Esko is pleased to announce that Speedscreen’s £1m investment program included the addition of a fully-featured super-wide Kongsberg C digital finishing system. Specialized in posters, POP displays, POS and signage, Speedscreen is one of UK’s leading large format printers with a £2.2m annual turnover. The company is no stranger to adopting cutting-edge technology. As an example, it was the first in Europe to install the Durst Rho 1012 large format printer. And it was now again among the first to acquire an Esko Kongsberg C64.
“We have experienced year-on-year growth of over 30% during the last 12 months, and we are striving to equal that this year with the help of the Esko Kongsberg C64,” comments Tim Hill, Speedscreen Managing Director. “Esko’s solutions are a key component of our growth strategy. They allow us to be faster, more responsive, have tighter controls over margins and offer a more creative service. It future-proofs our business.” A video and more details on how Speedscreen is putting its Esko Kongsberg C table at work to increased finishing capacity and quality can be viewed on the company’s website: www.speedscreen.net/services/kongsberg/.
Speedscreen first introduced the Esko Kongsberg technology into its production platform six years ago with a Kongsberg i-XL44. Following its investment in the Durst large format printer, the firm required a larger finishing solution to keep up with production output and turned to Esko, its trusted long-time partner, for a solution.
“The fact is that not long ago, customers didn’t care what equipment you had. Now they are paying attention and they see that you are investing in the ability to serve them better,” says Hill. “With our recent investments, we have systems in place that take advantage of the very latest in technology. We are second to none in the UK in that regard. And we have new customers coming to us because of the solutions we have. In addition to helping win new business, these investments also make our relationships with existing customers much stronger.”
Speedscreen’s investment also included Esko ArtiosCAD structural packaging design software and i-cut Suite preflighting and workflow solution for large format printing. “These software solutions help us smooth out workflow and save time in design. In addition, we can better plan job ganging and nesting for the most economical material use. We will also be able to further develop the design side of the business with activities such as creating outers,” states Hill.
True 3.2m wide format capability
The Kongsberg C64 works with 3.210 mm by 3.200 mm long materials, making it the perfect fit for large format printers, and also for Speedscreen this was an important investment criteria. “The Durst printer massively increased our throughput, and it quickly became evident that our bottleneck would be finishing,” explains Hill. “We looked at a number of options. The Esko Kongsberg C64 was the only table with a full 3.2m work space; the others we considered offered two separate work spaces but were not able to handle a full 3.2m x 3.2m sheet. The Kongsberg is also engineered for heavy-duty performance and includes a powerful 3kw router. All around it was a much better proposition than we found with other solutions in the marketplace. And we were also very comfortable staying with an Esko solution based on our past experience.”
“Digital runs are getting longer and we needed a digital finishing solution that could manage those longer runs, allowing us to complete them in-house instead of subcontracting the work out. The Kongsberg C64 fits the bill perfectly,” continues Hill. “The installation made an immediate impact. A job we did on a Zünd table took us 32 minutes per sheet but only 12 minutes on the Kongsberg. That type of performance speaks for itself. We can process work faster and retain better margins because of the speed and the fact that we can keep more work in house. This makes us more competitive.”
The Esko Kongsberg C64 also offers another operational gain when processing rolls of substrates, Hill says: “We can roll media straight from the table so there is no need to remove it from the core. The result is much smoother throughput which increases productivity. We can even run two rolls side by side, giving us maximum productivity every day.” He explains a key attraction was the variety of applications and substrates the Esko Kongsberg C64 can handle, ensuring Speedscreen can deliver a broad product offering. This includes knife and kiss cutting paper, card, display board, plastics, polyprop, foamex and self-adhesive PVC with extreme accuracy, as well as handling Kappa, thick corrugated and foam boards, Perspex and ACM (Dibond) up to 20 mm thick. Mr. Hill adds that the Kongsberg also creases very accurate traces, while Esko’s i-cut technology ensures accurate registration.
As for the anticipated return on investment, Mr. Hill concludes, “At 50%, the residuals on the old table were very impressive. We see no reason why the new table won’t offer the same ROI.”