UK printer Last Bros has reported growth in new business following its installation of a d-Flex Hi-Q hybrid line from Focus Label Machinery.
The press is configured with two flexo stations and a CMYK UV inkjet unit, using the latest KM1800i printheads through partner Industrial Inkjet. It also offers full finishing in-line, allowing production to be modelled to suit their varying products and applications.
The d-Flex Hi-Q was installed and commissioned in January 2018 after a lengthy process of sourcing the correct digital press as Last Bros sought to move into the next chapter in its 70-year history.
Dean Latchford, frontline sales manager at Last Bros, said: ‘When the press was first announced we were looking initially to bring work over from the existing label presses and also potentially migrate some of the litho and flat sheet digital side of the business.
‘This has now exceeded the initial expectations and I am pleased to say I have been able to bring in new contracts and customers because of the flexibility of the press and we are now running consistently over the working week which makes the ROI achievable, but in a quicker time, and lends itself to the addition of another press in the future, which we would all like.’
Latchford continued: ‘We can offer proofs to customers in a matter of a few hours, this gives us an edge in the market. We can gang up work of a similar size and ink coverage, store the work for quick and simple repeatability, change logos, bar codes, etc quickly and simply and the quality we produce has really changed our game plan.’
Simon Foster, print room manager at Last Bros, added: ‘This is simply better quality than what we could do before and has taken us further than even we anticipated. Initially it came in to pick up some of the work of two other presses, but its increased speed has helped us keep up with the demand for shorter runs that is emerging in the market and bring in new work and offer different applications.
‘The service support has been fantastic and the online remote service has really helped smooth out any technical issues we have had.
‘If this continues, we will likely buy another d-Flex. Our team is very impressed so far. We do not have any clear plans, but we are aiming to spread our wings to get new types of work and new types of customers the d-Flex has already brought to us.’
Latchford concluded: ‘Overall, it is a quality piece of engineering, adapted and developed for today’s market but with the mindset to keep the process simple and still incorporate flexo into the production. A “one stop shop” for us – blank reels to fully finished products, in one pass; a true “hybrid” press.’