The West Yorkshire based printer purchased the new press to replace one of its 16pp Rotoman web presses and so meet the changing needs of its publishing clients. This forms part of a £6m spend that also includes additional warehousing, factory layout improvements and two platemaking lines from Agfa.
Managing Director Mark Roberts praised the support the project had received from manroland saying that they had fought hard for the business and responded perfectly to the brief, showing a good understanding of where Acorn operates in the market: “It was of great importance to the simplicity of our offering that this was a double circumference press, meaning we could continue to use the same standard 870mm reels as our 16pp presses. The machine will give us a significant uplift in productivity, flexibility and quality. Most importantly, it is very efficient on shorter run magazines and switching from job to job which is key for our portfolio of titles.”
“We are excited to see the arrival of the new 32pp Lithoman in late January and plan for it to be up and running from May.”
The Lithoman with four printing units and an automatically adjustable folder will be equipped with a high automation package. It contains inline control systems for cut-off, colour and ink density. This guarantees shortest make-ready and changeover times with the lowest waste. The ‘QuickStart’ and ‘QuickStop’ features are particularly important for frequent job changes, says Acorn.
“We are proud of the futureproof concept we have developed together with our long-term partner Acorn Web. We are looking forward to supporting this extraordinary printer for another twenty years at least,” says Dietmar Dotterweich, Deputy Vice President of Sales at manroland Goss web systems.
John Ellis, Managing Director of Manroland Web Systems (UK) adds: “We have an excellent relationship with Acorn Web and we are delighted that they have chosen us once again as their partner for this next exciting phase of their development.”
Acorn Sales Director Matt Carry said: “We work with some fantastic, intelligent publishers who have been really supportive throughout the research and purchase of the press. They’ve wanted to see us make this happen because the low-cost sustainable magazine print we provide is important to them.”
“Our publishers love what we do and the way that we do it, but for some, it has been a frustrating couple of years because we just haven’t had the capacity to take on some of their additional titles. We have had to say ‘no’ to contracts on offer and remain disciplined because we pride ourselves on not letting people down.”
“Going forward, we will have much more capacity and already have some great opportunities lined up. The growth potential is exciting, but we are equally excited by the technology and efficiencies this press brings. Like everyone, we are facing upward cost pressures and this will help us keep our production costs sharp for our publishers, many of whom tell us of their own revenue challenges as readers increasingly seek free content. We know some are struggling to monetise their digital content and deal with print circulation declines, so they need stability from us whilst they deal with that.”
Acorn employs 119 staff at its factory in Normanton and works with over 90 publishers producing over 240 periodical magazines. In the year ending 30th September 2018, it posted sales of £18.5m, says the company.