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Bell & Bain continues Rapida growth

Shortly after the acquisition of J Thomson Colour and 21 Colour to grow to a £30m turnover group, Bell & Bain has now invested in two new Rapida 145 presses from Koenig & Bauer.

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(L to R) Chris Scully, Koenig & Bauer sales director; Karen Baille, Bell & Bain managing director; and Stephen Docherty, Bell & Bain chairman

The Glasgow print company, founded in 1831, is set to install the two perfector presses, an eight-colour and a four-colour, at its Thornliebank site to increase its capacity and help achieve growth plans.

The new investment takes Bell & Bain’s total large-format units from Koenig & Bauer to 36 since 2004. The book and journal printer also has two Rapida 106 presses, a ten-colour and a six-colour LED press with a coater, installed at J Thomson Colour Printers.

Bell & Bain Holdings Group chairman, Stephen Docherty, comments on the investment: “We already know what these machines can do so it was an easy decision for us. However, the investment is also to make life easier on my team here by removing some bottle necks created from an upswing in orders.

“Our customers are used to the highest of quality standards and now we will be able give our customers more of what they need and deliver for them when they need it.”

We need to give our customers more and make things a little less stressful around the factory

“We expect the extra capacity to be filled very quickly and turnover for Bell & Bain will zoom past the £20m hurdle. This should set the group up nicely to head towards £40m. We need to give our customers more and make things a little less stressful around the factory.

“Koenig & Bauer have helped us do this with ease over the years so that is why I can be confident in these investments. I have stated many times before that if Bell & Bain did not invest in a Koenig & Bauer press in 2005, we would not be here today.

"We have the can-do attitude and we have the presses that can do also. This will not nearly be litho or almost the same, this will be the benchmark. This, of course, allows confidence to grow far and wide throughout the group and with our clients.”

Koenig and Bauer sales director, Chris Scully, adds: ‘We are delighted that Bell & Bain have placed their trust in us once again. We have a long history with the business, and we have enjoyed watching them go from strength to strength with each investment decision they have made.

Bell & Bain are a fantastic real world reference for high quality industrial litho on demand

“With the bold acquisition of both J Thomson Colour Printers and 21 Colour they have become one of the largest commercial printers in the UK and have plans to grow even further. We are looking forward to seeing our Rapida 145 presses contributing to their future successes.

He continues: “Bell & Bain are a fantastic real world reference for high quality industrial litho on demand; this traditional purchase model produces the highest levels of productivity in their sector balanced by criterion rate per copy. This investment bucks the current trends for click charges and subscriptions systems.”

Bell & Bain is one of the oldest independent book and journal printers with bindery facilities in the UK, with The Open University, Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press in its clientele.

Koenig & Bauer is the oldest printing press manufacturer in the world still producing presses. For the financial year 2018, the firm generated annual worldwide sales of more than €1.2bn (approx. £1.06bn).

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