New system and foiler increases digital printer’s production for publishers
Following an exciting machine testing process with Duplo, The Imaging Centre can now react even quicker to card publishers’ needs.
It’s all thanks to a new cutting system which eases the bottleneck of work from the digital print specialist’s press – and there’s a foiler in the mix too, boosting capacity for high-end cards.
The Duplo DC-20K B2 cutting system with DC-746 slitter is the first to be installed in the UK after the Tonbridge-based printer hosted the machine’s beta test which has combined with its new HP12000 press to enable The Imaging Centre to retain card publishers who might otherwise have to think about shifting to a litho print process.
“As new publishers grow and become more known within the industry, they may then get orders from larger retailers, potentially ordering tens of thousands of cards at a time,” operations director Jessica Penfold explained.
“At that point, they could consider going down the litho route but, having this machinery and with the turnaround times that we can deliver, we can now offer a competitive alternative.”
She explained print growth at The Imaging Centre has been increasing year on year “regardless of Brexit, recession and supply chain issues” and, with 75% of the company’s customer base being small publishers and designers who need quite short runs of their cards, as they grow so do the volumes required.
This was the rationale behind the print company investing in a new press, then adding Duplo’s cutting system, slitter, and the UK’s first Bagel Systems iLam Pro digital foiler to complete the upgrade to meet the business’ requirements of improved turnaround times, improved efficiency, and improved service to the customer.
“What we needed was a finishing solution to this now tremendous bottleneck of work coming off the new press,” Jessica added, “so, after Duplo had a look at our operation, they asked if we’d be interested in beta testing their new B2 cutting system. We’ve worked with Duplo since we began back in 1991 and our operators know their multi-finishers incredibly well. We knew how robust their equipment was since our first machines broke Duplo’s own records for the number of sheets processed and cut.
“The DC-20K, DC-746 and three other multi-finishers means our operators can now process and turn around work much faster, our efficiency has improved and we can professionally produce the massive increase in volumes that our customers needed.
“We can now retain our customers even if their volumes turn from the hundreds to the tens of hundreds. It’s a real game changer for us at The Imaging Centre.”
Duplo UK showed its commitment to the British greeting card industry by coming on board as a sponsor of The Henries for this first time this year, and the company’s regional sales manager Adam Drummond has worked with The Imaging Centre’s founders Bob and Jan Short for many years, and now with son and md Adam and daughter Jess as they’ve taken over the reins at the business which has a £2.8million turnover and 27 staff.
He said: “They’re a great team who have managed to push our kit to the limits – 22 million sheets and counting – and prove how resilient they can be as a company. As part of the package, they purchased a new Bagel iLAM Pro with a special foiling module, and even here their staff have excelled and surpassed the specification of the machine by running it faster than previously thought possible – with fantastic results.
“The team at The Imaging Centre are at the epicentre of the UK greeting card industry and their customers absolutely love them!”
The DC-20K system comprises a high-volume B2-sized feeder and slitter, bridging unit to feed into the multi-finisher, DC-746 slitter, cutter, creaser, and delivery table, which enables more jobs to be routed through a B2 press saving time and work by removing guillotining, reducing production costs, and increasing productivity.
Multiple jobs can be printed on the same sheet and finished in one pass, turning a multitude of B2-sized sheets into different products ready to be packed and delivered to customers.
Top: Jessica Penfold and general manager Ed Starling with The Imaging Centre’s new Duplo cutting system