Hickling & Squires refreshes digital line-up
Hickling & Squires has swapped out its old Xerox digital presses for a brand-new lineup of Konica Minoltas.
The investment, prompted by Hickling & Squires’ ambition to grow its digital market share, has seen the Nottingham commercial printer pick up three Konica Minolta presses since June 2022.
Exchanging its 2018 Iridesse and two Versant 2100s, Hickling & Squires has now shifted digital production entirely to its Accuriopress C7090, Accuriopress 6120, and C12000, the last of which was installed in April 2023.
Hickling & Squires has already seen an increased output thanks to the investment, according to Jamie Gilbert, the company’s production director, and it has accordingly invested in a second Duplo 3500 bookletmaker.
The switchover between brands was quite easy, Gilbert told Printweek, saying that the investment initially came about after speaking with Andrew Lamb, Konica Minolta’s production specialist.
He said: “We knew him already; but, speaking to him, we realised [Konica Minolta] was based literally five miles down the road: it was kind of a no-brainer.”
Konica Minolta’s UK headquarters are just off Junction 28 of the M1 motorway; Hickling and Squires at Junction 27.
Both sets of machines using the Fiery RIP, the Konicas took less than a day to train printers on each.
“It was just the material catalogues that they needed to get used to – it was a straight swap with minimal hassle,” Gilbert said.
The investment in digital is part of the printer’s long-term plans to boost digital sales. With a current split of 70/30 between litho and digital operations, Hickling & Squires would like to see it shift to 60/40, according to Gilbert.
He added: “That will be where we invest more and more.”
The print house, which brings in £5m annually and employs 35, also invested in a Fujifilm Acuity Prime 30 flatbed in April, alongside a Titanium 2516 cutting table, to bring its wide-format work in-house.
The firm’s litho production is performed on three Heidelberg Speedmasters: one 10-colour CD 74, an eight-colour CD 74, and an eight-colour XL 75, which went in in 2018.