Kent based screen printer, Speedscreen, has been able to pursue new and diverse market opportunities with the purchase of a Rho 800 Presto.
Speeedscreen was founded in 1986 by the current owner, Tim Hill, and his then partner, Mike Dougal. The company was established as a specialist screen printer, which pioneered developments in 4 colour screen printing and succeeded in producing very fine halftones, something that was extremely rare within the industry at that time. The business grew steadily and, in 1996, moved to the current premises in Maidstone. Initially the company occupied a modern factory unit of 2,200ft², which has now expanded into three units and 15,000ft² and has just completed on taking another unit. It offers a wide range of printing services to a broad client base, including many Blue Chip companies and employs a staff of 15.
To further increase its screen printing facilities, the company invested in a Rho 205 flatbed machine six years ago. “This machine has served us very well,” said Tim Hill. “It’s really because of the success of the digital side of the business that we needed to increase output capability and hence decided to upgrade to a Rho 800 Presto. We are a forward thinking and dynamic business, as part of our philosophy of providing high quality and creative print solutions, we needed to latest digital printing technology.”
“We spent two years before deciding on the best machine for our business,” continued Tim Hill. “We went to all the exhibitions and had demonstrations from the major manufacturers, but it was following a visit to the Durst factory in Lienz, we chose the Rho. Firstly, the quality of build was exceptional, the production line looked more like a Formula 1 racing team’s premises than an industrial machine manufacturer. Secondly, the Rho 800 is a true hybrid and that is important for us, being able to print roll and rigid material. And finally, the Rho “did what it said on the tin!” It is capable of printing at high speed without any loss in its superb print quality.
“The Rho was installed in July of last year and since then it has transformed our business. It has opened the door to many jobs that we wouldn’t have previously been able to contemplate. The machine was supplied with a high level of specification; 6 colours, CMYK with light cyan and light magenta, as well as two levels of white printing (over print and under print). The two levels of white have proved to be extremely useful, it enables non-white substrates such as corrugated to be used with stunning results, and double sided printing of banners, for example. There is also a great synergy between the Rho and our Kongsberg digital cutting table. We can take jobs from concept through to the finished product for any quantity ranging from one-offs to a few hundred units.”
“One area we have found very successful is the combining of screen with digital, using the Rho for the four colour work and then using screen to flood a solid colour, which can be specials such as gold or silver. It would be fair to say that screen has become marginalised between digital and low cost litho. I sometimes find that customers are now insisting for digital when in fact screen would be a perfectly viable alternative and possibly cheaper.”
“We see digital printing playing an even more important role in the future and our investment in the Rho 800 will turn us into a major player for wide-format digital print. The overall flexibility of the Durst Rho 800 Presto will bring huge benefits to us and to our clients, with shorter turn-round times and no compromise on quality. Already the machine satisfies a healthy percentage of our business but we believe there is no reason, as more and more clients find out ours and its capabilities, why it could not help put on another three quarters of a million pounds worth of turnover for the business.
For more information on Speedscreen, telephone 01622 695950 and for more details on the Rho 800, contact Durst on 01372 388540.