Here at Route One Print, we produce all sorts, from presentation folders to roller banners, but one of our most popular products is the faithful business card. We print up to half a million business cards per day! Or at least, that was the figure when we were using our Heidelberg litho presses. That number is set to increase significantly with the installation of our brand new, dedicated business card production cell.
This summer, we’ve invested £1.5m into creating a production stream devoted entirely to business cards. To make this happen we’ve had to buy several new pieces of equipment which is great news for you, our customers, because it means we can now deliver more, exciting finishes for your designs. Plus, by moving to near-line production, our turnaround times are going to be cut dramatically so that you can receive your orders sooner.
Take a look at our new kit…
Fujifilm Jet Press 720S
For a while, we’d been searching for a way to produce business cards that wouldn’t take as much time as litho does but also wouldn’t mean us compromising on quality. While litho print provides that extra level of quality, which is needed for business cards, it isn’t very efficient for short runs. Moreover, the time it takes to produce a new plate for each job means that you end up waiting longer to receive your order. We also felt limited by litho production because, if we were to offer more finishing options, we would not be able to batch as many jobs together and would therefore lose efficiency. Losing efficiency means that we’d have to hike up our prices and we didn’t want to do that.
Luckily, we found our answer in the Fujifilm Jet Press 720S.
“For the print element, we looked at both digital and lithographic solutions but the Fujifilm is by far and away the best quality printer we’ve seen,” says our Managing Director, Adam Carnell, “The turnaround time is a huge improvement from litho yet the results are sharper with good, consistent colours. We’re very excited to be installing one in our own factory. By moving to inkjet printing, manufacturing time will be reduced significantly meaning that we will be able to offer same day dispatch for our customers on a wider range of finishes without having to factor in the lost efficiencies that would result from batched litho production”.
With our print element sorted, we looked to improving our range of finishing options. We’re very pleased to announce that Spot UV finishing is now available thanks to the installation of the Scodix S75. Spot UV adds an incredibly luxurious feel to any business card it’s applied to and adds vibrancy to the colours beneath. We’ll be offering Spot UV finishing on any silk coated cards without lamination or with matt lamination. All you need to do is provide two PDFs for your artwork; one for the artwork, and one with flat vector shapes outlining where to apply the UV coating. We’ll do the rest.
As well as Spot UV, business cards can now come with the option for rounded corners which will be applied by our new Rollem JetSlit. With advanced cutting-blade technology, the JetSlit is able to cut through thicker stocks, regardless of lamination and finishes, with as much precision as it would cut thin stocks. Plus, the JetSlit does not require as thick a bleed as other guillotines so we can print more business cards per sheet and reduce waste.
This is another example of how we are able to take highly specialised equipment and employ it for a new application. The Jet Slit is able to cut tolerate much finer precision because it is typically used to produce playing cards. We are now harnessing this incredible technology for our business cards.
Autobond Micro 74 THPS
Finally, the business card cell would not be complete without an Autobond 74 TPHS. As a company, we already own two other Autobond laminators because they are, as Adam Carnell says “the best laminators in the world”. Their equipment combines chrome rollers, to achieve a great bond between the lamination and print, with rubber rollers, to ensure a smooth finish. These fantastic machines are produced just over the county border to us, in Derbyshire, and we have yet to find better laminators anywhere in the world.
Adam is clear on what he believes the future of print looks like: “It’s digital and it’s automated.” adding “We’re always looking to the future and we see this investment as a very important stepping stone on that road.”
Take a look at our new and improved business card range and see how you could take advantage of all our new features.