The pre-owned eight-colour machine, supplied by Printers Superstore, will tackle material such as menus for the restaurant and takeaway market, said managing director Kam Law. He reckons his Birmingham business handles up to a third of the UK’s 18,000 or so Chinese restaurants.

The SM 74 cost £255,000, prints just under 10,000 sheets an hour and has a “low mileage” of only 15m impressions, according to Law. His company uses 2,000 tonnes of 130gms gloss paper a year to produce menus, which accounts for 98% of business.

The four-back-four machine dates from 1999 and was one of the first Speedmasters to incorporate the CP2000 operating system with touch-screen off-press controls. Water cooling means less heat is released into the print room.

It joins two other Speedmaster 74 long perfectors – an eight and a ten colour. Law said the new machine was the company’s best press, saving time and adding capacity.

Law Design and Print operates from three units, for print production, finishing and storage, covering a combined 2,800sqm. The company is 28 years old and has grown from a one-man operation to a 35-staff business with a turnover of around £3.5m.

“The latest machine had a low mileage and that’s what really attracted me, along with the price” he said. “It replaces a five-colour Sakurai. We serve the Chinese food industry, but we’re making progress in the Asian and pizza markets now, which are much bigger.

“We’re already producing 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, but the extra capacity the new Speedmaster brings gives us room for expansion. We would like to replace the other two Speedmasters with a Heidelberg 102, which prints 12,000 sheets an hour, a big advantage.”