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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Bishops Printers adds two ten-colour presses

Monday, February 15, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Bishops Printers is taking delivery of two ten-colour presses in the next two months which means it will have a total of 52 Heidelberg Speedmaster printing units, including four ten-colours and two five-colours. Bishops Printers of Portsmouth is one of the largest commercial printers in the South of England with a workforce of 140 employees.

The investment in one replacement press and one additional press, a Speedmaster XL 75-10-P and an SM74-10-P respectively, is made on the basis of increased trading during 2009 and not just speculation about an upturn.

"We had exhausted every avenue of adding shifts and manning to increase productivity but realised that we had to add another press," says managing director Gareth Roberts. "The XL 75, which replaces the first SM 74 ten-colour we installed when we moved to this factory six years ago, will give us four additional (24 hour) days capacity a month through greater efficiency, but even this is not enough so we returned to Heidelberg for an SM 74-10-P, which is the perfect perfecting press for us, with it's redesigned feeder, inking and damping unit and the improved delivery.

"These two presses give us the ideal combination for our general commercial market, enabling us to easily handle a range of run lengths and boards even up to carton stocks." 

Bishops looks set to report a turnover of around £13m for the year ended 31 January 2010, well up on £11.8m for the previous year. The company, which has an average order size of £900, has not one customer contributing more than 5% of its sales. Some 25% of its customers did reduce its spending last year but remained loyal. The company spent twice as much on marketing last year and focused on improving its customer services and it is on the back of this it attributes its growth.

The company handles a wide range of work including leisure and tourism, education, periodicals and general commercial work, much of it from third party agencies. It has settled on the ten-unit press configuration for the majority of orders because it provides one pass productivity and, for silk paper and orders of over £300, a seal is applied as standard which gives work both an aesthetic lift and faster turnaround times.

"We are giving customers what they want and pricing competitively but on a sustainable basis," says Mr Roberts. "We have good customer loyalty and good staff loyalty because they know the company provides relative securing and progression.  We also have a relatively youthful management team and Board members who want to make a positive impression on the direction of the company." 

Ahead of the presses, the company has added more staff. Three new press operators have been recruited with another joining on 1 February. This is in addition to the seven finishing staff added in the last six months following heavy investment in the bindery. This included a Stitchmaster ST450, a Stahlfolder TH 82 and two Domino numbering machines.  

"The SM 74-10-P going out has clocked up 270 million impressions in six years and proved superbly reliable," says Mr Roberts. "By regularly updating we believe we reduce or eliminate breakdown costs and maximise productivity. The latest generation presses are impressively productive and printers today have to be efficient to compete."




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