Latcham Direct has installed a Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 sheetfed inkjet and an imagePress C850 to take on the work of five machines as it steps up to the increasing expectations of print-on-demand.
Arriving in May and fully commissioned by June after testing, the B3 VarioPrint is the headline buy in a £800,000 investment with Canon at Bristol-based Latcham.
Five Xerox machines – two iGens, two Docucolors and a Nuvera – are to be offloaded as the new duo takes over work on personalised applications such as insurance policies, contracts and brand communications. Once the Xerox kit is sold, managing director Mike Hughes said a second C850 is likely to be taken on.
He said: “The print engine on the i300 is significantly faster and higher-quality than the iGen. The uptime is also much better and the processing speed faster. Just as important is the i300’s ability to work across mono, low-coverage business colour and high-quality, high-coverage work, all from one device.
“The new equipment is a step-change in quality and productivity. We have been able to convert jobs which were previously pre-printed on litho presses and personalised on laser printers to one process now. This really saves time and enhances personalisation through access to shorter or just-in-time runs.
“Canon is a new supplier to Latcham, although the management team at Latcham have had relationships with Océ in their previous careers. In our opinion, Canon have now leapfrogged the competition with the i300 and have put in place a great support team.”
The Océ VarioPrint i300 cutsheet system uses drop-on-demand piezoelectric inkjet printheads to produce print at speeds up to 300ppm A4 and resolution to 600dpi, carrying stock weights from 60-300gsm.
The imagePress production system, which was installed around the same time as the i300, prints up to 85ppm at 2,400dpi.
Moving into the second half of 2019, Latcham will be focusing on the launch of its new hybrid mail services. The launch will be facilitated by the arrival of a new enclosing machine, due to arrive in the autumn. The firm has also upgraded its XMPie cross-media suite.
With around 100 members of staff working on 7,000sqm premises, Latcham Direct currently turns over £12m.