Commercial printer Diamond Colour Print has invested around £110,000 in a Heidelberg Versafire EP to enhance its digital offering.
Due to be installed at Dartford, Kent-based Diamond’s 279sqm premises on Monday (15 July), the machine, which features Heidelberg’s Prinect Digital Front End, will replace one of the firm’s two existing Linoprint 901s while the other will be kept on as back-up.
Managing director Roy Risley said he hopes the machine will provide the colour quality and unit cost to make digital a viable alternative to litho on more than just the shortest runs moving forward.
“The reliability and speed of these machines has come a long way, as has the spec, with the deep pile delivery meaning you haven’t got to keep taking the short stacks off,” he said.
“But the Heidelberg software that comes with it is what swung it for us. Lots of work is spec’d on uncoated and the results you get using the Heidelberg software to flatten the image are brilliant, we were really amazed.”
He added: “We didn’t really look at options from anybody else, simply because of our history with Heidelberg. We have dealt with them for so long and they are a good company to deal with.
“We are hoping that the new machine proves so successful that we’ll be in a position to replace the other Linoprint with another one of these.”
Risley added it is becoming harder to differentiate between work produced via litho and digital processes.
“The main difference between litho and digital always used to be on uncoated,” he said.
“Virtually anyone could see on an uncoated sheet whether it was digitally printed, but with this new Heidelberg software a lot of that has been taken away.
“To the naked eye a lot of people are going to be hard pushed to spot the difference between uncoated digital and uncoated litho on the majority of jobs.”
Established in 1992, Diamond Colour Print produces general commercial print for customers including designers, charities, local councils and end users across the Kent, London and Surrey areas. The 12-staff business turns over £865,000.