Platinum Print has become the first UK company to install an HP Indigo 12000 digital press with 15K Value Pack, as it looks to expand its digital capabilities to broaden its customer offering and take on new types of work.
The Harrogate, Yorkshire-based family-run company took delivery of the seven-colour B2 machine in January and training has been completed on its site in the months since.
Platinum Print managing director David Wyvill told Printweek that while the business has operated HP wide-format kit in the past, this is its first Indigo. It chose the machine after reviewing alternatives from a wide range of other digital vendors.
“Due to the Covid situation last year, we did some pretty large mailings for various local councils that are related to Covid,” said Wyvill.
“But on the whole it was very quiet because the vast majority of the work that we do is for marketers and there was very little marketing going on. We also do exhibition work on the large-format side which has obviously been quiet.
“But certainly since the beginning of the new year it’s been much busier, we’re probably back up to about 75%-80% turnover now, where we were down at about 40%. What the Indigo is doing, and this is coming across very loud and clear, is that it is a very, very efficient machine, so we’re getting through the work so much quicker than either our existing litho or digital machines would do.”
Wyvill said the additional software offerings from HP Indigo, such as PrintOS, will also “become a pivotal part of the transition to a digital print set-up at Platinum, and will enable us to become more automated and hands-on when we need to”.
Platinum Print said it also valued the carbon neutral manufacturing of the HP machine, as well as its reduced production waste and energy efficiency, all of which enable the business to meet its own sustainability goals without compromising speed or quality.
According to HP, the 15K Value Pack upgrades the capabilities of the 12000 “to offer a boost to productivity and profitability with AI-driven efficiency, and high-value, multi-substrate short-run production”.
Wyvill said the increase in substrate weight that the 15K upgrade enables the press to handle will allow Platinum Print to target new packaging applications.
The company will move the “vast majority” of the work it currently produces on its three existing Ricoh digital printers over to the Indigo 12000, though it will still use these machines to produce small-format A4 and A3 jobs for its hybrid mailing department.
A “small amount of work” from its two existing B2 Komori presses will also be moved over to the Indigo.
The new press has been installed at a 465sqm unit which is adjacent to Platinum Print’s main 2,323sqm premises. Both owned by the company, it had been leasing the smaller unit until last summer when its tenant moved out.
“The tenant leaving didn’t come at the right time, due to Covid, but we’ve always known that we needed that extra space. While we had a tenant, we didn’t want to get rid of them, but when they left we made the decision that we wouldn’t re-let it and that we would use it for our own expansion,” said Wyvill.
The company has invested around £1m overall on the Indigo and refurbishing its new unit.
A raft of digital finishing equipment including a bookletmaker, a folder, a laminator and a guillotine have also been moved into the same unit to run alongside the Indigo.
In its main premises the business also runs an Agfa Jeti Tauro H2500 LED printer, which it installed just over a year ago, an Océ Arizona flatbed, a wide array of other finishing kit and specialist mailing equipment including inserting machines and inkjet printers.
With 38 staff, the company’s pre-Covid turnover was £5m and it is currently back up to nearly £4m. It serves a wide range of clients, including the NHS and brands such as Haribo, Cloud Nine, Seabrook crisps and Slingsby’s Gin.