In 1999 we invested in our last ever analogue presses, which was the countdown to the end of an era. A large client in the paint industry changed from sheet-fed cans to self-adhesive labels which meant we needed to invest to complete the contract. Digital printing was not yet at the point where it could be used for anything other than short runs and prototypes, so we bought a flexo press and a litho press, both from Nilpeter, to ensure we could meet the client’s requirements.
Buying the presses had another upside – it enabled us to break into new business sectors such as nutraceutical, food and beverage, and household products. With previous seasonal business, this diversified our services enabling us to balance out the year’s revenue.
Our experiences with digital convinced us that we would soon be able to use the technology in the new markets we had entered. Emerging technologies tend to do three things; they become better, faster and cheaper and we knew it was just a matter of time.
By 2003 digital had reached that point and, as in so many instances in Springfield Solutions’ history, we were early adopters of the technology, investing in two HP Indigo presses. So impressed were we with the speed and quality that over the course of the next decade we bought eight of them as each successive model was better than the last.
But it left us with a dilemma. When it came time to change the Nilpeter presses, we were faced with either investing in analogue machines, or abandoning analogue printing altogether and go fully digital.
It was a hard-thought out decision but in the end digital won and we changed to an all-digital print room in 2012. Much of our work is complex, niche jobs that span a range of languages. To change the language with a digital press only requires a different computer file. With analogue new plates need making up for every language required. The digital solution is far more efficient and cost effective which has prompted a double-digit increase in print turnover each year since we converted.
So what of the future? We believe digital print points the way and we already have our feet firmly planted in that next generation of technology. So as digital progresses we remain where we have always been, at the forefront of the industry, blazing a trail.