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The four-colour Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1085 is capable of producing up to 85 A4-pages per minute, and can handle stock thicknesses from 55gsm through to 350gsm. The machine is focused on high productivity with high-quality suction paper feed and registration systems, as well as providing for stable image reproduction with inline automatic density control. The C1085 uses an enhanced imaging system, closed-loop colour controls and the latest generation of Konica’s Simitri HD toner, which combine to produce colour consistent results. Post-printing the equipment is equipped with de-curler, stapler and stacker, and booklet maker.
Having reviewed a variety of digital machines on the market, the Konica Minolta product stood out because of its consistent results and the fact that Apex Digital Graphics could supply and install the equipment. Apex was the preferred supplier of the solution due to the long-standing relationship that Managing Director Keith Whisson and the rest of the Shiremoor Press team had with the company: “I know that I can trust Bob, Neil and the guys at Apex: we have purchased pre-press and printing equipment from them in the past and I know that they are a reliable company to deal with. The after-sales service is first class. If they say a product will do something, they make sure that it does!”
“Everything has fallen into place regarding our new digital venture,” added Keith. “We were seeking a reliable, skilled digital operator, and a guy who had previously worked as a lead demonstrator for a digital equipment supplier in New Zealand turned up: he is excellent and is already making the kit sing. It’s a bit like Newcastle United advertising for a footballer and Ronaldo turning up!”
The company has also recruited Ian Gordon, a former Digital Operations Director with Tangent in the North East (the former Ravensworth Digital site). “Ian has a long history of managing high-quality, highly productive digital print operations. His knowledge and skills will be an invaluable asset to us as we seek to grow this side of the business,” commented Keith.
In addition to the personnel, work has also started to arrive in significant quantities: “Enquiries for digital print are taking off really well – which is ideal of course. Both existing customers and new clients seeking fast turnaround are impressed by the quality of the output.”
The business will focus its efforts on a mix of trade work, point-of-sale and retail focused print. It has already produced a small quantity of variable data to date, though it does envisage that this will expand as customers learn more about its potential. “We are not on the hunt for the small orders though,” confirmed Keith Whisson. “We are actively seeking orders where we can provide a full service solution to clients.”
The company’s fast turnaround, high-quality, full colour litho print expertise dates back to the introduction of the Heidelberg DI press in 1999. The company’s Apex experience includes its five-colour Ryobi 750 Series B2-format press, installed back in 2006.
Adding further thoughts to his digital move, Keith Whisson said: “Digital needs good technical support: though the equipment has come along way in recent years, none of these machines are 100% reliable. We know that Apex has the support structure to ensure that the Konica Minolta will deliver.”
The company has calibrated the Konica Minolta digital engine to produce colour to the same ISO-based standards as its Ryobi press and proofing system to ensure consistent colour across the board. The company commissioned to do the work were highly impressed at the accuracy of the Konica Minolta: they said that, in their opinion, it was within the tightest tolerances of being a high-end proofer.
Commenting on the installation for Apex Digital Graphics, Neil Handforth, Sales and Marketing Director for the supplier, said: “We are delighted that Keith and the team selected Apex as the supplier of equipment for its digital venture. As a print focused business they could clearly see the benefits of having a business relationship with a supplier that understands the needs of a printer, rather than buying product from a “box shifter”, where quality support would come at a premium. With Apex, first class product support comes as standard.”
Forty-six year old Shiremoor Press, based on the Camperdown Industrial Estate in Newcastle, print a wide range of commercial items, including marketing materials and short-run packaging work for customers in and around the UK. Shiremoor Press work 24-hour shifts in order to meet customer demands and offers a full print service, including its own studio for job preparation and in-house finishing equipment.
Konica Minolta presses from Apex