Alpha Colour Printers has returned to Heidelberg for a second Versafire CV digital press to meet rising demand for short run work. The press has been delivered and has moved straight into full production.
The first press had five colours to handle specials (varnish, white or neons) and the long sheet feeder (for six page A4 production) but this latest press is a four colour model which will handle a lot of the straight process work.
‘It will free up the original press to handle the special work and will allow us to handle even more business cards, brochures, stationery, posters and a range of other printed material,’ said Luke Ostle, repro manager.
‘We balance up the click charge and cost of plates to determine whether work goes digital or litho. There is no definitive run length but obviously a 15 poster order would go digital and a 500 run eight page brochure might well go litho. Most customers leave us to decide which technology works best for their job. The quality on this toner-based machine has got better and better.’
The use of Heidelberg’s Digital Front End has been a game changer, allowing operators to queue jobs quickly and easily. A former colleague based in Arizona even sends in jobs remotely!
‘Everything is now so automated. We have tried other workflows in the past but this is so perfect. We find it brilliant,’ said Luke.
Alpha Colour is a convinced Heidelberg user across both its litho and digital operations. The company is family run. It was set up by Jeff Williams and he and his wife Maggie and their daughters Amy and Erica all work in the business.
Based out of a factory in Quedgeley, near Gloucester, it offers a design, print, finishing, packing, storage and distribution services. It is a company which has been proactive in its sustainable strategy, taking the UK’s first carbon neutral press and operating with ISO 14001, FSC and PEFC certification.