Eight Days a Week in Xerox Baltoro investment

Hill: "It was a pretty obvious fit to where we were on our journey"

Eight Days a Week Print Solutions has installed a Xerox Baltoro inkjet press to boost its firepower and enable it to bring a proportion of its outsourced litho work back in house.

The machine, which is being installed at the Nottingham firm’s 1,070sqm site this week, has replaced a Xerox iGen4 Diamond Edition, which has already gone out.

Eight Days a Week managing director Lance Hill, who joined the company in September, told Printweek: “When I joined and got handed over the running of the business by the now chairman, David Beardsley, he briefed me that he had previously been looking at inkjet technology with Xerox.

“We’re a Xerox house and a Xerox Premier Partner and he was looking at Xerox’s reel-fed machine, the Trivor, but there was a bit of uncertainty at the time about whether that was the right machine for our business.

“The Trivor is a great bit of kit but I think it’s aimed at the next two or three rungs up in terms of volume. Our business is very much geared around short to medium-run volume, a lot of high-speed, quick turnaround print on demand work as well as direct mail.”

He added: “So I didn’t think the Trivor was the right machine for us at that time, though that’s not to say it might not be in the future, but at that same time, around October, we got an invite to Xerox’s launch event for the Baltoro.

“So I went along to that and that was the beginning of the penny dropping because for me it quickly became a no-brainer once I looked at the technology in detail and saw what the machine could do, its footprint, its capability, and the market it was aimed at.

“It was a pretty obvious fit to where we were on our journey. It’s a cutsheet machine that gives us more firepower, but without going into the continuous-feed market.”

The Baltoro supersedes the Brenva in Xerox’s portfolio, using High Fusion inks through W-series inkjet heads for print resolution up to 1,200dpi without the need for primers or precoats.

It runs at print speeds up to 197ppm A4 simplex and 300ppm A4 duplex, running automated intelligence technology for workflow and colour management. A ‘K-only’ mode lets the machine cap its CMY heads to reduce usage for mono work.

Hill said training on the Baltoro will take place next week and the machine should be into production in the next couple of weeks. It will run alongside a Xerox Versant 2100, which has been kept on to handle heavier weight, higher ink coverage work, a Xerox Nuvera 288 mono printer, and a wide range of finishing and specialist direct mail kit.

Hill said around 20% of the B1 and B2 litho work that the business has previously outsourced to commercial printers will also now be brought back in house and produced on the Baltoro.

“With inkjet technology ink coverage is key, so higher ink coverage work probably will stay litho,” he added.

Discussing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the business, Hill said that while numerous jobs had been affected, the business is “geared up to cope with various demands”.

“If we get stuck with the illness then we’ve got [print] partners; we’ve got a business continuity plan that we can put into place if we need to and the staff are geared up as well. It’s a rapidly moving scenario and you can only plan so far ahead but I’m confident that we are doing everything we possibly can.”

Employing 18 staff, Eight Days a Week Print Solutions turns over just under £5m and its client base spans healthcare, education, SME businesses and large corporates.