Apart from the flagship Durban-based production facility, Fishwicks operates sales offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Currently more than 70% of Fishwicks’ sales emanate from the Gauteng market.
Operating three shifts/day, five days/week, places stringent demands on the company’s equipment but thanks to this latest series of investments Fishwicks has gained a strategic advantage in its quest to offer customers the very best quality and service.
Comments Aubrey Nathan, ‘Our philosophy has always been to remain at the forefront of technology, to reinvest continually in new equipment and skilled staff to meet customers’ demands. Our market is constantly changing, and deadlines are becoming ever tighter. These latest investments allow us to offer a broader spectrum of products while improving efficiency and quality. We’ve also taken the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.’
Presentation to customers
Investments included new printing and post-press equipment that was presented to customers at the end of November.
The largest chunk of the capex went to a new KBA Rapida 106 offset press. Supplied by local agent, Thunderbolt, the press boasts a production speed of 18 000 sheets/hour making it one of the fastest sheetfed presses available. It also features an inline densitometer and colour control system that monitors the quality of each sheet as it passes through the press. With its reduced alcohol usage, it’s also said to be environmentally friendly.
Comments production director Devan Gounder: ‘One of most important aspects is the fast makeready times. The Rapida 106 replaced an older machine that had given good service but now that the new press is in full production we can measure just how efficient it is by comparison. On the older machine makeready took around 30 minutes. On the new Rapida, this is achieved in 15 minutes.’
For the large-format digital print market, Fishwicks chose a Durst Rho P10 200 flatbed inkjet printer, the first of its kind in South Africa.
Demonstrated by Kemtek at last year’s Africa Print show, it features a print resolution of 1 000dpi, and prints on a range of substrates including paper, board, plastic, glass and wood, with a maximum width of 2m and unlimited length. Using six colours, plus white for transparent substrates, it offers photographic quality printing.
Another milestone was the purchase of a Kodak NexPress SX3300 five-colour digital press capable of printing short-run work on various materials.
Supplied by Antalis, it offers differentiated printing capabilities including a larger sheet size of 660mm in length and is capable of raised dimensional printing giving a 3D effect. Using a fifth ink unit, it’s able to match Pantone colours; in addition, metallic and pearlescent printing is offered.
On the finishing front, Fishwicks installed a Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH82 folder. It handles sheet sizes from 140 x 180mm to 820 x 1 280mm at production speeds up to 230m/min, considerably improving efficiencies.
Adding to the tally of South African ‘firsts’, Fishwicks purchased a Zünd high-speed cutter and a Bickers precision gluer – both supplied by Beswick Machinery.
The Zünd G3 is a fast cutting system that processes various substrates including paper, correx and wood up to 50mm thick, and handles contour cutting for structural displays for point-of-purchase applications.
‘Zünd’s Swiss engineering quality combined with the world’s most accurate camera registration system guarantees Fishwicks’ customers get the highest available quality,’ comments Bruce Beswick. ‘Having the world’s fastest cutting system improves Fishwicks’ production flow, giving customers the shortest possible delivery times; and its modular design means it’s easily adapted to support customers’ changing needs.’
The Bickers GlueJet allows precise placement of either hot or cold glue in a single pass to ensure maximum adhesion for the construction of point-of-sale displays. It handles a wide range of materials with unlimited thickness in sizes up to 1 700 x 2 500mm and can produce up to four jobs simultaneously.
According to Bruce, there are no limits in the application of geometrical glue patterns. It offers precise and consistently reproducible gluing at speeds up to 1,2m/sec.
The Gluejet is also helping to improve working conditions at the factory, while eliminating bottlenecks in the workflow.
Passionate about business
‘Here at Fishwicks we’re passionate about our business,’ Aubrey Nathan explained to guests at the open house. ‘As can be seen, we’re living our brand by printing and manufacturing all the furniture from a combination of cardboard and vinyl.’
Everyone went home with a keepsake, an outstanding brochure called ‘The Book of And’ – full of innovative ideas printed on a variety of materials to showcase Fishwicks’ broad capabilities. Many guests felt it was one of the most impressive pieces of print promotional material they had ever received.
‘As our business continues to evolve, we’re excited to announce that for the second consecutive year we’ve won Gold and Silver in the POPAI Awards,’ Aubrey continued. ‘We’ve also won numerous awards in the Sappi African Printers of the Year contest. Our vision is to continue to expand and grasp opportunities that we believe to be profitable, continue to invest in the latest technology, and research ways to improve customers’ interaction with our group.’
Lastly, Aubrey thanked customers for their support and suppliers for helping to realise Fishwicks’ goals. He praised, too, the total dedication and passion of staff that allow Fishwicks to adapt to ever-changing and increasing demands.
[Ed’s comment: POPAI is an international trade association for the ‘marketing at retail’ industry and a series of awards recognise innovation in concept, creativity and manufacturing of point-of-sale products. For a copy of Fishwicks’ promotional brochure ‘The Book of And’, call Aubrey Nathan on 082 333 9991 or email email@example.com.]