Fishwicks Printers has expanded its product portfolio and grown its customer base by sourcing six cutting-edge machines, totalling R30million, which were installed at their Head Office in Durban, between September and November 2012.

The company made this series of investments to give it a strategic advantage. Aubrey Nathan, managing director of Fishwicks Printers said, ‘It has always been our philosophy to remain at the forefront of technology, to continually re-invest in new equipment, in people and in the company to meet the demands of our clients. Our market is changing constantly and deadlines are becoming tighter. These investments allow us to offer our clients a broader range of products and solutions while increasing our efficiencies and quality. We have also taken this opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.’

Founded 43 years ago by Max Nathan and the late Pat Gounder with just five people, the company now employs 280 people within its group and services clients within the Advertising, Retail, FMCG and Corporate sectors, throughout the country.

The total investment was in new printing and post press equipment. This investment covered a number of technologies designed to ensure that all of the market sectors it addresses are represented with the very latest equipment.

The largest investment was in a new KBA RA 106 SIS SPC- 5+L FAPC ALV2 Rapida offset press from Thunderbolt, the KBA agent in South Africa. The press features a top production speed of 18000 sheets per hour, making it one of the fastest sheetfed presses available on the market. The press features an inline densitometer and colour control system, which monitors the quality of every sheet as it passes through the press. It is also more environmentally friendly as it features reduced alcohol usage.

‘One of most important aspects of the new press is the makeready times. When we bought the Rapida 106 we replaced an older machine which had given us good service over the years. Now that the new machine is in full production we can see just how efficient it is by comparison. On the older machine makeready times would take approximately 30 minutes per job. Our operators on the new Rapida can now do a full makeready in just 15 minutes, said production director Devan Gounder.

Fishwicks also installed the Durst Rho P10 200 flatbed inkjet printer, the first machine of its kind to be installed in the South African market. Aimed at the large-format digital print market,  the Rho P10 200 was demonstrated at the Africa Print Expo in Johannesburg in 2012. With a resolution of 1000dpi, the P10 200 can print onto a range of substrates including paper, board, plastic, glass and wood and with a maximum width of two metres and unlimited length. It is able to print photographic quality using six-colours and can also print white, for transparent surfaces.

Another first was the installation of the Kodak NexPress SX3300, a five-colour digital press able to print short run work on a range of different materials. It features a range of differentiated printing capabilities including a larger sheet size of 660mm in length and is capable of raised dimensional printing giving a 3D effect. It also has the ability to match Pantone colours using the special fifth ink unit.

To handle the greater volume of printing capacity, Fishwicks installed a new Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH82 folder. It can handle sheet sizes from 140 x 180mm up to 820 x 1280mm and features a maximum production speed of 230metres per minute which improves efficiencies substantially.

Adding to the range of South African firsts installed, Fishwicks installed a new high-speed cutter and a precision gluer, both from Beswick Machinery. The Zünd G3 cutter features a fast cutting system which offers the ability to process a range of substrates including paper, Correx and wood up to 50mm thick. It can handle contour cutting for structural displays for point-of-purchase applications.

The Bickers GlueJet allows precise placement of both hot and cold glue in a single pass to ensure maximum adhesion for the construction of point-of-sale displays. It can handle a wide range of materials in sizes up to 1700 x 2500mm with unlimited thickness. It can be used for the production of up to four jobs simultaneously.

‘As our business continues to evolve, we are excited to be able to announce, that for the second consecutive year we have won another Silver and Gold Award in the Popai awards, which recognise innovation in concept, creativity and manufacturing of point-of-sale products. We have also won numerous awards in the Sappi African Printers of the Year competition. Our vision is to expand and grasp opportunities that we believe to be profitable, continue to invest in new equipment and technology and more importantly, research ways in order to make our clients’ dealings with our group more efficient, said Nathan.