The Cardiff-based business and stationery printer installed a Ricoh Pro C901 colour and a Ricoh 1357EX mono printer. The new colour printer replaces a Kodak Nexpress M700, with the mono device a new addition. Total investment was around £90,000.

Print manager Lyndon Ricketts said: “We have a number of regional offices and retail outlets across the UK and will be using our new Ricoh machines to serve retail and commercial customers as well as all our own internal marketing collateral requirements.

“We went to a few market leaders. But if you find a supplier with a good product, competitive pricing and great customer service the decision is easier to make. Having two fast, dedicated machines means we are able to effectively print on demand at a more competitive pricing levels.

“The closest rival was the Konica Minolta 8000, which was a bit too glossy; more photographic quality than litho and conventional print. The Ricoh Pro C901 has the most up-to-date technology, although not the cheapest.

“However support is great and proactive in terms of upgrades and retrofits. The new kit is not greatly different from the old machine, but the reliability and consistency of colour is excellent, without fear of strips, bands or colour drifts. It gives us confidence to run more complex work.

“Initially we were only looking for a colour digital press to replace the existing Kodak. But Ricoh looked at our current and future requirements and recommended the Ricoh 1357EX mono press, as it would have a positive impact on our workflow and give us the capability to meet future demand.”

The C901 prints at up to 90 A4 ppm and integrates full-colour scanning, copying and document storage for image capture and print-on-demand requirements. It handles stocks up to 300gsm in duplex mode, making it ideal for DM material and postcards, Ricketts said.

Meanwhile the 1357EX mono production press prints up to 135ppm and offers reduced maintenance thanks to operator replaceable units. It offers a range of finishing options including multi-folding, stapling, punching and cover insertion, ring and perfect binding.

Ricketts said: “We decided to replace the Kodak as the service contract had expired and the costs to run the machine were escalating. The technology has also moved on in terms of quality, speed and flexibility. The black and white machine is a great opportunity for us to open up new markets.

“Having dedicated mono and colour machines means the company now has a more productive work-flow, as the 1357EX produces work such as reports and manuals that would have previously been done on the Kodak colour machine, holding up the colour production process.”

SET Office Supplies has an annual turnover in excess of £25m, employing nearly 250 staff. Print includes stationery, brochures, flyer, greeting and post cards, labels, manuals, reports and application forms.