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Vale Press enhances print production capabilities with RMGT investment

Print Solutions

Cotswold based Vale Press has invested in an SRA1 LED-UV litho press from RMGT. The company is now also celebrating entering its 40th year in business.


With this strategic move, Vale Press, owned and run by three brothers, will be boosting litho print capacity by 40%. Edward Stowe, commercial director, commented: ‘This investment will enable us to produce our existing workload more efficiently, providing us with the flexibility to take on more work.’


Scheduled for installation in December 2024, the new RMGT press will replace an existing B2 format press. Vale Press will retain its Heidelberg CX75-LE UV press to complement the new machine, ensuring versatility and flexibility in meeting wide ranging customer demands.


Edward added, ‘We had never previously considered alternative press manufacturers, but after detailed discussions over 18 months, it became clear that the traditional press manufacturer that we have used had become complacent, and had fallen behind on production and energy efficient equipment, in addition to the high cost of service and repair, reliability, and ultimately cost per sheet. Our research showed us that the RMGT SRA1 press was by far the stand out contender.


‘We went to RMGT user Flexpress in Leicester to see a press in action. The way owner Steve Wenlock enthused about the benefits provided by the highly efficient press and LED-UV drying system really got us excited about the possibilities for our own business. He revealed details about the reliability of his RMGT equipment by showing the costs incurred over several years – all he had bought for the press were consumable items. Literally no spare parts at all! That level of reliability means faster production with little unplanned costs – and every printer can benefit from both of those factors.


‘The inclusion of the SRA1 format in our production options will greatly improve our efficiency. We will be able to look at the specification of each job and direct it to the most efficient production format, whether that be B3 digital or litho, B2 litho or SRA1 litho.’


With a customer base comprising 80% trade print and 20% direct customers, Vale Press specialises in delivering high quality, bespoke printing solutions for short to medium run jobs, often including unusual sizes, materials, and finishes. 


Commenting further, Edward said, ‘Experience with LE-UV technology over the last five years shows that despite higher ink costs, there are significant cost savings in delivering dry sheets from a litho press. We have carved ourselves a niche position in the market: producing work that other printers, including online competitors, can’t or simply don’t want to produce.’


In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19, Vale Press remained steadfast in its commitment to uninterrupted production. Tom Stowe, managing director, said: ‘There were some worrying times at the start of the pandemic, however, it just didn’t seem right to close the doors and cease production when the business has been operating since 1984. Our decision to maintain operations has not only strengthened our relationships with customers, but has also prompted many to re-evaluate their in-house production processes, leading to increased outsourcing to Vale Press by companies we had previously seen as competitors, as well as some existing, and new customers.’


Tom added, ‘As a company, we have always believed in staying ahead of the curve and remaining agile through continuous investment in the latest technology. You simply can’t stand still in this industry. This is reflected by the unfortunate demise of at least five local print businesses in the last 18 months.’


Left to right: Edward Stowe, commercial director and Steve Ennew, technical sales director, MPL.

The RMGT investment tops off a £1.3 million capital investment programme over the last 18 months at Vale Press, following upgrades to improve bottlenecks in both prepress and finishing during 2023. Vale Press recently installed a Moll Folder Gluer, with plans for further investments as opportunities arise in the coming months and years.


Tom continued, ‘Vale Press remains confident in the bright future of litho print. Our mantra of quality over quantity has stood us in good stead over the last few years. We will continue to investigate further technological advancements as they become available and see how they can enhance our production mix, to carry us through the next 40 years.’


Commenting on behalf of MPL, authorised distributor for RMGT presses in the UK and Ireland, Mark Stribley, joint managing director, said: ‘It was a delight to get to know the team at Vale Press. They have sifted through their options with a variety of technologies and suppliers, and arrived at the most effective, productive, and profitable solution to keep the business moving forward. Profitability means producing work cost effectively. RMGT presses provide printers with an ultra reliable litho press that offer the most effective cost per page.’


 Left to right: Oliver Stowe, director; Tom Stowe, managing director; Edward Stowe, commercial director.



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