Hertfordshire-based The Print Centre (TPC) has taken a significant step up in capacity by investing in a Konica Minolta AccurioPress C12000. The new high-speed production press, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will enable the commercial print specialist to expand its offering, grow productivity and meet sustainability targets.
TPC serves a wide variety of businesses and organisations, and it has been partnering with Konica Minolta in digital print production for a number of years. The company’s first toner machine was a bizhub PRESS Pro C6000L, which was later joined by a C1085. MD Ben Nixon said, “We have worked with KM for a long time, supplying them with litho work, so it was an obvious choice for us to look to them for support, back when we first decided to dip our toe in the digital market.”
The digital department complements the company’s litho capabilities, which includes a new SpeedMaster CD74 five colour press with coater, but the team was finding that it was a challenge to print short runs of 500–1000 sheets cost effectively.
Nixon said, “We realised that although we had most areas covered with our existing litho and digital presses, there was an overlap where printing litho wasn’t really practical, yet the running cost and speed of the C1085 would probably not be cost effective.” He added, “We were also looking to grow B2B online ordering through our new web portal as well as take on more variable data work, so we needed to find a digital solution.”
While the next obvious move might have been to upgrade to a Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6100 printer, TPC went for the newly launched, top-of-the-range C12000 to replace the C6000L. The C12000 offers a much higher speed of up to 120 A4 pages per minute, along with the flexibility to print on substrates between 52 and 450gsm of up to 1300mm in length simplex (900mm duplex).
“With the big increase in speed, we will definitely start to see more of our jobs move from litho to digital,” said Ben. “Another hugely beneficial feature is the long sheet capability. Previously it would have been quicker and cheaper to make a set of plates and print anything above 50 long sheets litho. Not to mention the thicker media and envelope options that will help with our direct mail and variable data jobs.”
Added to this, the AccurioPress C12000 produces an image quality of 3,600 x 2,400 dpi x 8 bit and comes with IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Care system for automated registration, colour management and quality adjustment. The software eliminates waste in the process caused by faulty prints and ensures perfect front-to-back registration.
Cutting waste through automation will enable TPC to maximise its green credentials and meet customers’ demands for more environmentally friendly processes. Furthermore, with Auto Inspection Technology (AIT) closed-loop inspection added, the company can be sure to deliver only perfectly printed jobs at all times.
Nixon concluded, “We have stayed loyal to KM because their products fit so well with us as commercial printers. With their support and technology, we have seen year-on-year growth in recent years.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the AccurioPress C12000 has been up and running at TPC since early June. Konica Minolta continues to support its customers throughout the crisis, with the company’s engineers successfully installing machines, whilst fully complying with all safety and social distancing guidelines.
“We are extremely delighted that TPC has installed the first AccurioPress C12000 in the UK. This technology enables our customers to reduce waste and operator intervention, and will deliver new revenue streams in the process. Our relationship with TPC has gone from strength to strength with our engagement through PROKOM, the Konica Minolta user community,” said Russell Lambert, regional sales manager South East – Graphic Arts, Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK. “We were able to help TPC to better understand the digital market and offer advice on how take advantage of new technologies for their customers.”