“Even if it’s running by itself standalone, this machine will be quicker than the Polar we’ve got now. And to have two guillotines running will speed up the end result for the customer.”

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