By Richard Stuart-Turner, Friday 06 April 2018
Blackwell Print has bolstered its digital setup by investing in a Xerox Versant 3100 four-colour production press.
Supplied by First Copy, the 100ppm dry toner machine was installed at the Great Yarmouth-based firm’s 1,050sqm premises around three months ago.
The investment was supported by the New Anglia Business Growth Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Director Joanne Hodges, who manages the company alongside fellow directors Keith Moore, Graham Gooda and Aaron Hodges said: “We used to print six-page A4 or A4 landscape brochures on our B2 Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 – however the cost for this on a short run was fairly high.
“The new longer sheet size on our digital press now makes these an affordable option for many more people and we're winning lots more of that sort of work.”
The 3100 is additional to the firm’s plant list and joins the XL 75 as well as a B3 Fuji 52 litho press plus additional Xerox, Konica Minolta and Canon Océ digital kit and HP wide-format equipment. Litho accounts for around 60% of the company’s work with digital making up around 30% and wide-format the remainder.
25-staff Blackwell Print turns over nearly £2m and predominantly serves B2B customers.
"We operate both locally and nationally as Blackwell Print, although we also have an online presence through Advantage Media which offers next day printing when ordering before 1pm,” said Hodges.
“We're also in the process of taking Blackwell Print online to help our customers get prices and order faster. It will also help automate our internal workflow.”
Additionally, the business runs Paperwave, its online photo printing business that has attracted more than 50,000 customers globally to date.
This service functions via an iPhone app alongside the website and orders can be placed using Instagram and Facebook images for items such as polaroid pictures, mugs, button badges and greetings cards.
Also running an apprenticeship scheme, Blackwell Print has recently taken on Kaylen Nevin as a digital pre-press operator.
“With the investment in our machinery it also signals an investment in our staff and our apprenticeship scheme is designed to give opportunities to young people in the area. Kaylen lives in Great Yarmouth and was the perfect candidate,” said Hodges.