The London-based marcom and transactional specialist is in the final stages of installing its second Ricoh Pro VC60000 as part of a £5m strategic spend to target growth in direct marketing and transpromo markets.
Since this time, the business has successfully installed and gone live with its first Ricoh Pro VC60000 continuous inkjet digital press and two CMC 400 evolution finishing and enclosing systems in Warrington.
A spokesman for Ricoh confirmed that MBA will be the first company in the world to have three of the machines.
The strategic investment is intended to boost growth in the direct marketing and transpromo markets, in which MBA has already seen success since the first machine was installed, picking up a number of high-profile clients.
“It’s been a lot of hard work but it is – quite literally – a shining example of what can be achieved when everyone works together towards a greater goal. The team is energised about the bright future at MBA and are using their continuous improvement mindset to deliver on an ongoing basis for our clients”, said MBA Group operations director Mark Cunningham.
“While the benefits of investing in the VC60000s are clear, our production teams took this opportunity to take a fresh look at all areas of the production environment. This has resulted in the wider implementation of 5S principles, clearer production routes that flow jobs and materials efficiently between each stage of the value stream, increased visibility of work in progress and job tracking."
First shown in September 2014, the four-colour inkjet press has a web width of 520mm and can handle substrates from 40-250gsm, including coated offset stocks as well as uncoated when used with Ricoh’s undercoat and protector coat units.
It can produce 50m/min at its maximum 1,200dpi resolution, but has a has a top speed of 120m/min at 600dpi or 100,000 A4 duplex images per hour.
The new machine has been installed with a variety of new and upgraded pre and post production lines. This inline kit has been sourced for two primary functions, to continue providing clients with flexible print and finishing solutions, and to match the optimum throughput of the new digital inkjet presses.
In particular, the new lines feature an upgraded cutter-stacker to manage the increased speed and volume of sheeted output, and a dynamic perforator to achieve a wide-variety of perforation needs, giving MBA the ability to move from reel-to-reel to reel-to-cutsheet in one operation.
"We are not a large online commodity printer. So this technology means we have the output capability to provide personalised communications, which gives us the quality to reflect the brands we provide for,” added Cunningham.
Cunningham also commented that having three machines across the two sites means it will be able to switch production between sites to balance output and also give disaster recovery options.
All three of MBA’s machines are configured with Ricoh’s pre-coat flood coater and post-coat unit, which protects image areas, and Hunkeler rewind, unwind and dynamic perfing units.
The second two machines were initially due for installation last September but roll-out was pushed back to enable time to refurbish the Tottenham facility and create a purpose-built, dust-free environment for the machines.
MBA will take delivery of its third and final Ricoh Pro VC60000 in March this year and looks forward to helping its clients to transform their printed communications via the great capacity of VC60000 digital inkjet output.
"Despite some recent doom and gloom within the print industry and wider markets, we are highly optimistic about the future of print and mail. Even with the plethora of different channels available to our clients today, we recognise the important role that print and mail still plays in the communications landscape."
"Where volumes may have declined in some markets, its use in other markets is arguably on the rise – it’s all about the right use of print and mail as part of the customer lifecycle – where it can be most effective for improving the brand experience, building rapport with customers and influencing their decision making; not just by communicating with highly personalised communications, but by communicating through a channel that your customers know, love and trust.”
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