Archive for the ‘Offset Presses’ Category

Mitsubishi Parts Centre Flourishing in New UK Home

In Offset Presses on October 30, 2014 at 8:40 am

The new UK based European parts centre for Mitsubishi / Ryobi MHI sheet-fed equipment is now operating at full capacity, servicing the needs of distributors and printers throughout the continent, according to MPL, the business now managing the Kent-based facility. MPL is a division of M Partners Limited, the UK distributor for Ryobi MHI B1 sheet-fed offset litho presses.


The centre is fully equipped with parts for all Mitsubishi sheet-fed presses, and is capable of providing printers with spares for machines purchased over the last 25 years.

Commenting on the near 10,000 square foot facility, Mark Stribley, Joint Managing Director of MPL, said: “This has been a major project for us, but we are delighted to say that we have now moved and re-housed some Euro 1 million worth of spares, and established full contact with all distribution partners, and direct contact with many users of the presses, across the continent.”

MPL took over the spares operation from Mitsubishi, which was housed at the company’s own facility in the Netherlands. “With the changes in the distribution network following the Ryobi and Mitsubishi amalgamation, the spares operations also needed refining and improving. MPL won the contract to manage the facility for Mitsubishi equipment, against stiff European competition, and proceeded to create this new UK based operation,” added Mark Stribley.

The new facility is in direct contact with Japan and USA to ensure the fast delivery of parts when and where necessary. “One difficulty that we have to work with is that Mitsubishi machines don’t break down that often,” said Murray Lock, fellow Joint Managing Director of MPL. “There were an awful lot of items in Holland that had been in stock for years – they were never required by machine owners.”

The impressive reliability of the Ryobi MHI / Mitsubishi presses continues to surprise the owners of the MPL operation, whose previous experience with the supply of printing machinery has been mainly focused on German manufactured presses: “This kit is just so reliable,” confirms Murray Lock. “The annual spend for a Mitsubishi press user is a fraction of that for the owner of a German manufactured machine – and that is comparing presses with a similar throughput. How the industry has never quite grasped this is beyond me. Perhaps the marketing efforts put behind the German equipment have been far too effective!” Mr Lock was previously the Marketing Director of manroland GB.

In addition to the spares facility, MPL is providing a technical service centre for European distributors. “European operations can now approach us for both technical advice and information as well as for training for their own engineers,” explained Mr Stribley. “Every supplier needs quality engineers in the field to help ensure that presses are running to the optimum level. Providing quality service is another reason why Mitsubishi presses just keep on working.”

About M Partners and M Partners Wide

The creation of the M Partners Wide division is the latest development from M Partners, as the company seeks to bring its unique distribution format to the wide format market. The company recently announced its distribution agreement with Korean manufacturer DGI.

In 2010 M Partners took on the management of both sales and service for Mitsubishi Litho Presses in the UK and Ireland. In 2014 it has taken over the parts distribution centre for Mitsubishi products within the new Ryobi MHI combined printing equipment business. This representation joins established products such as GUK folding and inserting equipment, and Steinemann laminating products. 2011 saw the business expand into the digital market following an announcement regarding MGi digital printing and finishing equipment; and market-leading post-press inspection equipment from Mabeg.

M Partners offers manufacturers considerable marketing and business expertise across both the printing and packaging sectors and provides high-quality national coverage for sales, support and technical service.

The Joint Managing Directors established M Partners Ltd in 2006 after gaining many years of industry experience in senior management roles at a major press manufacturer and used equipment dealer. They were responsible for corporate and product marketing for pre-press, press, post-press and service, plus operational control for digital, consumables and used equipment divisions.



PrintIT Students Learn with Print Efficiently

In Offset Presses on October 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm


A group of enthusiastic GCSE and A-Level students enjoyed a visit to Print Efficiently 2014 as an aid to their Design and Technology courses, incorporating the PrintIT module. Apex Digital Graphics, Ryobi press distributor for the UK, hosted the successful Print Efficiently 2014 event, which took place at its Hemel Hempstead facility over six days in October. Student booklets for PrintIT were produced during the event.

The 16 student and three teacher party from Riddlesdown School, Croydon, represent just a fraction of the anticipated 10,000 student enrolment for this year’s PrintIT programme – a student number anticipated to come from some 400 schools. These latest figures indicate a near 100% increase in student numbers from 2013.

“We have been delighted with the uptake this year for our new, revised PrintIT module,” said Amy Moran, Group Marketing Manager for Proskills UK, the organisers of the PrintIT educational programme. “PrintIT is being promoted to schools as an effective module to incorporate within both GCSE and A-Level Design and Technology courses for students. The content has been mapped to course requirements, making it an ideal element for teachers to add into their plans. The structure of the module makes it suitable for a six to eight week section of such a course.”

Many schools will begin their PrintIT course at the beginning of November, but it is still very suitable for a January or February start, meaning that schools are still being welcomed to sign up to the project – details can be obtained via the web page.

“The generosity of Apex and the Print Efficiently partners in hosting these students is very much appreciated. This exhibition represents a fantastic opportunity to show students real printing equipment in action – there are few greater adverts for the industry,” added Amy Moran.

Commenting on behalf of the visitors, Sandra Obike, Design and Technology Course Leader at Riddlesdown School, said: “This visit is just great for the students to gain a first hand experience of seeing the whole process in action. They are able to produce print to a very limited degree in the classroom, but this visit illustrates the industrial process to them – they can see, hear and touch the machinery and the work being produced. It is going to help them enormously in building a proper understanding of the whole process.”

The mix of year 10, 11 and 13 students were able to see pre-press, offset printing, digital printing, and post-press products in action. The equipment was also being put to very good use during the second week of Print Efficiently as it was printing and finishing the course books for the PrintIT module.

Commenting on behalf of the hosts, Apex Digital Graphics, Neil Handforth, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We have a long-standing link with the PrintIT team and have enjoyed offering our facilities for school tours in previous years. I believe that we all have a duty to offer youngsters an insight into the world of print – it is still one of the most exciting industries to be involved in. There are so many facets to printing: graphic and structural design, the technology aspect of pre-press, the electro-mechanical core of the printing equipment itself, and the technical demands of post-press products, to name but a few. There is something to excite everybody.”

Apex and IFS have been involved in the production of student workbooks during the second week of the Print Efficiently event. The A4 format, saddle-stitched publications will be printed on Apex’s Ryobi 755G press and finished on post-press equipment from IFS. The workbooks are 20-30 pages long, bound, and sent out to schools for students to complete as a part of their course.  The printed products contain worksheets, industry processes, exercises, and design boards.

PrintIT! is run by the charity Proskills and teaches students about the print and packaging industries.  With a focus on designing a print product for Fairtrade, schools are provided with lessons plans, resources, and workbooks entirely free of charge.  The aim is to encourage the next generation of young people to get excited about print and packaging. To date, the programme has been enjoyed over 140,000 students from around 2,000 schools.  Every year student entries are judged by a panel of industry experts, with awards and prizes being presented to both students and schools.  View a video of last year’s awards at

About Apex Digital Graphics 

Apex Digital Graphics Limited is a specialist in the supply and service of pre-press and press equipment. Apex is the official UK distributor for the Ryobi range of printing presses and ECRM polyester platesetters. Apex also distributes the Screen range of thermal and violet platesetters, and the Konica Minolta range of digital printing equipment. The company offers national service coverage, and a one-stop shop for print consumables featuring next day delivery. Apex Digital Graphics can be contacted on 01442 235 236 or via the web site.


ABC Print Orders UK’s First Ryobi LED-UV Press

In Offset Presses on October 9, 2014 at 7:58 am

Hereford-based ABC Print Group Ltd has ordered the UK’s first Ryobi LED-UV press, with the compact drying unit being incorporated into an order for a Ryobi 924 SRA-1 format offset litho printing press. The equipment has been purchased from, and will be installed by, Apex Digital Graphics, the UK distributor for Ryobi printing equipment.


The four-colour version of Ryobi’s popular 920 Series provides for a maximum vertical paper size is 640 mm, enabling the eight-up printing of A4 size pages and A1 size posters. The versatility of the press extends to stock thickness, with the 920 Series being capable of handling paper ranging from 0.04 mm onion-skin to heavy 0.6 mm card stock.

Above photo shows (left to right): Mike Wooding, Apex Sales Director Southern Region; Neil Handforth, Apex Sales and Marketing Director; Mike Greene, ABC Print Group, Managing Director; Kohei Yatsumoto, Ryobi, International Sales and Marketing Manager; Takaki Yamada, Ryobi, International Sales and Marketing; Garrett McGibney, ABC Print Director; Bob Usher, Managing Director, Apex.

Print Efficiently 2014, Hemel Hempstead, October 7 to 9 and 21 to 23

Star of the show at the current Print Efficiently 2014 event is a Ryobi LED-UV unit which is being demonstrated as part of a B2-format Ryobi 755G press. The drying system was pioneered by Ryobi, with the company unveiling its first such product at Drupa in 2008. Developments in ink technology and manufacture have now caught up with the huge potential offered by LED-based UV drying equipment. LED-UV ink is now available from a host of major ink suppliers, four of which are being demonstrated by Apex at Print Efficiently 2014. This year is likely to see the commercial acceptance of LED-UV in the UK, where it will follow Japan and a number of European countries. The environmental benefits of the technology and the significant cost savings through reduced power consumption are the two outstanding benefits of the equipment. Adding LED-UV also eliminates the need for powder spray, and removes ozone from the process, with the required ducting for extraction – another significant cost element. The stunning productivity and quality of the technique are self-evident when the system is viewed in action.

Commenting on the order for the UK’s first Ryobi LED-UV equipped press, Mike Greene, Managing Director of ABC Print Group, said: “Myself and co-director, Garrett McGibney, were immediately attracted to the technology when we saw it at Ipex earlier this year. Putting ink on paper correctly, in this day and age, is relatively easy – drying, however, is a different issue.

“Most drying solutions that produce a dry-to-the-touch sheet tend to be a big draw on electricity, as well as being hungry on consumables such as coatings or varnish. We all know how the cost of power has increased hugely in recent years, so anything that can minimise consumption has to have huge potential. LED-UV minimises the power costs, improves the process by eliminating the need for consumables, and speeds the drying of sheets – a win-win-win situation!”

ABC Print Group is considered to be the UK’s largest B3-format printer, with equipment that includes the UK’s first ten-colour perfecting B3 press. The company is also familiar with the service and support of Apex Digital Graphics, having utilised DPX Systems polyester-based CtP equipment for many years.

“We had no hesitation about returning to Apex for equipment. They are an excellent company to do business with, and have a great support team,” added Mike Greene.

“The move to the SRA1 format, with the Ryobi 920 press, made all kinds of sense to us. Both Garrett and I are historically familiar with SRA1 machines, and so immediately understood the benefits of the format when Apex began discussions. It means that we can print eight x A4 pages to view, and with the LED-UV added, have a dry to the touch sheet out of the back of the press – the productivity gains of the configuration will be huge to a business like ours, and the savings on both maintenance and cleaning by not having to use powder powder are also important.

“At ABC Print we always aim to keep ahead of the curve with regard to the technology that we bring into the business. This new press configuration is certainly something that we believe will give us an edge over the competition, and will allow us to offer something special to our customers.”

Commenting on the order on behalf of Apex Digital Graphics, Neil Handforth, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted of course to have secured an order for the UK’s first LED-UV unit, as well as another 920 Series press. We are convinced that the combination will be a real winner for ABC Print Group. Ryobi’s LED-UV unit really does take drying technology to a new level, with its ability to aid the process on just about any stock, and with significant savings on running costs compared to any other fast drying technique.”

Apex Digital Graphics is showing the Ryobi LED-UV solution in conjunction with a Ryobi 755G press in its showroom during the current Print Efficiently 2014 event in October at its Hemel Hempstead premises.

About ABC Print Group

ABC Print Group occupies floor space of over 14,000 square feet, containing state-of-the-art printing facilities. It is the largest B3 printing business in the UK with 17 units in operation.

MD Mike Greene sums up the business: “For us printing remains a passion. It is a diverse industry and it becomes the crossroads linking technical, commercial and creative skills.

“We work in partnership with our clients to produce the best annual reports, brochures, business stationery, consumer packaging, direct mail, exhibition media, folders, leaflets, newsletters, prospectuses, signage, tourism and visitor guides. Our commitment to repeatable accuracy and quality enables us to provide a superior finished product every time, whilst understanding ever shrinking budgets.

“As Managing Director I am proud to have such a great team working for the company who will ensure that buying print is as easy as ABC.”

For further information on ABC Print Group call 01432 760 700 or visit the web site.

About Apex Digital Graphics 

Apex Digital Graphics Limited is a specialist in the supply and service of pre-press and press equipment. Apex is the official UK distributor for the Ryobi range of printing presses and ECRM polyester platesetters. Apex also distributes the Screen range of thermal and violet platesetters, and the Konica Minolta range of digital printing equipment. The company offers national service coverage, and a one-stop shop for print consumables featuring next day delivery. Apex Digital Graphics can be contacted on 01442 235 236 or via the Apex web site.



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