The £90m-turnover business, which was acquired by St Ives in 2004, has one logistics and one manufacturing site in Redditch, as well as a manufacturing site in Burnley.
The new equipment will be installed at the group’s Redditch manufacturing facility in two weeks.
Existing kit includes a KBA 205 litho press, a B1 litho press, two Inca Onset S70s, four HP indigo 5000s, two HP DesignJets, a five and four-colour screen press, three Epson proofing printers, two Durst Lamdas and a raft of finishing equipment.
Managing director Nick Cole said the investment was the result of growth in its volume of digital work and a continuing migration away from B1 litho work.
“People are looking for more personalised print rather than large volumes. The run lengths are coming down but the personalised nature of it is increasing as is the number of jobs from existing clients as well as new clients. This is going to really increase the quality and speed of our output,” he added.
The Fespa-launched HP Scitex FB10000 is HP’s flagship UV rigid printer. It is capable of 312sqm/hour in ‘Sample Mode’ rising to 625 sqm/hr in “sellable” ‘PROD 125′ mode and has a bed size of 1,600×3,200mm. It can handle products up to 25mm thick.
The Xerox iGen110 devices are being installed to meet demand from a recently won Co-op shelf-edge ticketing contract.
The work will begin in September and will be carried out in partnership with St Ives-owned data intelligence firm Response One, which will manage variable data and cleansing for the ticketing information. The data will be sent through SP-developed ticketing data software, Sparta, and printed and delivered by SP.
As part of the expansion an extra 1,860sqm of space has been added to its Redditch logistics facility, completed two weeks ago, to help manage the growth in output.
Cole said the added capacity would most likely create vacancies, but the focus would be on cross-training of staff. “I would really want to be training our existing litho staff on digital capability and output rather than taking on an array of new starters,” he added.
SP employs around 700 people across all of its sites.
Cole said the investments had rounded off a successful 12-months for SP Group.
“We are growing in terms of profitability and sales. The price pressure remains but we are seeing growth of existing clients and growth with new business. There is an awful lot of opportunity out there at the moment.
“Lead time and speed to market required from brands is coming down but we feel this plays into our hands a bit because we have the firepower and the systems to turn things round quickly.”