Route 1 Print is running final tests on a Fujifilm Jetpress 720S B2 inkjet press, ahead of the launch of a new cell dedicated to business card production inside its Rotherham factory.
While the press is at the heart of the £1.5 million investment, the self contained business card cell will also include an Autobond laminator, Scodix S75 digital embellisher and Role JetSlit to automate process of the printed sheet into finished and stacked sets of cards.
“We’ve seen the benefits of inline production before when we linked our HP Indigo 10000 to our Horizon Smart Stacker,” says Adam Carnell, managing director. “We’re sure that our new state of the art business card cell will prove to be just as valuable.”
The focus on digital production for business cards will free up space on its Heidelberg litho presses for other styles of work. And it will open the way to Route 1 Print being able to offer higher value business cards using spot UV varnish and lamination. The unit will also meet needs for faster turnaround for business card products says brand manager Jack Wilmott.
“We needed a solution that offered greater flexibility and efficiency without compromising on quality,” he says. “Once everything has settled down we will also be looking to check if there a demand for multiply cards and higher value substrates.”
The Jetpress 720S will have no difficulty in handling these materials, the inkjet process being more versatile than either litho or electrophotographic printing in this regard. Carnell says that this machine came out on top of the investigation process. “It is by far and away the best quality printer we have seen,” he says. “The turnaround time is a huge improvement from litho yet the results are sharper with good, consistent colours.”
The machine will be only the fourth of the inkjet presses in the country. It will be housed in a glassed off area in the Route 1 plant along with the finishing equipment. Interest in the B2 digital press is growing following the success of a month long open house at Fuji’s Bedford showroom, allowing UK prospects to see the press in action rather than having to travel to Brussels.
The Autobond 74 THPS is the third laminator of its type for the online print business. The JetSlit will be able to delivered rounded corner cards as well as square cut business cards and the Scodix will provide accurate spot UV. Carnell says: “When looking at the offerings for spot UV it became clear that precision would be a critical factor. The Scodix camera registration system, which accounts for variations in the sheets, exceeded our expectations in testing and therefore put it ahead of the competition.”
Investment in the press continues a long standing relationship with Fujifilm. The plates that the printer uses are supplied by Fuji, so if it looses out on plate volume, the amount of ink will more than compensate.
In the next step towards full automation, Route 1 Print is creating a cell to produce business cards based around a Fuji Jetpress 720S, Autobond laminator, Scodix digital embellishment and Role JetSlit.
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