06 November 2015 Print Companies

Rapidity caps intense week with arrival of new equipment

A Ricoh digital press and Duplo booklet maker arrive at the central London printer this week, having take on part of the failed 1st Byte operation.

Rapidity Communications is taking delivery of a Ricoh Pro C9110 today (Monday) with a Duplo iSaddle booklet maker to follow on Wednesday.

This comes a week after taking on Press4Print from 1st Byte as that organisation went into administration.

The saddle is a more suitable machine for the all digital print business than the ten-year-old Horizon StitchLiner that the company has used and which is a hangover from its days as a litho printer.

Two years ago the central London business bought a DC745 and small booklet maker from Duplo and “have been discussing the next stage for at least the last six months”, according to Duplo UK managing director Peter Jolly.

It also bought an Esko Kongsberg XN44 cutting table from Duplo to accompany a move into flatbed inkjet with the installation of an Arizona earlier this year.

The move to the new stitching machine is in line with Rapidity’s aim of automating as many processes as possible and opting for machinery that can be used by as many members of staff as possible. It also strengthens the company’s hand as a commercial printer in the centre of London, explains director Paul Manning.

“We believe there is an opportunity to grab there,” he says. “We want to provide quality products to customers in central London 24 hours a day and as part of that people will expect use to be able to deliver a saddle stitched book.”

The addition of the Pro C9110 to its HP Indigo capacity enables the company to deliver a larger sheet without the cost of moving to an HP Indigo 10000. “And we have needed to be able to finish the sheets from the Pro C9110. Saddle stitched books are the most important product that we produce in house.”

The Duplo iSaddle also fills a demand for A4 landscape books, which are growing in importance, says Manning. “And we have needed to make it easier for our operators.” Job information will be transferred from the in-house workflow system to automate set up as much as possible with digital communication of job information.

It will support variable data and variable pagination booklets, using barcode identification on each product. Cameras are fitted to the digital sheet feeder that sits at the front of the iSaddle.

“The workflow is the most important thing going forwards,” says Manning. “You simply cannot apply a litho workflow to digital. There is no time to move job bags around. We have put a lot of work into our workflow. It is not exactly JDF, but more about linking the software systems.”

That enables the company to be highly efficient, generating sales of £6 million from 32 staff. He continues: “In central London there is demand for a highly creative print approach and that is valid for some, but we have gone for a more commercial print service by being as efficient as we can be.”

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Rapidity celebrates

Rapidity celebrates

Duplo managing director Peter Jolly and Duplo International CEO Robin Greenhalgh flank Rapidity directors Paul and Ben Manning after popping the cork to celebrate the order for a new iSaddle as the London company upgrades its saddle stitching capacity.

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