Kingfisher turns jobs faster with Fujifilm's Jet Press 720S
Ahead of its appearance at FESPA 2017, Fujifilm has received a glowing endorsement from a UK customer that invested in its Jet Press 720S.
Commercial printer Kingfisher Press has bought a Fujifilm Jet Press 720S, the third company to take one of the B2 inkjets in the UK. The device will be installed on 24 February at the UK's Suffolk premises. It is an addition to the 21-staff outfit’s existing fleet and will mainly be employed for short-run work.
“We’ve been looking closely at the advances in digital printing technology for some time,” says Kingfisher managing director Jon Doidge
“But until now we hadn’t seen a platform that we felt offered quality at a level that justified the cost of investment. That’s all changed with the Jet Press 720S, which we think is about to blow away its closest competitors.”
The Jet Press 720S was launched in late 2014 but until recently had seen slow uptake in the UK. "Earlier last year, when we were looking at all of our options, we decided that we had three choices as to how to proceed."
"We could buy nothing and continue as we were, running the risk that our competitors would start to leave us behind; we could invest in a new litho press, which would offer us a slight improvement in speed and quality; or we could invest in a Jet Press 720S and open up a whole new revenue stream. When we looked at it like that, it wasn’t a difficult decision.”” said Doidge.
“We have multiple small accounts who currently don’t even ask us to quote on much of their short run work,” Doidge adds. “Until now we just haven’t had the capability to compete for short run, high quality work – and given current trends this sort of work is going to become an increasingly large part of the overall marketplace."
"Run lengths will keep coming down as people don’t want their money tied up in stock and they like the flexibility of being able to make modifications and amends between runs. Then there’s the benefit of personalisation – another major string to our bow that the Jet Press will provide."
"It’s not just an extra piece of kit, it’s a gateway to a whole new revenue stream for us, both with existing customers and new ones. We’ll send a lot of our short-run litho work there – freeing up space to do more, longer runs on those presses – and at the same time we’ll be able to pitch for new customers we couldn’t have approached in the past."
The B2 inkjet Jet Press prints at 2,700sph simplex at a resolution of up to 1,200dpi using Fujifilm Dimatix Samba printheads. It handles sheet sizes ranging from 545x394mm to 750x532mm.
It prints on standard litho papers thanks to an inline coating that reacts with the ink. Fuji claims the quality is better than litho or any other “paper-based digital process”.
Doidge: "The quality is, I dare say it, better than litho"
The Jet Press 720S is a second-generation version of the 720, first announced in 2008. There are many improvements but the headline items include full-speed variable data printing (VDP) with barcode-based data integrity; and advanced closed-loop “intelligent” quality checking and automation that’s programmed for maximum uptime. This helps to mitigate the rather modest press speed.
Fujifilm announced at its open house in September 2016 that of the 80 Jet Press 720S models installed worldwide so far, the majority have been in Japan, with around 20 in Europe.
“Its main selling points are the short run lengths and extremely high quality. The quality is, dare I say it, better than litho,” added Doidge.
Kingfisher’s Jet Press purchase was followed by extensive building work at its premises in order to accommodate the new machine. It also runs a Speedmaster XL 75, a Xerox DocuColor 8080, a wide-format Jetrix 3015 and a Mimaki CJV130. It has a wide client base, carrying out a variety of commercial work, with its biggest client accounting for around 8% of its sales, which sit just under £3m.
“Fujifilm has been fantastic through the whole process,” says Kingfisher managing director Paul Tomlin. “We’ve been customers of theirs for 15 years now with XMF workflow and CTP systems and their service has always been excellent. We’re delighted that we’re now inkjet partners of theirs as well.”
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