Offset printer adds digital to attract short run

Sick of losing short run business to digital printers, Illawarra offset firm Coastline Printing is joining the digital revolution, installing a new Konica Minolta bizhub Press C6000.

Coastline director Ross Freestone says the 30-year-old printer could not compete with digital operations because it found offset is not as cost effective for short run jobs.

“We had to keep up with modern printing trends, clients didn’t want to pay a lot for say 200 cards,” he says.

“The industry is changing so much and we needed to go with that change to bring that work back and chase more business.”

He says the company has had great success since installing the bizhub in December as a three month trial and has been able to get many of its old work back, and pursue new opportunities in digital.

[Related: Switching to digital]

Freestone says after seeing the digital press reduce his turnaround time on short run jobs up to 2000 units to a third of what it had been on offset and double cost efficiency, there was no way he was going to part with it.

“It’s exactly what we wanted. The colour quality is exceptional and compares well to offset quality for half the cost, which we were able to pass on to our clients,” he says.

“It’s ideal for the many jobs we have printing 200 programs or so.”

Not only has the bizhub brought back old clients and opened up new digital opportunities, Coastline has been able to switch about five per cent of its offset work to digital to free up its larger sheetfed presses for longer runs, and Freestone is hoping this can continue.

He says the company will see how this first foray into digital goes for the next year or two and then consider whether it wants to make additional digital investments.

Coastline also bought a Halm dedicated envelope printer in October which can spit out 25,000 envelopes an hour, allowing the company to print orders of 100,000 in a day instead of three days using offset.

Coastline services Illawarra business clients and the wider New South Wales region, offering annual reports, leaflets, books, letterheads, brochures, magazines, and all sorts of small business collateral – along with design, stationary, embossing and finishing services.

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