Last Bros has marked its 70th year in business with the installation of a new D-Flex hybrid UV digital inkjet press.
Originally scheduled for installation in August last year, the machine’s arrival was put off until 5 January to allow for the incorporation of the latest KM1800i printheads from Konica Minolta. In total, the investment for the Cheshunt-based printer came to £350,000.
Alongside the installation, the firm has produced a commemorative calendar to mark its 70th year. It features a timeline of the company’s history running alongside the major historical landmarks of the past seven decades.
“While the completion of the D-Flex installation is something of a focal point, our 70th year is really about looking to the future,” said sales and marketing executive Dean Latchford.
“We intend to be around for a further 70 years and that will happen because we keep investing in new, modern technology and staying ahead of the game in that way.”
Capable of reaching production speeds up to 70m/min, the new D-Flex will serve Last Bros’ label division, which merged with the tab and general print wing into a single entity over the summer.
The D-Flex has been configured with two flexo stations, built-in lamination, and rotary die-cutting so it can function as a standalone machine with a full print and converting line.
“This is simply better quality than what we could do before,” said manager Simon Foster. “It is coming in to pick up some of the work of two other presses. Its increased speed will help us keep up with the demand for shorter runs that is emerging in the market.
“If this goes well, we will likely buy another D-Flex. Our team is very impressed so far. We do not have any clear plans for 2018 so far, but we are aiming to spread our wings to get new types of work and new types of customers.”
Last Bros also runs a Delta and an Edale press. The new four-colour D-Flex will contribute to the production of self-adhesive labels.
After the two sides of Last Bros merged, the firm installed a Xerox Versant 180 digital press to its tabbing division as part of its investment programme, which concluded with the dFlex. The tabbing division runs a Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52, along with Scott-Precision tabbing machines and the Versant.
Last Bros employs 25 staff and turns over £1.5m. The firm has owned its 1,700sqm premises since the 1950s.