Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

Canon Ticks the Fine Art Box for Harwood King

In Wide Format on September 25, 2014 at 9:23 am


Harwood King Fine Art Studio, market leading fine art screen printers, Newhaven, East Sussex, has replaced its primary large format printing devices with the Canon iPF 8400 and Canon iPF 815. The printers were purchased from and installed by Canon reseller M Partners Wide, the large format equipment distributor based in Surrey, a division of M Partners Limited.

The new additions to the Harwood King production line-up provide, respectively, high quality print and film output. The iPF 8400 is a 12-colour, 44-inch wide printing device, ideal for the company’s fine art print production and proofing. The iPF 815 is a 5-colour 44-inch device focused on film production for the subsequent creation of silkscreen originals.

Harwood King Fine Art Studio

Highly respected in its field, Harwood King Fine Arts Studio, giclee printmakers and silkscreen specialists, have been in the business of producing fine art prints for more than 30 years. The company has produced limited edition prints for artists and galleries from all over the world. Harwood King has always been an innovative art studio, testing new materials and techniques, particularly in silkscreen and giclee digital production. The business has not been afraid to redefine the traditional idea of a print, combining printmaking processes to produce truly collectable limited editions. As a fine example, in “Slipstream” by Dan Baldwin they combined giclee, silkscreen and hand embellished areas, using 22-carat gold leaf and coloured foils. In other example, in the “Apocalypse” series of prints they fired bullets through the prints and collaged bank notes within the printing.

On the subject of the new Canon printers, Quentin Harwood King, owner and managing director of Harwood King (above, right), said: “Our previous device had been a good servant for many years, but it was showing signs of age. We knew that we needed to invest, and whilst Epson is the “go to” supplier in the market place, I wanted to review other products as well. Canon, to us, was a revelation. They certainly appeared to be ahead of the game. The twelve-colour system is a huge boost for us – especially in the red area of the spectrum. Colour, for fine art work, is so critical. The colour gamut and the stability of the system were both immediate advantages for us.

“We also create films for stencil creation for screen printing. Our previous large format machine offered little stability for the media – we would often spend huge amounts of time manually adjusting distortion in the films. Canon’s iPF 815 uses motors to drive the material in and to rewind the film. This provides a far more stable and reliable platform for our film creation. It has already saved us a huge amount of work; a saving that has a double benefit as our operators can be producing chargeable work instead of fiddling with bits of film at our expense!”

Quentin Harwood King has found a number of features of the Canon devices that provide significant advantages to his fine art print production business: “The internal memory on the iPF 8400 is a huge boost to productivity. We are often in the situation where the final proof has been approved by our customer, and a number of large format prints are required. The fact that the Canon holds the RIPped file in its memory means that we can go straight into print mode and we know, 100%, that we have the right file and that it will print successfully – we can simply punch in the required number of prints and let the device do its stuff!

“Overall we are replacing old with new – but new with some great additional benefits for our business: the overall quality is better, its faster, and the colour accuracy is so good and reliable. The colour accuracy provides us with the biggest saving: we no longer spend hours fiddling with profiles to tweak them to get a colour just right. We simply don’t need to.”

With future possibilities in mind, Quentin was also hugely impressed by the machine-to-machine colour accuracy offered by Canon. “Canon proved to us the stability of their system from machine-to-machine, which means that we could install a second machine at another office, download our files, and it would print exactly the same as the first machine. That really gives food for thought.”

Harwood King offers one of the few silkscreen printing services for the fine art market anywhere in the world. Whilst much of the screen printing market is focused on crudely produced T-shirt and ceramic printing, this company take the skills to a whole new level. Fifteen to twenty colour printing is not uncommon at the Newhaven company as it produces what it considers continuous-tone silkscreen. The business has produced work with up to a staggering 95 screens.

Canon Large Format from M Partners Wide

Commenting on behalf of M Partners Wide, Murray Lock, joint managing director (pictured above, left), said: “Harwood King offers the most exciting setting for a large format printer! The work being produced by the company is both fantastic and a real challenge for any equipment. The Canon products excelled over the testing and selection phase: quite rightly, Quentin and his team wanted to push it to the limits, and it has been able to meet every challenge that they have thrown at it. Our team ensured that the customer has the right equipment for these demanding tasks.”

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.




Harrier Goes for PUR with Morgana DigiBook 300

In Finishing on September 18, 2014 at 7:49 am

Harrier LLC, the UK’s foremost digital printing photobook specialist, based in Newton Abbot, Devon, has announced the purchase and installation of a DigiBook 300 PUR perfect binding machine from Morgana Systems.


The company, well known for its significant installation of HP Indigo presses, houses a wide variety of finishing kit to produce photobooks and other digitally printed output for major high street and online brands. The company also prints for Truprint, itself a part of the Harrier LLC business.

The investment in the Morgana DigiBook 300 gives the company quality PUR binding for its larger product offerings, including XXL landscape books that can often extend to as much as 160 pages. “The Morgana product really hits the spot for our premium XXL landscape books. There really isn’t that much of a choice with regards to machines that can deliver a quality bind in that format,” said James Belton, Planning and Solutions Manager at Harrier LLC. “95% of our work is PUR bound – it provides the quality of bind that is essential for the digitally printed work that we produce.”

“Having reviewed the machines on the market, and had samples produced on the front-runners, Morgana’s DigiBook 300 came out way ahead of the rest. The quality of the milling station in particular put it out in front. With digital papers it is critical to significantly roughen the spine in order to produce the strength of bind that our customers expect, and that these high quality products deserve.

“The small footprint of the machine was an added bonus as well – it doesn’t take up that much floor space. We generally only assign one operator to the machine, though we can increase the output at particularly busy times by adding a second.

“Photobook products bound on the machine are typically runs of one, but can range in content from 20 pages up to 160 pages – that creates a sizeable publication. The side gluing capability of the DigiBook 300 is a big plus especially on larger page counts. It helps to provide that solidity of bind that we insist on and that delivers a product that is really going to last.”

Harrier LLC operates eight Indigo presses and a wide range of finishing solutions from its dual site production space in Devon, where the company employs a team of 150, swelling to over 300 at seasonally busy times.

“One of the reasons that we had the sample books produced is in order to put the finished products on our “page pull tester” to test the binding. We work to industry standard but the DigiBook 300 samples were so well bound that the test results far exceeded our standard expectations and in some cases actually went off the scale!”

Commenting on the installation at Harrier LLC on behalf of Morgana Systems, Ray Hillhouse, Sales and Marketing Director for the supplier, said: “It is a delight to see the DigiBook 300 positioned in such a demanding binding environment. The team at Harrier LLC were very thorough in their testing before selecting the right machine for the job, and that has to be to the credit of the DigiBook 300 – it is both rugged and hard working, making it very suitable to the demands of this extremely busy and quality conscious print business.”

About the DigiBook 300

The DigiBook 300 is suited to both traditional and digital printers who require short to medium runs of PUR perfect bound books to a truly professional standard. These innovative machines are equipped with a patented closed gluing system where the spine and side gluing is applied by a slot applicator for the utmost binding quality and accuracy.

The DigiBook 300 is an innovative perfect binding machine designed and built for the very latest market requirements. It is easy to use, even by non-specialised personnel, via a touch screen panel with icon graphics that allow the programming of all precision operations in just a few seconds, including start-up and shutdown.

There are a thousand alphanumeric memories available, which enable repeat jobs to be saved for later recall, thus providing totally automatic setup in a few seconds.

About Harrier LLC

The company is the UK branch of District Photo, one of the largest photo product related producers in the US. Working with and drawing on the experience of its parent company, Harrier LLC has hand picked the most suitable equipment to create top quality prints and personalised gifts.

It is able to make the most of its photo processing background with its silver halide printing capability along with the largest fleet of HP Indigo presses under one roof in the UK. This printing capability, combined with dye-sublimation technology, gives the company the ability to offer a wide range of photo products.

The company also has a growing commercial printing business that sits perfectly alongside the long established photo print and photo gift production. The range is diverse. Photo gifts stretches beyond photobooks. It also includes photo canvas, made in the company’s own dedicated site from start to finish; photo calendars; mugs; posters; placemats; and so much more. The company has created a resilient multi-functional operation, benefitting from cross-functional innovation.

About Morgana Systems Limited

Morgana Systems Limited provides an unrivalled range of digital finishing products from the simplest, entry-level creasing units through to highly sophisticated multi-functional systems offering a range of finishing capabilities in a single unit. Since its acquisition by Plockmatic in 2013 the product portfolio has been extended with a wide range of booklet making systems to meet every production requirement.

Beginning with the launch of the revolutionary AutoCreaser in 2000, Morgana Systems has led the way in developing new and innovative solutions to cope with the special requirements of the digital printer. Morgana products that have achieved worldwide success during this time include the AutoCreaser, the DigiFold combination creaser and folder, the DocuMaster total finishing system, and several specialist folders.

Morgana’s purpose built factory in Milton Keynes produces more than 4,000 finishing products each year, with over 80% of these destined for the company’s rapidly growing export markets.

Full details of Morgana’s product line-up can be found at the company web site.


Come Taste the Brand (and Bacon) at Benson Group

In Packaging on September 9, 2014 at 7:32 am


Benson Group, one of the UK’s leading printed folding carton suppliers, will be demonstrating the flexibility of its packaging solutions at Packaging Innovations 2014, London, with some exciting new formats and developments. Breakfast will be served all day on the Benson Group stand D7 on September 30 and October 1 at the Design Centre, Islington.

Packaging Innovations, London, 2014 will feature a new Benson Group exhibition stand, allowing the company to show more unique and exciting packaging developments. Show visitors will be able to speak directly to the company’s pack design experts as well as gaining a deeper understanding of Benson Group’s production expertise.

Microwaveable Packs: Benson for Breakfast!

The very latest introduction to the Benson Group range of packaging solutions comes in the form of microwaveable packs. Developments in specific substrates are now providing solutions that will make every consumer stand up and take notice. Microwaveable solutions offer speed, convenience, and efficient energy use – that has to be a winning combination for all! To demonstrate the product at the show, the great smell of bacon will tempt visitors to find out more – come and take a breakfast snack and see the solutions in action.

But Benson Group is about much more than a free breakfast: in particular, on Wednesday 1st October visitors can come to the newly designed stand throughout the day to discuss cooking solutions with an expert from parent company, Graphic Packaging International, to find out more about cooking solutions products, including both microwaveable and ovenable cartons.

Tasty Treat in Store

Following the debut of the company’s “food to go” product range at the NEC in February, Benson Group will be showing off further expansions to this range. Inspired by the culinary innovations within the hybrid foods arena, the range now includes some revolutionary designs ideal for meal solutions at any time of the day. Produced in conjunction with the Benson Verso TM reverse printing production process, and market leading cooking technologies from Graphic Packaging International, there is a lot to discuss with the Benson Group team on stand D7. Come and discover a tasty (on the go) treat!

Eye-catching Elegance

Benson Group was delighted to announce recently that the packaging created by the company’s Medica Packaging team for the Baylis & Harding Great Body Firming Cream has been shortlisted in the Cosmetics and Personal Care Pack category for the 2014 Luxury Packaging Awards. Visitors to the Benson Group stand will be able to see the Baylis & Harding pack, as well as other high-end personal care cartons.


Another product taking centre stage in the healthcare sector of the exhibit will be the recently released luxury Benson PanoramicTM pack.

Benson PanoramicTM is a new 360-degree viewable pack that allows premium products to be viewed from any angle, creating the ideal luxury carton for high-end food, spirit and personal care gift packaging.

Visit stand D7 to see elegant eye-catching luxury cartons on show.

About Benson Group

producing packaging product for both the food retail and healthcare industries for a wide range of UK and European customers.

The business manufactures packaging product at four production sites covering in excess of 400,000 sq ft. Benson Group continues to grow and expects to achieve annual sales for the current financial year in excess of £120 million. Food and beverage processors are the main customers at Bardon and for the company’s two North East facilities in Newcastle and Gateshead. The fourth site in Crewe serves healthcare and consumer care markets. In recent years, investment in new plant and equipment across the four sites totals in excess of £22 million. The group employs over 900 UK based employees across all four production sites.

Benson Group creates packaging for many well-known companies, brands and retailers. Key account clients across the Group include Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Greencore, and Samworth Brothers. The company is an approved supplier for all of the UK’s leading retail chains. Food and healthcare packaging is exported to customers in countries throughout Europe.

For further information on the Benson Group visit the company web site.


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