Alltrade Printers has invested in “the right press with the right quality” after becoming the first company to buy a Ricoh digital printer through Heidelberg UK.
The Birmingham-based company has taken delivery of a Ricoh Pro C901 graphic arts edition press to complement its brace of five-colour Heidelberg Speedmasters.
Dilu Mukadam, Finance Director at Alltrade Printers, said: “We need to be able to sell digital confidently alongside our two Speedmasters.
“Digital will never replace litho but digital quality has improved and people outside the trade would find it difficult to recognise the difference between the printed results.”
The company will use the new digital printer to handle runs up to 2,000 in both mono and colour operation. And although the business has no plans to move a litho operator into dedicated digital production, it expects to retrain a member of its repro department.
Alltrade Printers carries out a range of work that includes calendars, brochures, catalogues and folders from its 2,788sqm Heartlands facility.
Mukadam added: “We welcomed news that Heidelberg was entering this market because it has been a trusted and reliable partner for many years and it understands the commercial printing market and our specific needs.
“Heidelberg will ensure that the Creo front end is fingerprinted so that the output from the Ricoh Pro C901 graphic arts edition matches our exacting colour standards.”
Heidelberg named Ricoh as its digital partner in February. The deal, which includes service and support, is being rolled out in Germany and the UK, with a global agreement due to be in place for Drupa 2012.
Chris Matthews, digital equipment business manager at Heidelberg UK, said: “We are delighted that Alltrade Printers, a long term partner of Heidelberg, is our first customer for the Ricoh product.
“Heidelberg is well positioned to help commercial printers bed in digital printing equipment alongside their litho presses and to offer the support to ensure that colour and workflow integrations work well.”