Online printing business Solopress has said the purchase of new Hunkeler technology, as part of a wider investment drive, will allow the company to speed up its finishing processes and increase productivity.
The Southend-based business recently committed around £3.3m to the investment project, which included the purchase of two Hunkeler roll-to-roll machines and two Hunkeler roll-to-CS8 devices with 30-inch stackers.
The Hunkeler kit has been put to use alongside a new HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD – the first press of its kind in the world operating in a commercial environment.
Simon Cooper, managing director of Solopress, said that the decision to commit to Hunkeler technology, which is supplied in the UK by finishing specialist Friedheim International, was primarily due to Hunkeler’s leading reputation.
“We have moved into web production for the first time with an investment in high speed continuous ink jet printing through the HP T250,” Cooper said. “We therefore needed to be able to finish from paper reels and naturally looked towards Hunkeler because of their reputation in the market.
“Among the attractions of moving towards web-based printing are the speed and simplicity of the finishing process, which is creating amazing productivity gains for our business.”
Cooper went on to explain that the investment in the HP press and complementary Hunkeler kit has allowed Solopress to co-locate finishing with the printing, which he said has had a significant impact on productivity.
“Our previous workflow required us to transport printed products to a different production unit for finishing,” Cooper said. “Additionally, the speed of finishing will enable us to get more work produced in a shorter period of time with less labour overhead.
“This in turn improves productivity and effectively extends our production window, ultimately leading to better prices and turnaround times for our customers, which will then lead to growth for our business.
“We are eager to branch out from our existing offering of general commercial print to also encompass the publishing sector. This would be a new market for us, but this new equipment lends itself to serving that market well and our expertise in fast turnaround and slick workflow will be an advantage.”
Cooper also had a note of praise for Friedheim International, saying that by working with the finishing specialist, Solopress was able to increase its knowledge of the finishing market.
“We enjoyed dealing with Friedheim; they were very knowledgeable and helped us close the fairly large knowledge gap that existed in our business as we started investigating web-based production,” Cooper said.