A further occurrence in this saga was the acquisition of Marianna Press by Highland Print in 2001, with Clinton being appointed MD of the joint business. Later still, in 2006, Highland Print was taken over by the CTP Packaging group.
Much of what Clinton relates about the intervening years is ‘off the record’, but we can report that he left CTP Packaging in early 2007.Now, however, proving the adage that you can’t keep a good man down, Clinton has reappeared as co-owner of a brand-new printing works, with a brand-new business partner, Archie Galiem. And, harking back to the 1990s, their business has been christened Unity Press!
‘I’ve really come full circle,’ says Clinton with his usual engaging smile.Archie – MD of the new venture – also brings a strong printing background and a wealth of expertise. A photolithographer by trade, Archie also has considerable experience in advertising sales, not to mention a decade spent with Logoprint where he was involved with estimating, production and sales.
Reflecting the partners’ considerable understanding of the printing trade, it’s not surprising to learn that the business is focused on the short- to medium-run magazine and educational book printing sectors, as well as high-volume flyers and brochures.Unity Press started life in Epping Industria, but this wasn’t an entirely suitable location and a move in March this year saw Archie and Clinton proudly setting up shop in bright, airy 3 000m2 premises in Cape Town’s Airport Industria.Our visit reveals a tastefully refurbished office complex and an enormous and pristine print shop where two imposing presses have pride of place – a ten-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster five-over-five perfector, plus a smaller four-colour Heidelberg two-over-two perfector, both supplied by Printech Engineering.
Apart from printing equipment, there’s a battery of finishing equipment, including two Stahl folders, a saddle stitcher, and – star of the show – a Kolbus 472A perfect binding system which occupies some 35m of space along one side of the plant. This line features automatic presetting for fast make-ready when changing block thickness, plus automatic milling and glue application attachments. Operating at speeds between 5 000 and 8 000 books/hour it surely counts as one of Cape Town’s largest perfect binding installations.PUR has become the buzzword when it comes to perfect binding and Kolbus is regarded as the ‘Rolls Royce’ in this field.
Thanks to this investment, Unity Press offers PUR gluing using a roller system for which parameters can be set, stored and called up repeatedly via the machine’s control system.For workflow, Archie and Clinton have opted for Kodak’s Prinergy to maintain control and peak efficiency throughout the printing process.As with the presses, the finishing equipment has been supplied by Printech Engineering; and financed by Nedbank, a bank that specialises in financing capital goods in the printing and packaging sectors.Archie and Clinton have nothing but praise for the way in which the Printech team, headed by Graham Townsend, and Nedbank’s Dudley Flügel have helped them to ‘get the show on the road’, thanks to their specialised knowledge.
Although this is a medium-sized company, it boasts top-end equipment, making it highly competitive in terms of price and turnaround times. But above all else, the real motto at Unity Press is ‘service’.As the partners insist, they’re not aiming to have the largest number of customers in Cape Town. They’d rather have fewer customers, but ensure that they’re exceptionally well serviced.‘By offering the best possible service, we’ll cement important relationships with our customers – and then we’ll secure more business in the long run,’ Archie concludes.