Ashford Colour Press offers excellent quality, fast turnaround printing and related services for books, magazines, journals, brochures and all bound publications. They serve a variety of UK and international clients ranging from major educational and academic publishers, to small independent publishers and first time self-publishers.
In 2016, they became the first UK book printer to install in a Domino K630i, the high speed, compact, single-engine, duplex inkjet press, after looking for a cost effective, digital solution for their monochrome print requirements.
For over 30 years, Gosport based Ashford Colour Press, has been providing print and publishing solutions to their global clients helping them to manage costs and optimise stock levels whilst at the same time reducing print inventories and warehouse space.
Using the latest technology in litho and digital printing, their end-to-end services include in-house book binding and print finishing, plus distribution and storage. To meet the needs of publishers in a fast changing world, Ashford invested in digital printing technologies enabling them to successfully meet their clients’ needs for print-on-demand, whether they are producing novels, textbooks, training manuals or periodicals.
With 132 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £13 million, in 2016, they became the first UK book printer to invest in a Domino K630i, the high speed, compact, single-engine,duplex inkjet press, which reduces the required production floor space by at least 50% compared to twin engine devices.
Ashford originally operated as a ‘traditional’ bookprinters, with litho presses that printed black andwhite text, as well as their four colour work.
"The more I looked at the Domino K630i, the more impressed I got. It was strong in every area – quality of output, running speed, ease of operation, even down to its compact small footprint.”Allan Gray, Production Director at Ashford
As run lengths became shorter, this business model became no longer viable, due to the labour and costs of material required for lithoprinting. So, to respond to these changing market conditions and meet their clients’ evolving requirements, Ashford required a digital solution.
They initially invested in two HPT230 colour inkjet web presses to cope with the short run workload, which now in 2016 represented about 60% of their turnover. This meant publishers could benefit from cost effective print runs from 50 to 2000 copies, with unit costs comparable to rates previously only achievable through longer run litho production.
Allan Gray, Production Director, at Ashford predicts that digital will continue to increase and explains how he needed a monochrome digital solution to sit alongside his existing HP colour inkjet presses. “Around a third of our digital print volume is monochrome, so we were looking to acquire a system that would allow us to print this work more cost effectively. The more I looked at the Domino K630i, the more impressed I got,” he says. “It was strong in every area – quality of output, running speed, ease of operation, even down to its compact small footprint. These benefits made the selection of the Domino K630i an easy decision. We opted for a 150m/min, 558mm print width, duplex, waterbased system to handle our monochrome production requirements.”
Jaime Layton, Production Manager, continues “The installation and training on the K630i was very smooth - at the end of the fourth day, we werein full production. Throughout the entire install,the quality has always been, and is just very, very, very good. We generally run the press at 120m/min and that’s inline with finished book blocks out the end. Within weeks, we were running six days a week and we’re looking to expand this to work 24/7.”