Komori Spica 429P

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's been a fresh start for East Kilbride-based Akros Print, but director Jim Wright says his Spica has more than made its mark

What is it?
It’s a four-colour B2 perfector.

Why did you choose this particular machine?
Historically, the company has always bought two-colour secondhand machines, but we wanted to step up to a new four-colour press. After shopping around, it boiled down to a choice between two presses – the Speedmaster 74 or the Spica. What swung it for us was Komori’s attitude. They took us around Britain for two days looking at Komori presses and Spicas, in particular, and gave us free rein to chat to the printers who were using them. The Spica was ideally suited to us as it was new and within our budget. In the past, we’ve used Komoris and the back-up has always been good. Also the Spica is an extremely flexible machine as it can be run as a two over two perfector as well as four [colour] straight printing.

What features do you particularly like about it?
Because we’re jobbing printers and mainly do short-run stuff the Spica’s quick makeready appealed as did the fact that it could take CIP3 files from the workflow, which helps to speed up makeready. We’ve also been impressed by the printability of the machine and the quality coming off it.

Are there and features that you wish it had that it doesn’t?
Drying facilities don’t come as an option and that would have been useful. Komori do offer a five-colour version of this model that can seal online but that was out of our budget at the time.

How fast is it?
Straight printing, it can do up to 13,000 impressions an hour or in perfector mode 9,500-10,000.

What’s the quality like?
It’s very good. We’ve got a high-quality job on at the moment for a 56pp perfect bound book that’s more or less solid blacks throughout and it does really good solids.

How much time or money has it saved?
It’s saved us both time and money. It only takes us five to 10 minutes to change a set of plates after finishing a job and getting it ready for the next one.

Has it won you new work?
Definitely. We’re now doing colour work for a few of our existing customers who were more than happy to give us a chance. We’ve had the machine since July and it’s a new market for us so we’re still finding our feet and I always thought that it would take six months for us to bed the press in, sort out any teething problems and find our place in the market.

Were there any difficulties experienced during the commissioning or installation?
The installation ran smoothly, however, we suffered a major fire in May and the Spica was on order at the time. We basically lost everything in the fire and had to start from scratch. However, thanks to our insurers, landlord and suppliers, such as Komori, we were back up and printing again within a week.

What about the service?
Komori’s sales rep in Scotland Stewart Daniels, of IES, was more than happy to spend time with us to convince us that this press was right for us and Komori has done everything that we could have asked to make sure that the press has been a success.

Who do you think the machine is right for?
It’s custom made for the likes of ourselves – jobbing printers who want to step up into the four-colour market.

Would you buy another?
We would definitely buy another Komori. They look after you both before and after the sale.

User’s verdict
Speed 4/5
Quality 4/5
Reliability 4/5
Value for money 5/5

Supplier’s response
Neil Sutton, managing director at Komori UK, comments: “In the modern business world, service is key and we have a strong philosophy and policy at Komori that when you win an account like Akros, it is crucial that you deliver what you promise. Jim had a few problems because of the fire and we would like to think that we went the extra mile for him to make things as easy and as painless as possible, and deliver on our promises.”
Price From £325,000
Contact 01132 799900

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