Basingstoke Press Picks 9 Digimasters, XBS Competition Cited as Factor
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
20% more turnover expected / Product and service quality deciding October 16, 2002 -- Basingstoke Press is replacing 16 Xerox and IBM machines with nine Digimasters of Heidelberg, five the existing 9110 model and four of the new faster 9150s. These will be the first Digimaster 9150 150 page per minute machines installed in world. All of the lines will be in place by the end of the year. The £6.5m turnover Basingstoke Press has litho, colour digital and black and white digital facilities with a great many jobs using more than one technology. In the current investment round the company has looked specifically at the black and white digital market, recognising that the ten year old equipment that was once at the vanguard of the industry must now be replaced by more up to date technology. The company uses its digital black and white division primarily for technical documentation, including airline manuals, and other print work which requires to be accurate and updateable. Investigations into re-equipping the plant began ten months ago when four suppliers – Xerox, IBM, Danka and Heidelberg – were invited to tender. “We needed to lower our cost base, increase our efficiencies and to be well positioned whether there is a drop off or an increase in volumes,” says sales and commercial director Tony Gardiner. “We believe we could probably get 20% more sales from our existing customers with this upgrade and the investment will provide new sales opportunities.” Operations director Chris Murphy says: “One of our competitors is XBS, a Xerox company. We are not willing to deal with a supplier which has user interests in the market. We have had a good relationship with Xerox over ten years but our relationship with Heidelberg takes us to the next level. Heidelberg is the supplier of our litho equipment and there is a benefit in moving towards having a single source supplier in terms of negotiating position and on-going service..” Production director Simon Bunyan says: “Heidelberg’s front end capabilities gives us something that we didn’t have before. We like their flexible approach and the proactive way they responded to our needs. They are strong on variable data applications and workflow and are committed to sharing future research and development know-how. “The workflow is so much better that we believe we will get 80-90% utilisation out of the machines rather than the current 50-60%. By standardising on PDF, an industry format, rather than a bespoke workflow we can give customers easy visual access to their files. The quality is good and these machines can print lower grammage stocks.