By Rhys Handley, Friday 05 January 2018
Printmates has enhanced its ability to deal with complex short-run work with the installation of a Horizon CRF 362 folder-creaser.
The Redhill company said the new machine, which cost £25,000, was better able to keep up with the demands of its digital output, which require quicker setups and more flexibility, since its installation in September.
The company also runs a Heidelberg Stahlfolder, which will now focus on longer-run jobs.
Printmates managing director Neil Martin said: “Say for example you wanted to do a job that requires perfing, scoring, and two folds – it would take a long time to set up on the bigger, manual machines.”
“This Horizon allows us to do more complex, fiddly jobs like that at a faster pace. Setting up on the other machine was causing a bottleneck in our output when we had to run digital and short-run jobs through it.
“Our CRF 362 is quick and easy to run. The icon-based touchscreen means anyone can jump on and off it. It has a compact footprint as well, which is good as we don’t have loads of space.”
The Horizon, supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems, creases and folds in one pass a wide range of light- and heavyweight stocks, both coated or uncoated. Capable of up to 10 creases per sheet, it uses an impact scoring technology that eliminates or minimises cracking of the stock or printed image.
Setup and changeovers – including fold pattern, creasing number, and up/down crease selection – are completed on the high-resolution colour touchscreen.
According to Martin, Printmates has enjoyed a “consistent” 2016 and 2017, experiencing little unexpected fluctuation in its performance. He indicated that its digital and litho portfolios were both “sorted for the next year or so”.
However, he laid out plans to add a new wide-format machine. Currently running a Mimaki device, Martin said a back-up machine running alongside would be “ideal”.
Printmates also runs a Xerox Versant digital press and an older 770, with litho jobs produced on its two SRA2 Komoris. The firm’s 11 employees work out of 650sqm premises and turn over £1.2m.