Fujifilm’s Superia portfolio to reduce waste and increase profitability at ‘Virgin Fast Track 100’-ranked web-to-print specialist
Fujifilm announces today that Route One Print, the web-to-print trade arm of Bluetree Design and Print in Rotherham, has invested in its Superia pre-press solution for offset printing – a portfolio of products designed to help offset printers reduce waste and boost profitability. The investment includes Brillia HD LH-PJE plates, XMF workflow, a low chemistry FLH-Z plate processor and an XR unit.
“We’re a forward-thinking, technology driven company,” says Route One Print’s Brand Manager Jack Wilmott. “We recently established Route One Print as the trade printing division of our group as we saw an opportunity in the market to offer other printers and print resellers highly cost-effective print that never compromised on quality. However, given the margins in the trade printing sector, we needed to ensure our operation was also running as efficiently as possible to maximise the profitability of this new web-to-print venture. That’s why we turned to the team at Fujifilm. We hadn’t worked with them before, but in our initial discussions they outlined the benefits of the Superia range and promised these would deliver what we needed to maximise productivity and minimise waste. Just a few months on, the Superia solutions have very much lived up to that early promise. Fujifilm’s service and support has also been outstanding right through the process, from them helping us to design the CTP room, to providing extended engineer support.”
Route One Print’s parent company, Bluetree Design and Print Ltd, has been serving customers across the UK for over twenty years. Shortly after merging with Newcastle-based online print company Instantprint in 2012, it launched Route One Print, which in December 2015 made The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 list after seeing revenue soar fourfold from £3.5m to £14m over 3 years.
Following a substantial investment which has seen Route One Print move to new premises and install a range of new equipment, the company anticipates turnover will reach £30m in the next financial year, with current growth averaging 37% a quarter. It produces a wide range of print, from flyers and folded leaflets, to business cards and booklets, as well as an expanding range of banners, POS and pop-ups. These products are produced for other printers, as well as a range of print resellers, from design professionals and agencies, to high street print and copy shops.
“Over the past few years we have seen a growing demand for fast turnaround work,” Wilmott continues. “Whereas customers used to work to three day turnarounds, and longer in some cases, the emergence of web-to-print and general increased efficiencies across all online businesses has meant that customers now expect their orders to arrive faster. With this in mind, the big focus for us has been to streamline our processes as much as possible to meet these expectations. From a production point of view, the new presses we installed in the summer of 2015 greatly expanded our capacity, but we were soon in a position where our presses were printing faster than our pre-press was able to output plates. It was this that led us to approach Fujifilm and explore its Superia pre-press solution.
“We have also recently launched a 24 hour turnaround on web-to-print jobs, so it’s vital that each department hits their deadlines to ensure the customer gets their job on time. Currently 99.6% of our jobs are dispatched on time, and we are keen to maintain that success rate as we continue to grow. Fujifilm’s Superia solution is playing an important role in this ongoing success.”
Fujifilm Superia pulls together the power of Fujifilm’s extensive offset product portfolio, incorporating its XMF workflow, CTP systems, plates and pressroom chemistry, to provide a mechanism for offset printers to minimise resources, and maximise their efficiency and profitability in five core areas:
i) Materials savings: Paper and ink are by far the most significant consumable costs in offset printing. Superia can help to minimise or reduce the waste associated with these key materials, and so can represent an opportunity to reduce costs. Other materials can also be minimised, including pre-press chemistry and pressroom consumables.
ii) Labour savings: By focusing on the end-to-end process, it is possible to reduce the time taken for certain processes with Superia. Time that is saved can be assigned to other tasks, and shorter processes help enable quicker turnaround times and increase the capacity to handle more jobs, optimise labour resources and minimise costs.
iii) Energy savings: There are many ways to reduce energy consumption in the pre-press process, and Superia provides an opportunity to miminise energy usage by, for example, the adoption of Fujifilm’s processless plates.
iv) Environmental savings: Environmental savings go hand in hand with running an efficient business. With Superia, there are opportunities to minimise the discharge of chemical waste and exhaust gases, for instance, which not only helps protect the environment, but can also indirectly reduce costs.
v) Water savings: Water charges vary depending on the country, but Fujifilm’s Superia solution presents opportunities to reduce water usage, lower costs and reduce associated drainage processing costs.
At Route One Print, the benefits across all five areas are already evident. Wilmott explains: “First of all, we are using noticeably fewer materials, which is beneficial to the environment as well as improving our profitability. Secondly, the consistency with which the plates are being developed has reduced wastage and the time it takes to get jobs on press. And finally, the XR unit recycles the water it uses, so we estimate that chemical waste is now a mere 20 per cent of what it was previously! All this has meant we are now targeting an output of 80 plates per hour which is a significant increase on our previous output. The new plates also perform much better on the press itself, so overall the investment has made a significant difference.”
Not a company to be complacent about its early success, Route One Print has a clear plan of where it is heading. “We have the capacity to not only handle output growth,” Wilmott continues. “But also to really start to develop our web infrastructure at a steady rate. We currently have about a year’s worth of work briefed into our in-house development teams, which includes additional features that we are confident will add value to any print reseller – and therein lies the opportunity. We feel that there is a lot more that web-based printers can be doing going forward to really elevate the buying experience, and with Fujifilm as a partner, we now have the solid foundation upon which to do this.”
Says Keith Dalton, Managing Director, Fujifilm UK. “As Route One Print has recently discovered, along with many other offset printers around the world, Superia offers new value to commercial printers, and helps them to reduce the costs often considered unavoidable in offset printing. We take our responsibility as a leader in this field very seriously, and are proud of the role we are playing in providing printers like Route One Print with the real tools they need to help them refine, optimise and ultimately grow their businesses.”
The full range of Superia products will be on display on the Fujifilm stand at drupa 2016 (Stand A25, Hall 8b).
For further information contact:
Tel: +44 (0)1372 464470