Tradeprint.co.uk, the online trade print service, is investing heavily to beef up its short run response business. The company wants to remain a front runner in the high productivity Web to print sector where jobs are ordered online and combined on a sheet to increase time and resource efficiency.In a massive investment of more than 4.3 million Euro it is buying the hugely productive Speedmaster XL 106-10-P long perfector from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). To speed makeready times, increase throughput and maintain colour quality it is also taking the Prinect Inpress Control spectral measurement device and AutoPlate XL synchronised plate changing.Topping and tailing the new press will be the company’s second Suprasetter 105, Prinect Color Toolbox colour calibration software, a Stahlfolder KH 82 and an RA4 jogger, completing the company’s B1 guillotine Flowlines.
“We monitor our despatch rates and currently 99.8 percent of jobs are despatched on time,” says Rod Scrimgeour, managing director of tradeprint.co.uk. “The press and additional capacity will allow us to improve this figure event further. Many printers offer woolly turnround times of between 5-7 days. We focus our competitive prices on guaranteed 48 hour product turnarounds for orders placed before 5pm, but go a step further and offer discounts for slightly longer production turnarounds. Our new Speedmaster XL 106 will allow us to offer an improvement to our current next day printing service. Our main success has come from our proprietary online basketing system whereby clients can batch jobs in a single transaction while allowing them to send each unbranded boxed product to a different end user.
“Web to print work is about low touch and specialisation bringing efficiencies to compete in today’s market. Our average run length is around 2,000. Having this B1 long perfector with Prinect Inpress Control and AutoPlate XL means we can makeready in under five minutes. We looked at all suppliers who offered rivals to the Speedmaster XL 106 but this was the one we could see working job on, job off, day in, day out at maximum speed. Compared to our Speedmaster SM 74-10-P workhorse, which is only a little over two years old, the doubled sheet size and XL efficiencies will increase our capacity fourfold. ”
Printing both sides in one pass, most jobs require eight or ten plate changes between jobs. Tradeprint.co.uk’s current set up means plate changing of 1 minute 15 seconds per unit whereas with simultaneous plate changing using AutoPlate XL all plates can be switched in 1 minute 45 seconds. The operator no longer has to go from unit to unit; the plates for the next job are placed in the guides and the machine changes the full set of plates in one go.”Prinect Inpress Control is specified to reduce makeready times and give us the confidence that we are always running to top quality, leaving the operator free and able to prepare for the next job. We have also specified Color Toolbox which allows us to monitor our colour and make calibrations when necessary,” says Mr Scrimgeour. “There will be a reduction in waste sheets which our calculations suggest could be a six figure sum over a year.”Running at 24/7 week, tradeprint.co.uk currently averages 14 runs per eight hour shift. With numerous makereadies and high plate output the company has added a second Suprasetter 105 with Multi Cassette Loading for manless operation. The CtP devices have to produce plates for three different formats – the B1 XL 106, an SRA1 Ryobi and the Speedmaster SM 52-4+L Anicolor.”Many smaller printers are struggling in this tough market and some have opted to sell their equipment and become resellers, sourcing print from us. We believe there will be a new structure to the printing market in future,” says Mr Scrimgeour. “This investment will set us apart from our competition and, together with our fast turnrounds and professional and reliable service, allow us to continue to expand our customer base.”This is among the most comprehensively specified Speedmaster XL 106s in the UK and will be unusual in applying it to web to print trade services.
Mr Scrimgeour concludes: “Our ethos is providing a tradeprint solution to resellers and the trade, making it easy to do business with us. Many of our competitors, whilst offering competitive pricing, can lose sight of the personal touch. We are easily reachable; our dedicated account managers are always on hand to help answer any questions via e-mail or phone. We listen to our clients needs and they generate many ideas. For example, a one click tracking system than can be viewed on a smart phone shows the exact status of their live jobs whether in our system or out for delivery.”
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