Healeys will install two new Polar guillotines from Heidelberg to refresh the cutting capabilities of its litho department as its digital wing continues to grow.
The Ipswich commercial print outfit invested more than £100,000 in the two machines, an N115 Plus and a N92 Plus, which are set to arrive in March. The pair will replace a Schneider Senator and an older Polar model respectively and process work from Healeys’ litho department, which is spearheaded by a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75.
Investment in the Polars follows on from the purchase of a new Autobond laminator for around £80,000 in November, as well as a Polar D66 Plus guillotine earlier in 2018, which will both service the firm’s digital wing, which has grown to constitute 35% of Healeys’ output.
Managing director Philip Dodd said: “Litho had a very strong showing for us in the latter part of the year, but with bindery coming at the end of the production cycle it was often stretched due to the growth in our sales. Our older guillotines did not give us the throughput we wanted.
“We have two guillotine operators now and they have grown to be huge Polar fans, so we sent them to take a look at the newest machines. They came back saying that these are the best ones out there – and you only have to buy the best once.
“It can only improve our productivity and it all comes down to providing a better service to our clients. This gives us more confidence to go to customers and show what we can do.”
The Polar N series guillotines come with a touchscreen monitor and graphic operator guidance, running with Optiknife to ensure safety and longevity. The N115 Plus has a cutting width and feeding depth up to 1.15m, while N92 Plus takes both at 920mm. Both machines cut with a knife speed of 45 cycles/min.
Coming to the end of a period of investment, Healeys is now enjoying significant growth with the addition of two new members of staff bringing its headcount to 40 people and a 15% boost in turnover across 2018 to reach £4.1m. Digital is expected to grow to take an even greater share of turnover in the coming year.
According to Dodd, a target of £5m is “perfectly feasible” on the resources his company currently works from. With no investment plans inked in, he said he will be sending a team to Drupa 2020, Düsseldorf in order to scope out the future direction of the print market.