Run by father and son Mike and Mark Hipperson, the 12-staff, £1.5m turnover business, launched in 2007, installed the Meteor at its Taverham site in July.

The £165,000 device complements the firm’s existing seven-colour HP Indigo 5500. The French-manufactured Meteor was supplied by UK distributor MGI technology.

The key attraction of the device, according to director Mike Hipperson, was its flexible sheet-size format, which now allows the company to produce jobs that would previously have needed added finishing techniques using SRA3 substrates.

He said: “We are focused on book production, which is very much landscape oriented and we simply couldn’t fit them efficiently on the Indigo. With the MGI we can do that.

“Now we can work with 330×1,020mm sheet sizes where on the Indigo you are limited to 320x460mm.

“The quality of the MGI is also on a par with the Indigo, which we look upon as digital offset,” he added.

In 2010 the business was producing 300 photobooks per week rising to 500 at peak times and although Hipperson said there had been “significant growth” in demand since then, he declined to reveal current volumes.

“We’re seeing absolutely phenomenal growth right now and we will continue to see that in the future I think.

“We are also seeing a lot more on-demand publishing as well these days and we can produce those right down to runs as small as one if needs be.”

Another significant attraction of the Meteor for the company was its cost effective ‘digital coverage’ format, with no click charges, according to Hipperson’s son Mark.

He said: “We have found that running costs are lower than the average click charge. If our application does not require the extended format capability of the MGI, we can determine the approximate coverage and cost-per-page to choose which press will be more beneficial to our overall margin.

“For example, if we were printing letterheads we have almost zero toner cost with the MGI, and are guaranteed 100% laser compatibility. We have experienced no major problems since the Meteor was installed and MGI have looked after us during the production ramp up.”

All finishing is carried out in-house and Mike Hipperson said the company had invested a significant amount in that department over the last couple of years, including a new PUR binding line around 12-months ago.

He said the business was eyeing further investment in equipment although Hipperson would not be drawn on what that was. “We certainly have ambitions for more investments,” he said.