The new round of investment at Bishops Printers signals growing confidence, despite a challenging market, says the company.
“Above all, this investment is about responding to what is important to our clients”, notes Roberts. “We’ve found ourselves under increasing pressure to expand capacity during peak periods, and investing in the speed and efficiency of our equipment is one way we aim to address this.”
It’s also about making decisions at the right time, according to the Bishops MD, so that they’re able to remain competitive and responsive to market conditions, he added: “We’ve taken the time to assess the mix of work that we’re winning, and where the opportunities lie, and for us it isn’t in diversification”.
With demand for shorter print runs and reduced pagination, Bishops say they are strengthening their digital printing capability by replacing a B3 HP Indigo 7800 with a B2 HP Indigo 100K. Capable of printing 6,000 sheets an hour while delivering print quality that looks and feels like offset, it means Bishops will have two B2 Indigos by the end of October.
Complementing this £1 million investment, will be a new Horizon BQ-500 iCE perfect binding machine, supplied by UK based Intelligent Finishing Systems Ltd, added Bishops. Costing around £250K, with its fast changeovers the Horizon is particularly suitable for smaller run lengths and will enable Bishops to run their 16-station Kolbus perfect binder more efficiently, while targeting the short run perfect bound market more aggressively, continued the company.
“Bishops remains first and foremost a litho printer”, says Roberts, “and will continue to be for the foreseeable future”. To that end, Bishops say they have ordered a new XL 10-colour from Heidelberg. A replacement press for their oldest 10-colour, their Heidelberg press hall houses considerable capacity with four 10-colour XL75s, two 8-colour XL75s (all with AutoPlate Change and Inpress Control), and a 5-colour SX74.
Speaking about their long-term relationship, Heidelberg UK Managing Director, Ryan Miles, commented: “Heidelberg is proud to supply Bishops Printers with innovative and leading equipment and solutions. Bishops have always been at the forefront of technology, and through this latest investment they retain that advantage. Their drive for high quality, efficient and optimised production enables them to realise the true potential of their investments.”
While Roberts is acutely aware of industry news that has been dominated by fears of contractions, downturn, and business failures, he recently reminded Bishops’ 180 staff that the company is a good business, he added: “We price fairly, we produce work we can be proud of, and we pay our people and suppliers on time. We should be confident about our future without being reckless, which is why I remain cautiously optimistic.”
Bishops says this latest round of investment might not be the last this year as they are exploring options to add to, as well as replace, existing folding equipment to improve efficiency and turnaround times.
The Portsmouth based company has always seen ongoing capital investment as key to their success, and Roberts says he is quick to recognise the part that his staff’s hard work has played in creating the environment where they have the option to make these choices.You can find out more about Bishops Printers in our Publishing Services Directory.
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