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December 2022


TWO YEARS ON: Heronswood Press went “2 for 1” Printer as an RMGT 924-LED replaced two SRA2 presses

Tunbridge Wells-based Heronswood Press announced in July 2020 the details of its purchase of an RMGT 924-LED press to replace its two existing SRA2+ format presses.

So, two years on from the installation of this “pre-owned” press, how have things been? “Obviously it’s been a tough two years for everybody, but we are now back to the level of work that we were pre-Covid, but just running the one press,” states Nigel Room, managing director of Heronswood Press.

“It goes without saying that running one press is cheaper than two – not only from the staffing level, but also our power consumption has more than halved. We are now producing work quickly and in a cleaner environment – no spray powder makes for a much cleaner and tidier workplace, and I’m sure a healthier one for our staff. As an added bonus, work runs through our post-press equipment without the issues that the spray powder could cause.

“The LED curing element of the press is the biggest plus. Work runs through the press and the ink is cured by the LED unit, meaning that, for perfected work, we can just turn the stock and run it straight back through the machine – we no longer have pallets of work on the shopfloor waiting to dry. Simplex work can, of course, go straight in to finishing.

“One added benefit of the LED inks is that we don’t have to wash the machine up at the end of a shift – the inks can just stay in the ducts overnight, and we are ready to go again the following morning, no waiting. It’s not only a great time saver, it’s also better for the ink-train – the chemicals used do have a corrosive effect on the rollers over time, hence they need replacing much sooner as a result. That all adds up to happier operators – washing up is a hard and smelly job at the end of the shift – as well as the cost savings.”

Commenting on the format of the press, Nigel Room, managing director of Heronswood Press, said: “The A1 format allows us to print eight A4 pages to view, meaning that we can print twice as much work that we could on the B2 format.

“Add to that the reputation of ultra-reliability for RMGT – we spoke to users who have had zero downtime due to machine failure in two years, and we can add ourselves to that list now! Two years breakdown free – and that is with a “pre-owned” machine too.

“Reliability is one thing that printers can often fail to appreciate with an RMGT press – when a machine doesn’t fail, they don’t recognise the fact. The reality is that you can trust the RMGT press to perform, rather than simply hoping that you can avoid breakdowns, and the loss of production, and cost, associated with that.

“If the press is reliable that means that we don’t let our customers down. It also means, of course, that we can enjoy tremendous savings on our fixed costs by running one single offset machine for our larger format litho work – something that every printer is surely desperately seeking. It really has been a great investment for our business.” The LED-UV drying system also means that the company can compete on a level playing field with the turnaround times of digital.

The Verdict

“The unusual sheet size, the high print quality, the reliability, and space requirements of the machine – it takes up no more room than one of our outgoing SRA2 presses – all made this a straightforward choice. We now have space to consider expanding other areas of our business.”

Heronswood, which has had an annual turnover of £1.2m and employs eight staff, uses the press to print general commercial work. The company has recently also added PUR binding to its extensive range of in-house finishing options.

About Heronswood Press

Tunbridge Wells printer Heronswood Press is a family-owned and managed company that has operated successfully now for over three decades.

Multi award winning Lowest Cost of Ownership programmes

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