Printing firm pressing on with its digital revolution
THE move to all-digital printing presses is driving increased productivity for an east Hull label and packaging specialist.
Springfield Solutions Ltd in Thomas Street has invested £750,000 in transforming its systems from a mixture of analogue and digital to an entirely digital operation.
The changeover is due to be completed early this year, with the delivery of a computer-controlled finishing system, currently on order from Bridlington firm AB Graphics.
Chairman Albert Dass said the decision to go all-digital was driven by the consistency of the print quality, increased productivity of the presses and "an ability to offer customers an improved solution to their packaging needs".
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When completed, the move will make Springfield Solutions one of the largest all-digital Hewlett Packard industrial printers in the UK.
Mr Dass said: "The decision to turn off our last analogue machine this year marks the end of a process that, in reality, we have been working on for years.
"We started our print operations in 1998 and were among the earlier adopters of digital, acquiring our first press about 14 years ago.
"We always tried to be at the forefront of the digital printing revolution.
"But we decided recently that we needed to make a complete transformation to ensure we maintained our leadership position in the sector and as a reaction to the bewilderingly fast rate of innovation from technology providers."
Unlike analogue, digital printers don't need to be recalibrated for each job, making them more efficient and producing significantly shorter customer lead times.
The digital finishing system will work alongside Springfield's existing three digital printers, which are under the control of a sophisticated Management Information System (MIS) installed earlier this year.
Operations director Dennis Ebeltoft said: "With analogue printing, companies would have to hold a lot of stock on their premises because getting labels and packaging reprinted quickly was difficult – the job would be put in a queue because the printers had to be reset for every new job.
"With digital, all the graphics are stored on the MIS, which means to get material reprinted all we have to do is recall the graphics and set the press going. It is far, far quicker.
"It means companies with large print demands no longer have to buy in and hold a lot of stock all in one go.
"Instead they can order it as they need it and that helps to bring significant efficiencies into their businesses."