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Anglia is More Green, More Lean with Waterless Presstek DI

30 Oct 2010 3:22 PM | Keiji Obata (Administrator)

Anglia Print Service in Beccles, Suffolk has strengthened its position as one of the ‘greenest’ printers in the UK with the installation of a Presstek 34DI press. In the last four months the company has become more competitive and enjoyed significant savings on consumables, electricity, and paper wastage.

“Five years ago, when I joined my father, Fred, who set up the company in 1978, I realized that we had to do something to differentiate ourselves,” said John Popely, who had worked for many years with some of the biggest names in the print industry.

“There are six printers in a town with a population of 20,000 people and they were all offering the same service, so price was the big selling point. There was little loyalty as customers went from one company to another to find the best price. We were no different in trying to keep our operating costs as low as possible. We bought the lowest price consumables, the cheapest electricity and, apart from adhering to the hazardous waste regulations, there was no recycling at all. All our waste went into landfill sites,” he recalled. Now we have a 100 percent recycling record, including kitchen waste.

“I’ve always felt strongly about environmental issues and so I set about making Anglia Print Services as ‘green’ as I possibly could,” he continued. “As a first step, we changed to ‘green’ energy and then we introduced vegetable-based inks and removed all chemistry that was alcohol or solvent based and we are now a climate neutral company. We also focused on paper with recycled content, which is good quality. We now buy so much of it; it’s cheaper to buy than conventional paper. We also set up a free recycling service for computer media and up until May this year, we collected 8 tons of CDs and DVDs, which would otherwise have gone into landfill. John first saw the Presstek DI presses about three years ago. “At that time, I looked at all the manufacturers on the market. I was interested in Presstek’s chemistry free process because it fitted in with our philosophy. Although the cost of acquiring a four-color press was prohibitive at that stage of our company’s development, I continued to follow the market and watch the developments in this technology. This year, as we were struggling to keep up with the demand for four color work, we did fleetingly look at the possibility of buying a four color litho press. We quickly dismissed the idea as we realized that a Presstek DI press with all its automation, together with Presstek’s comprehensive training would meet our needs. ”

Leaner and more efficient

The DI press replaced eight machines in total, including two presses and a variety of prepress equipment. “It’s reduced our energy consumption by 40 percent and has given us more space in the press room. Added to this, the machine itself has a small footprint,” John pointed out.

“We were pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy it is to use compared with all the processes that we had to go through conventionally. On average it takes 15 minutes from RIPping a job to passing a sheet on press, whereas it used to take two hours. Now if it is very urgent, we can provide a same day delivery, otherwise we offer a standard 5 day turn around. When we take into account all the consumables and the different substrates we were using, we have reduced consumption by 40 percent. We have also reduced paper wastage by 30 percent because the DI comes up to color so much more quickly.”

When it was delivered, it was supplied with mineral based ink but, at John’s request, Presstek sourced vegetable based waterless ink. As well as being environmentally friendly, waterless inks dry very quickly. Anglia used to leave a job to dry a day sometimes two before they backed it up but now they can do it within hours.

Up to the challenge

Everything, except for very short run color jobs up to 250 copies, is printed on the DI press including magazines which the company publishes. “We had one particularly tricky job, which was a brochure on 350gsm recycled silk stock with a four color process throughout and a heavy solid black background. We would have struggled to do this ourselves conventionally and as any commercial printer with a four color press, would have had to put it through twice to achieve the intensity of the solid black background,” John explained. “My heart sank when I saw it because I was convinced that we weren’t going to be able to do it on the DI either, particularly as we are still on a learning curve. Imagine our delight when we were able to do it in only 15 sheets. We are definitely going to put this job in for an award. Even Presstek was impressed with our results.”

John anticipates that the company will double its sales on the back of the DI press. “We are only just starting to market ourselves with the DI, but have always operated an open house policy and invite anyone in to see what we do. We’ve already won local and national government work and been complimented on our environmental credentials. Our quality is excellent and we are much more competitive than we were, by a factor of 20 percent. I only wish I had two of them.”

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