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Industry

Spend, spend, spend! Who is buying what

Across the country printers are getting on with what they do best: print.

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Welsh deal: (L to R) Robert Flather of Kolbus UK with Alan Padbury at Westdale Press with the new Kolbus kit

Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the industry they are buying new kit and splashing the cash and that is because of one simple truth: although the market is changing, there’s still plenty of work around.


The Welsh economic dragon is breathing fire again as the tolls on the bridge over the River Severn are set to be removed at the end of the year. Newport’s house prices have already shot up and in Cardiff Westdale Press has installed a Kolbus BF513 casing in line, Kolbus DA260 casemaker and Aster PRO sewer, all supplied by Kolbus UK. Alan Padbury of Westdale says: “Ever diminishing prices are unsustainable, we needed to look hard at finding a niche market for Westdale. Establishing ourselves as a colour printer who can offer in-house casebinding facilities gives us the opportunity to offer customers a finished product produced totally in-house.”

Ultra Finishing has bought a Yawa automatic foil stamping machine


Back across the River Severn to Rugby and Ultra Finishing has bought a Yawa automatic foil stamping machine from Terry Cooper Services. Ultra Finishing was established in 2001 by Tony Shaw, Gary Smith and Richard Pettifer, who all have a lifetime of print trade experience. It initially offered encapsulation but gradually expanded its services to include spot UV, aqueous and thermal lamination. Foiling is the latest addition with a Heidelberg foiler joining the products available in May 2016.


“As a company we have built up a reputation for service and quality and our move into foiling proved very successful which led to the latest purchase of the Yawa,” says Shaw, continuing: “We were looking for a machine that would complement the cylinder. The combination of the two machines gives us the flexibility to produce any type of foiling and embossing across a full range of materials.”


Back across the River Severn to Rugby and Ultra Finishing has bought a Yawa automatic foil stamping machine from Terry Cooper Services


Cambridge printer Quadraproof has taken delivery of a Polar 78 Eco to achieve a lift in cutting capacity. It has replaced a 24-year-old Polar 76 which Quadraproof had bought second-hand 12 years ago.

Quadraproof has upgraded its guillotine

“We thought we would take the second-hand route again, but Heidelberg was convincing in presenting the new Polar and we achieved a £2,500 trade in on our old guillotine,” says Doug Doig, founder and managing director.

The Polar 78 Eco features the Optiknife for quick and easy knife changes and fine knife adjustment to extend the cutting life as well as the DPS positioning system for accurate cutting. It has a back-gauge speed of 300mm/second and it can handle work up to 780 x 780mm so is ideal for B2 printers.

Scottish outfit First Display started off in taxi advertising, but an investment in Roland printing equipment has seen it explore exciting new avenues – despite a lack of printing experience. First Display took the step of bringing its printing in-house by installing a Roland DG SOLJET XC-540 in 2007, followed by a SOLJET PRO III XJ-740 two years later, both of which have been running ever since. Four years ago they took on larger premises and have since added two Roland VersaEXPRESS RF-640 printers to its workroom. You could say they are on a roll – or perhaps a Roland.


The Roland DG SOLJET XC-540
Finally, the UYR Group have bought a Kala KalaXY X-Y Trimmer from Litho Supplies. The KalaXY is a 65" wide automatic XY trimmer which quickly cuts prints from a roll into sheets providing a significant time saving in poster finishing.  This X/Y trimmer can cut substrates up to 1mm thick and will cut a range of substrates including photo paper, vinyl, laminated media, light PVC banner and more. With a simple, robust design and ease of use, it integrated easily in to UYR’s workflow.


Now installed a year, Joe Canning, production manager for UYR is over the moon with the Kala KalaXY: “It now takes just 15 minutes to trim a 50m roll of printed media which previously took a day to do manually. A year on and it’s not missed a beat.”

Litho Supplies who recommended the Kala KalaXY X-Y Trimmer


This significant time saving has subsequently led to time and cost savings as well as improved efficiency and above all quicker turnaround for time-conscious customers. In this high-volume environment, its ease of use and mechanical robustness is an absolute necessity to increased productivity and customer satisfaction.


From Scotland to Wales and across England, it seems the industry is alive and kicking and whatever Brexit throws up printers are concentrating on improving their operation and servicing their clients with some of the best kit around.

Have been spending the cash to improve your set up? Email your news to Harry@linkpublishing.co.uk or call me on 0117 9805 040. Or react to the story on Twitter and have your say.


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