By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 08 November 2017
Commercial printer Hartgraph has doubled its litho capacity with the installation of a second Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75, comprising an overall £1.8m investment.
The highly specified machine, automated with a number of Heidelberg’s Push to Stop features, joins a 2015-installed XL 75 and came in last week, along with a raft of finishing equipment, which included an H&H miniature folder, a pharmaceutical folder, a Busch ram punch and banding machine and an Autobond laminator, plus a 1,300sqm extension to its Amersham, Buckinghamshire premises.
“We already had an XL 75 downstairs but it’s just been the demand really, we’ve had enough print to justify bringing in this press and this seemed like the most logical way of growing the business,” said marketing manager Natalie Stubbs.
“It works well and the operators like Heidelberg so it was pretty much a case of saying that if we would buy a new one that’s what we would buy; the best of the best.”
Configured with Prinect pre-press software, Pressroom Manager and Autoplate XL technology for colour control, Hartgraph’s older Speedmaster has also been similarly upgraded, allowing for colour consistency across the litho division’s two 15,000sph machines.
Stubbs added: “The extra capacity is enormous, not necessarily growing into other business but it’s increasing the type of business we are already doing.”
The spend comes at the end of a heavy investment year for Hartgraph, in which it has taken on a new Heidelberg Versafire digital press, along with a range of finishing equipment and seven staff from Maidenhead-based Flowprint, which went into administration at the end of last year. The finishing kit it picked up included two H&H miniature pharmaceutical folders, an SBL gluing line, a B1 STS 1050SE flatbed die-cutter and a Moll plow folder.
Hartgraph has also recently taken on two new apprentices via the BPIF's apprenticeship programme, coming at a time when cross-industry apprenticeship take-up appears to be down.
The 50-staff firm is on track to post £5m sales for the end of this year, which it is then looking to up to £6m by the end of next year. Stubbs did not discount the possibility of further investment over the coming months.
“We always strive to give good customer service, working with people on a long-term basis we believe that we put out a good end product, work to timescales and I’d like to think we’ve got a good name in the industry,” she added.