From cow shed to cmyk

Albany-based MH Publications now employs 14 staff on 24-hour seven-day shifts to operate its two large printing presses, one of which has just recently been installed.

MH Publications was set up by Dave Hansard on his Wellsford farm nine years ago as a small publishing business printing trade journals on an AB Dick.

When the business outgrew the extended shed, it moved from Wellsford to Albany to be closer to its growing commercial printing clients.

It has outgrown three premises in Albany in the past few years due to expansion.

The company purchased the second Lithrone L540 from UK-based family firm West Park Graphic Equipment Ltd through West Park’s New Zealand agent, Bryan Woods.

MHP director, Dave Hansard says they bought another Lithrone L540 because the company’s demand for larger format had outgrown the Komori Sprint they had been using.

“We felt there was a better synergy with two A1 presses rather than an A1 and A2 press.”

Phil Datson, MHP’s print foreman travelled to Britain with Bryan to inspect the press in action before it was purchased and says that both Lithrones must have been on the same assembly line together because the serial numbers are very close.

The second Lithrone, however, which came from a company based in the popular UK seaside suburb of Brighton, had done significantly less mileage.

“West Park seem to specialise in purchasing low-mileage presses which have been well maintained,” Phil says.

He says the beauty of having two presses virtually identical is that parts and jobs can be interchanged.

“It’s a huge time saver being able to change jobs half way through on large production runs.”

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