TT Litho Printers Ltd, Rochester, Kent, has installed a new B2-format offset litho press from RMGT (Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology). The compact RMGT 765E press is configured with five printing units. The product was supplied and installed by Apex Digital Graphics, Hemel Hempstead, the official RMGT exclusive distributor in the UK for presses up to SRA1 format, and the exclusive CtP and plate distributor for the Chinese pre-press manufacturer CRON for both UK and Ireland.
The installation of the press has taken place at the company’s new premises on the Medway City Trading Estate and was the first component of the transfer of the business to the new site. TT Litho Director Lucy Fogarty explains: “We had taken the decision to replace our ageing Heidelberg MO machine after twenty-five years of sterling service, but quickly realised that any new press would require significant changes to our original premises – a listed building. That would also require a major additional spend. It made sense for us to seek new, modern premises in order for us to move the business forward.
“The Medway City Estate was our desired location, but premises rarely became available. We had a good relationship with a finishing company, Rochester Print Finishers, who were based on the estate, and on further discussion with them realised that the owners were fast approaching retirement age. It made perfect sense for us to acquire the business, along with the existing staff, and use that unit as our new home.” The finishing business continues and now runs alongside TT Litho.
The family run Medway print business celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, having been founded back in 1975 by Tom Fogarty. Sadly in 2002 Tom died from a brain tumour, leaving the business to wife Sue, who was soon to be joined by eldest daughter Lucy, who decided to leave her civil service job at the Department of Education.
“I had always enjoyed being involved in the business from an early age, whether it was helping in the bindery, filing, cleaning the darkroom, doing the sandwich run, or doing a delivery in the company van to central London a day after passing my driving test,” said Lucy. “I quickly realised when Mum was left to run the company that this was my destiny, and accepted her offer for us to work together. My Dad had an uncompromising work ethic and always encouraged us to be anything we wanted to be, to be nice along the way, and not to take “no” for an answer! Above all he had a fun approach to life and work, and this spirit still runs through the “veins” of the business even now.”
The search for a new press began over a year ago. It was critical for the company to make the right investment in order to move the business forward. “We were placing an increasing amount of work out to trade printers because our own press could not cope with the volume of work. We knew that if we wanted to keep the business moving forward positively we had to replace our printing press – we could see the productive benefits in more modern machinery, but we needed to be certain that we invested in the right product.”
The directors of the company went to see Ryobi machines at various printing companies, and quickly became convinced of the brand. “We were impressed by the comments that users gave us with regard to both the quality of the press and of the supplier, Apex,” said Lucy. “These presses produce high-quality work and print extremely efficiently: what more could we really have asked for!”
The installation of the new press began over the Christmas holidays in order to minimise disruption to print orders. “The installation went very smoothly, and the training was conducted efficiently by the Apex team. We are delighted to be up and running now in the new building and printing on the new machine. It has given everybody in the company a positive injection of enthusiasm.”
TT Litho employs a team of 15 at its new Medway City Estate premises and offers one of the only in-house graphic design services in the area, as well as pre-press, print and finishing services. Work undertaken at the company includes a wide range of commercial print work, including local and national government agencies, charities, the medical and education sector, museums and galleries, corporate literature. The company expects the addition of the new machine to take the current turnover of the business over the £1 million mark.
The compact construction of the five-colour B2 format litho press provides a footprint some 25% smaller then traditional B2 equipment.
Handling paper sizes through to 765 x 600mm (30.12 x 23.62 inches) the new press has a maximum printing area of 765 x 545mm. A double-diameter impression cylinder and transfer drum aid stable and efficient paper transport, even when printing heavier stocks. The machine handles substrates from 0.04 through to 0.6mm, and the 765E press is capable of printing up to 13,000 sheets per hour.
Semi-automatic plate changing is supplied as standard, for fast and efficient job changeovers. Ryobi-matic continuous dampening ensures uniform dampening of the plate and together with the heavy duty inking system, help produce the sharpest of dots and heaviest of solids.
Ryobi’s highly acclaimed program inking automatically selects the right conversion curve for each colour according to the image area ratio data that has been calculated during the pre-press stage, and the Ryobi PDS-E SpectroJet provides ‘on-the-run’ closed-loop colour management.
Established in 1975 by the Fogarty family, TT Litho Printers Ltd has been established for over forty years and has a reputation for high quality service. TT Litho has grown to become one of Kent’s leading lithographic and digital printers, with the business owners attributing this success to hard work, a deep understanding of the processes, and a customer focused approach. Situated in the historic city of Rochester, at the heart of the South East of England, the business enjoys easy access to London, the Home Counties, and to the European mainland. The company’s design and print focus has expanded over the years to include additional services, including digital print production and a wide range of in-house finishing solutions.
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 MHI range of printing presses through to SRA1 format and Cron metal-based platesetters. Apex also distributes 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 www.apexdigital.co.uk web site.